The Ancestral Mother
An Interview with Max Dashu

March 6, 2020

Interview by
Joanna Harcourt-Smith

In this week’s episode Max Dashu speaks with Joanna about: 50 years of questioning patriarchy and systems of domination and reclaiming the matricultures; searching the history of indigenous cultures before the European colonizations; the whore labeling, a patriarchal way of discrediting women; divide and conquer, the basic principle of systemic domination; the Mosuo culture of Yunnan, one of the most egalitarian societies on the planet; the historical – not inevitable – process of patriarchalization; a massive pattern across cultures of women, primarily, mking clay figurines in the image of the ancestral Mother, the primary pattern of Paleolithic and Neolithic; scirptural religions, carriers for the memes of patriarchal thinking; the shared culture of the Great Mother; the fight of the Wet’suwet’en Nation for thir ancestral and spiritual rights as land guardians; coming back to core spiritual priniciples in defense of Earth and life; Chaos and Wisdom, an ancient, sacred mystery rediscovered by the new science of chaos theory; decolonizing ourselves and reclaiming our pathways back to Mother Nature.

Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research and document women’s history from an international perspective. She built a collection of 15,000 slides and  30,000 digital images, and has created 150 slideshows on female cultural heritages across human history. Dashu’s work bridges the gap between academia and grassroots education. It foregrounds indigenous women passed over by standard histories and highlights female spheres of power retained even in some patriarchal societies. Dashu is internationally known for her expertise on ancient female iconography in world archaeology; female spheres of power and matricultures; patriarchies and allied systems of domination; medicine women, female shamans, witches, and witch hunts. Her work is followed by over 165,000 people on Facebook and remains in the top 1% on

Dashu is author of “Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Culture, 700-1100” (2016) and “Pythias, Melissae and Pharmakides: Women in Hellenic Culture (forthcoming), both from Veleda Press. These books are part of a 15 volume series “Secret History of the Witches”. Dashu has also produced two videos: “Woman Shaman: The Ancients” (2013) and “Women’s Power in Global Perspective” (2008). She has created a poster series on women’s heritages, exploring cultural patterns: breastpots, vulva petroglyphs, and sheela-na-gigs. The Female Icons poster has been shared across multiple sites ad social media platforms. Dashu’s art has been featured in many publications from Judy Grahn’s “She Who” (1976) to the Indian Journal “Manushi” (1983) to the covers of “Wisdom Literature” (SCM Core texts, 2006) and “Foremothers of the Women’s Spirituality Movement: Elders and Visionaries” (2015).

“I Can’t Sit Still”, original music by Evarusnik

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