Earth Honouring

“Fortunately, there remain frail vestiges of ancient matriarchy-based, aboriginal populations—battered, oppressed, and deprived after a millennia of colonisation—scattered over the face of the earth. These cultures, of which the Aborigines of Australia are the oldest and the most pure, may hold, with their mysterious traditions, the instructions for human survival. That survival undoubtedly depends on regaining the connective flow between humanity and earth. The legacy of these cultures is not to be copied and imitated in romantic reactionaryism, but rather their essences must be gleaned and translated into a paradigm for the future …”
~ Robert Lawlor: Earth Honouring

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2 thoughts on “Earth Honouring

  1. Yes! Where I live–in the U.S. in New York State–sadly, we can today witness the process of patriarchal transformation of the matriarchal Iroquois peoples, a violent process of subjugation. Doug George-Kanentioo in his Iroquois Culture & Commentary writes,

    “In our society, women are the centre of all things. Nature, we believe, has given women the ability to create; therefore it is only natural that women be in positions of power to protect this function. In the Iroquois world, a female baby was a blessing from the Creator because such a child meant the cycle of our generations would continue on. From earliest childhood, the girl baby was encouraged to take a leading role in her family and group, never to hesitate to express her feelings, and never to qualify her creative impulses in order to please a man.” (53-54)

    In the past several years, the U.S. government denied the authority of the Clanmother and negotiated a casino with a male, who subsequently evicted the Iroquois matriarchal community from their homes. Professor Tula Goeke of Syracuse University recorded some of the struggle in a video, Dancing on Mother Earth. But Joanne Shenandoah and Doug George-Kanentioo, her husband, fight on. Joanne is a singer/songwriter who has been nominated for an Emmy Award for her album The Peacemaker. Another of my favourites is The Matriarch: Iroquois Women’s Songs

    … the treatment of motherhood in Western political thought as the introduction to my M.A. essay, Toward Matriarchy: the Radical Struggle of Nineteenth-Century Women in the US to Reconstruct Motherhood. I found that the “essence” of patriarchy was that women would not be allowed their creativity to mother. Plato wrote that women could be part of the governing class but that they should not be allowed to even know their own children because maternal bonding with a child undermined the interests of the state.

    • thank you for your thoughful commentary and comparative situation. Oh too familiar the world over, unfortunately.

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