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October 5, 2008

Dark Mother: African Origins and Godmothers

Bringing a feminist perspective to contemporary findings of geneticists and archaeologists, Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, cultural historian, points out that the oldest veneration we know is of a dark mother of central and south Africa, whose signs -- red ochre and the pubic V -- were taken by african migrants after 50,000 BCE to caves and cliffs of all continents. The oldest sanctuary in the world was created in 40,000 BCE by african migrants at Har Karkom, later called Mt. Sinai, foundation place of judaism, christianity, and islam.

Lucia documents the continuing veneration of the dark mother and her values in prehistoric images of the dark mother, in historic black madonnas, and in other dark women divinites whose sanctuaries are on african paths. She tracks the memory in rituals and stories of her sicilian grandmothers, in persecution of dark others in patriarchal Europe and the United States, in the rise of nonviolent dark others since the 1960s, in the banners of the 1995 world conference of women at Beijing, in art, and in contemporary transformational movements.

She finds the dark mother's values -- justice with compassion, equality, and transformation -- in everyday and celebratory rituals of the world's subaltern cultures -- and suggests that the image and values are in the submerged memories of everyone. source


Fly Girl said...

Great post! I've seen some form of the black madonna wherever I've traveled in Europe and Central and South America. She's always highly revered. This book sheds some interesting light on what happened to all that reverence towards the image in the rest of society.

Ebony Intuition said...

I loved reading this book. I an't wait to travel to Europe , Central and South Ameirca and Afirca to see the presence of the dark mother.


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