Matrilineal means relating to tracing ancestral descent through the maternal line. When Max Dashu was told by a college professor that matrilineal societies were unimportant to history, this set her on a lifelong journey to find and document women’s history and contributions.
As the scribes of history were employed by rulers and priestly hierarchies, and there were: ‘certain interests encoded in their world view.’ Max had to look further and deeper. What she found, in her own words was:
‘The further back you go in time, the stronger the female iconography becomes.’
Why would that be, if our female ancestors were unimportant? Could it be that the history of women has been suppressed?
Max founded the Suppressed Histories Archive in 1970, with the purpose of ‘restoring women to cultural memory.’
In this recent podcast interview with Amy Dempster of Following Hawks, Max talks about her work:
‘.. in the last 15 years there is a desire from many women of many backgrounds for ancestral recovery’
‘….. we women have been so starved for images about who we are in the world’
‘.. the further back you go in time, the stronger the female iconography becomes’
‘.. having heritages, having ancestral memory to recover… we need that in order to reimagine ourselves’
‘When I began working with images there was a visceral reaction women had to seeing these images…. realising you’re not supposed to see:
The female warriors
The female medicine women’
These are our ancestors, our inherited memories; it is only by reconnecting with them that we are able to reimagine who we are.
Podcast & Archives
To listen to the full podcast, please visit Amy Dempster’s brilliant website Following Hawks and listen to podcast number 57.
To visit Max Dashu’s Suppressed Histories Archive :: CLICK HERE ::