Matriarchal Culture

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Jennifer Gidley:

"Another convergence between the three narratives is that all three consider the archaic, and subsequent period to be strongly influenced by female archetypes. As Wilber (1996c) states— citing Campbell—the Great Mother “has shown herself at the very dawn of the first days of our own species” (p. 129). This is consistent with other cultural mythological research on the significance of the female archetype as primordial Goddess—represented in Paleolithic art as the Venus figurines; and the Great Mother archetype in Neolithic and Egyptian mythology (Eisler,1987; Neumann, 1954/1995). Gebser (1949/1985) claims that the matriarchy did not really breakdown until around 500 BCE with the entrenchment of patriarchy in Greece. Steiner claimed that these early matriarchs assisted the development of early language, and even memory, through initiating rhythmical chanting, and interpreting the hidden language of nature—which they expressed in sound, tone and rhythm. This is supported by recent research into the origins of music and language (Dissanayake, 2005; Merker, 2001; Mithen, 2007; Skoyles, 2000; Wallin, Merker, & Brown, 2001). Human language is believed to have developed very slowly—with few sounds, mostly consonantal and gradually in combination with vowels — for about half a million years during the Paleolithic period, until the Upper Paleolithic around 35,000 years ago (Lock &Peters, 1999, p. 771-772)."