Sunday, July 16, 2006

Women, Spirituality & Politics

Corby and I attended a presentation last night by independent scholar Max Dashu. Using the theme of Female Shamans in Indigenous Resistance Movements: Women Spiritual Leaders Confront Empire, Max showed slides and spoke of women whose stories we seldom, if ever, hear:
Priestesses, diviners, healers, and holy women stand out as leaders of aboriginal liberation movements against empire. Spiritual spheres of power have always been a crucial staging area for women's political leadership and for challenging systems of domination on many levels. This new show looks at how indigenous women draw on their cultural traditions to resist colonization and how, by virtue of who they are and where they stand in the social order, their personal access to direct, transformative power makes the spiritual political.

Including: Veleda of Bructerii (Netherlands) * Dahia al-Kahena (Tunisia) * the Kumari of Taleju (Nepal) * Juana Icha (Peru) * Kimba Vita (Congo) * Maria Candelaria (Chiapas) * Queen Nanny of the Maroons (Jamaica) * Toypurina (Tongva Nation) * Wanankhucha (Somali Bantu) * Lozen (Apache Nation) * Nehanda Nyakasikana (Zimbabwe) * Teresa Urrea (Sonora) * and more...

Plus: Black South Asia. The most ancient peoples of Indonesia, Malay peninsula, Philippines, the Andaman Islands, and south India...
The founder of the Suppressed History Archives, Max, who is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about her subject, has over 90 of slide talks, the one we saw last night being one of the newest, plus her own artwork. If you or your groups wish to sponsor one or more of her talks, contact her through her website.

Fortunately for me, we live near enough to be able to keep up with Max's work; I've been attending her shows off and on since the early 1980s, and she was on the panel I produced at PSR in January, "Visions of the Past and Memories of the Future" (available on DVD by Samhain). Luckily for those who cannot attend these lectures due to location or for whatever reasons, she has plans to release DVDs of her talks in the future. Also in the works, a book, The Secret History of the Witches.

These stories must be told and heard.


labyrs said...

We agree and also admire Max Dashu's work. We thought you'd like to know that we've included a reference to this post in our post this week on the new blog, "Medusa Coils" at The name of the post is "Buzz Coils."

Broomstick Chronicles said...

Thanks, labyrs. Great resources on your blog as well.