Three King-Sized Books on His-Story


Three King-Sized Books on His-Story

Matriarchy vs. Patriarchy – Part One

The subject of Goddess

HISTORY’S FLIPSIDE. The subject of Goddess respect in early societies became so prominent in the public consciousness during the 1990s that the nation of Cyprus chose a Cycladic cruciform statue of ca. 3000- 2,500 BCE for the face of its coinage when it joined the European Union. A collection of very precious “stiff nudes,” as Gimbutas termed them, is among the oldest treasures on view at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles.

Tipping the scales at nearly six pounds, The Archaeology of Ancient North America represents the latest and weightiest word on its subject. As Dorothy Parker remarked of a thick collection of poetry she reviewed in her day, it runs the gamut from A to B. The two authors have made archeology (as we usually spell it) a deader and dryer subject than it need be—unless you consider they are mostly all wet to begin with. Search in vain for more than a passing reference to Cherokee or Choctaw (two native heritages I’m interested in).

One of the perpetual problems in book publishing is how to economically and attractively print a mix of black-and-white and color illustrations or maps and photographs in the same volume. Usually this is accomplished by a section of plates. Cambridge University Press, which was chartered in 1534 by Henry VIII and published its first book after a lag of 50 years, in 1584, took 5 years to prepare the present title, which has no references more recent than 2015, and is thus out of date now by at least seven years. It is missing the important review article on the prehistory of West Mexico that includes Casas Grandes by Matthew Pailes. It also ignores the long and important synthesis on the American Southwet and Mexican Northwest published in the Journal of the Southwest in 2008.[1]

Cambridge has used the ingenious system of having its authors do most of the work in typesetting, editing and proofreading. There are no original maps or figures, something Cambridge used to be celebrated for, as in my copy of The New Cambridge Medieval History I, c. 500 – c. 700, edited by Paul Fouracre (2005). Instead, they encouraged the authors to cobble together photos and maps from Wikipedia, Getty Image, museums and friends. The results are what is known as Frankenstein art direction, and there is about 40-50% unused white space on each of the heavily varnished pages, causing the book’s 705 pages to weigh five pounds, eleven ounces. By comparison, the 2005 Cambridge medieval compilation’s 980 compact octavo-sized uncoated paper pages weigh only half as much.

Why produce an imperial octavo book with pages only half filled? Does Cambridge have any professional book designers or editors left on its staff? (One may recall half its workforce at University Printing House in Cambridge was laid off several years ago.) The present volume looks self-published. It betrays few of the prestigious publishing company’s traditional production values. We wonder if it was even printed in England or the United States. More likely China or the Philippines or Vietnam, where it was treated as a glossy commercial catalog, not an academic publication sub specie aeternitatis.

We wonder, too, if the slaving authors were left with the job of producing an index. This one seems rather cursory and certainly quirky. Is a reader really going to search for catchwords such as taphonomy, technology fetishism, temporality and theorizing?

In a monster of a book that highlights current understanding of 20,000 years of human history in North America, one naturally wants to know where the people of a particular site or distinct culture came from and what happened to them. Chaco Canyon and its associated archeological sites are well covered, as they were in the forerunner volume North American Archaeology, edited by Pauketat and Diana DiPaolo (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005). But just as in the former collection, no verdict is hazarded about exactly who these people were, not even that they must have been rather unpleasant, as in the 2005 account. Where did the T-shaped windows and doorways come from? What kind of religious or political traditions did Chacoans of the twelfth century have? We might as well wonder about Neanderthal society.

The left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand does.  The interesting wooden statue of Our Lady of Conquering Love in Santa Fe, New Mexico is assigned to St. Peter’s Basilica in the caption of the photo one of the authors took in 2013. But there is no St. Peters Basilica in Santa Fe. The sidebar below the picture rightly names the home of La Conquistadora as St. Francis Basilica.

 

Casas Grandes Muddle

Another of North America’s “anomalous historical phenomena,” the city of ruins in Chihuahua, Mexico, is sometimes called Casas Grandes, sometimes Paquimé. Faint praise is accorded to its excavator and chief expositor, Charles Di Peso, the director of the Amerind Foundation in Dragoon, Arizona, who published a “masterful” eight-volume set in conjunction with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History in the 1970s. “Few agree with him today,” we are told, though the objections are not spelled out. A veil is drawn over the mystery. We are left no wiser about Paquimé than Chaco, Aztec Ruins or Snaketown. Di Peso’s thesis about a violent end to the city is rejected, without any alternative explanation.

In the face of Di Peso’s scenario of war and invasion, we are asked to believe that, overnight and inexplicably, the city collapsed, its inhabitants just melted away and soon “the abandonment of the Casas Grandes region was total” (p. 616). That’s the end of the book’s sole intrusion into Mesoamerica. North America does not really include Mexico.

Some clues to Paquimé’s “history-making power” (p. 611) are inadvertently dropped in the discussion of its unusual statues, which are strangely gendered, and its distinctive pottery, which is replete with “cosmic symbolism.”

“Feminine figures typically show individuals holding vessels or children, with vulvas exposed, and sometimes pregnant or nursing. [Christine] VanPool and [Todd] VanPool (Signs of Casas Grandes Shamans, 2007) identified this as a non-Mesoamerican focus on a fertility goddess. The masculine figures, on the other hand, are shown smoking cane cigars (or tubular pipes) or masturbating, typically with exposed penises in either case.”

 

Echoes of Matriarchy in Acoma

When my wife and I toured Acoma pueblo a few years ago, we were struck by the daring outspokenness of the female guides. A woman conducted us briskly through the abandoned San Estevan Del Rey Mission Church. Pointing to a collection of antique confessionals in the rear of the sanctuary that used to be operated by the “reverend fathers,” she remarked that they were no longer in use, casually adding, “We ran out of sins.”

Another Acoma woman took us through the village. When we passed a kiva, she pointed out a covered slot in the wall, explaining that is where the men would be warned by the women that Spaniards were approaching. “Of course now,” she said, “they’re in there watching the Superbowl game or something.”

Could Paquimé have been a matriarchal society, one in which women made many of the decisions, owned the property, distributed the food and ran the economy? Were Paquimé and Chaco Canyon abandoned as a result of the action of clans? Hold that thought.

Mata Ortiz Casas Grandes Revival effigy pot, 1960s, 6 ¾” tall and  6 ¾” long and 6 ¾” wide, signed by Manuel Olivas. The designs show that the language of the Goddess continued to be understood in the late 20th century in North Mexico. By master potter Manuel Olivas (1940-2007) who worked in tandem with his daughter, Blanca; see “The Many Faces of Mata Ortiz” by Susan Lowell, on page 120. Witness the tri-line signature on the figure’s right knee, together with the drops of nourishment coming from it.  Three strokes at an angle can be found on a multitude of pottery and metal sculptures that served as votive offerings to the Goddess, from North Mexico to South America. Notice also the curving tendril or germinative symbol. An artifact similar to this reproduction is in the collection of the Amerind Foundation, Dragoon, Ariz.; its chin tattoo consists of three strokes. See also “The Eye of God: Tranquility and Tradition . . . Mata Ortiz Pottery in Harmony with the Ancients” by Phil Stover, Journal of the Southwest Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 159-63. Manuel Olivas preceded Juan Quezada, who is often credited with reviving Casas Grandes pottery. The little village of Mata Ortiz outside the ruins now has 400 families making pottery. It is said Olivas met with Charles De Peso at the time of the great Paquimé dig 1959-1960s. Traditionally, the collectors from which this example came dated it to 1960s. Donald Yates Collection.

 

According to Pauketat and Sassaman’s case study (p. 612), Christine VanPool and Todd VanPool detect four sexes or genders in the shamanistic society they find mirrored in Casas Grandes pots and statuary. We made some discrete inquiries among Pueblo and Hopi acquaintances  but found no confirmation either for extra genders or shaman activities. There was an immutable line between males and females, and shamans were only something they had heard about from anthropologists, alien to their traditional practices and typically associated with other cultures, such as Sioux.

 

The trouble with most books about Indians is they treat indigenous people as inferior humans and imperfect versions of modern-day white men. Thus, in the chapter on Eskimos (8), Pauketat and Sassaman feel obliged to explain that the natives living in the Arctic are different because of “relational ontology, meaning a worldview that considers the relations between things or beings as more fundamental than the things or beings themselves” (as in white folks’ civilization). This seems to be a radical step to take, but ontology is invoked to explain the animism and shamanism of such divergent cultures as the Yup’ik Eskimos, Aleutian Islanders, Greenland Dorset people, Siberians and even Hopewell people.

 

Introducing Heide Goettner-Abendroth

If one wishes to philosophize we can recommend no better philosopher than Heide Goettner-Abendroth, a contemporary German intellectual and the founder of matriarchy studies. She has a mind like a steel trap and her writing style is reason itself. After leaving a position at the University of Munich in 1983, she published extensively on culture, prehistory and society. Her magnum opus is Matriarchal Societies: Studies on Indigenous Cultures across the Globe, translated by Karen Smith (New York: Peter Lang, 2013), heralded when it appeared in English as “exhaustively researched” and “world changing.”

This is not the place to defend or attempt to summarize Goettner-Abenroth’s work. Critical material may be found at Matriarchiv in San Gallen, Switzerland and at HAGIA, the International Academy for Modern Matriarchal Studies. Goettner-Abendroth has three times been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, because, as she says, matriarchal societies are real in history and timely today. They are based on essential human needs, not utopic ideas:

 

 

Despite all the hostility directed against Modern Matriarchal Studies, it is not possible to disregard its findings. It presents us with a well-balanced, egalitarian and basically peaceful society. It can exist without life-destroying inventions like wars of conquest and the rule of dominance. This is why I am convinced that matriarchy is needed in the struggle for a humane world.

—Heide Goettner-Abendroth

 

No Femina sapiens, Only Homo sapiens 

Sapiens, the next book we want to take a look at, was published in 2011 in Hebrew and translated into English in 2014. Its author is another man, Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli. It purports to summarize, in 578 pages, the entire history of man, Homo sapiens, from the Stone Age to the present. At least the publishers, Harper Perennial, have solved the problem of color illustrations surrounded by black-and-white text blocks, this paperback weighing only a little over two pounds. It could easily be carried in a Cambridge don’s gown sleeve and produced to be read surreptitiously at chapel—not that, in our day and age, one need disguise secular reading tastes.

Harari’s book is a best-selling general survey of Big History in the vein of Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel, 1997) or H. G. Wells (The Outline of History, 1920) or, indeed, Voltaire (An Essay on Universal History, the Manners, and Spirit of Nations, 1756). Its reception was enthusiastic in popular circles but tempered in academia. The Canadian anthropologist Christopher Robert Hallpike states in a review of Harari’s work that:

 

One has often had to point out how surprisingly little he seems to have read on quite a number of essential topics. It would be fair to say that whenever his facts are broadly correct they are not new, and whenever he tries to strike out on his own he often gets things wrong, sometimes seriously….We should not judge Sapiens as a serious contribution to knowledge but as ‘infotainment’, a publishing event to titillate its readers by a wild intellectual ride across the landscape of history, dotted with sensational displays of speculation, and ending with blood-curdling predictions about human destiny.[2]

Another reviewer, Stephen C. Jett, goes along for the ride except for a few corrective points regarding interaction between the Old and New Worlds and cultural diffusion.[3] He notes that like many other universal histories the book is organized according to “revolutions,” the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific. But both he and the author he is reviewing miss the most important one, the Patriarchal Revolution which occurred about 3000 BCE and which continues apace. So really, we only have half of world history—the men’s version. Replace “humans” with the word “males” and you have the normative term used for all these universal annals.

If one wishes to divide humanity’s prehistory and history into revolutions such as the agricultural and industrial, nearly all historians and anthropologists ignore the revolution that occurred in Europe and the Middle East around 3000 BCE, the transition from matriarchal societies to patriarchal societies, or “mother right” to “father right.” August Bebel (1913) was the first philosopher to abandon the linear evolutionary theory that all creation was in travail to produce the marvelous modern state, calling “the upheaval from matriarchy to patriarchy the first great revolution in human history.” Goettner-Abendroth agrees with him but puts this turning point in even stronger and starker terms. “It was not only the first chronologically, but was also the fundamental revolution in human history.”

The transition from simple or complex peaceful matriarchal societies to the organized violence, war, domination, and private property of the patriarchal states—amounts to such a rank upheavel in the inner and outer lives of humanity, that we are obliged to speak of the deepest and most revolutionary break ever to occur in the history of humankind (Matriarchal Societies: Studies in Indigenous Cultures across the Globe, p. 8).

Aristotle, V. Gordon Childe and Betty Friedan

A medieval legend tells how Aristotle, who knew and wrote about every subject, including human happiness, committed suicide by going to the edge of a cliff and exclaiming, “O sea, since I cannot comprehend you, mayst thou comprehend me.” He then flung himself into the waters to his death.

The archeologist V. Gordon Childe (1892-1957), author of more than 20 books and 200 learned articles, like the Christian monks’ version of Aristoteles, also took his own life in despair, pessimistic and disillusioned with his own ideas and ideals. Childe postulated three stages of prehistory: savagery to barbarism to civilization. But as an atheist and Marxist he could find no real “motor” to history, the events of which he considered random and meaningless, a “barren exchange of names.” He vacillated about the timing of the revolutions he discerned, revising his book The Dawn of European Civilization (1925) five times in 30 years. He believed death was his privilege if he chose it; it was simply the end of existence, nothing more. He took his own life on October 19, 1957, at the age of 65, flinging himself over a cliff on a solitary hike in the Blue Mountains of his native Australia.

Is it possible to write “gender-neutral” history? Can we really conclude that human lives since we gave up hunting and gathering and living in caves have been “relatively free and unstressed, involving only modest effort and little drudgery, providing an adequate and healthfully varied diet, and encouraging close interpersonal relationships” (p. 56). Ask women forced to be the slaves and property of their husbands in any period of civilization in any land if they are having fun yet.

Ask Betty Friedan’s Smith College classmates who assembled for their 15th anniversary reunion in 1957 and told the author how unhappy they were with their lives as suburban housewives. The resulting book based on interviews with them, The Feminine Mystique (1963), launched the second wave of the women’s liberation movement.

 

Women Apparently Invented Civilization

According to Goettner-Abendroth (and not just her alone), it was women, not men, who invented most of the tools and advances of “cultural evolution,” from agriculture, weaving, pottery, irrigation, writing and husbandry to art, metallurgy, mining and navigation. It was women who resisted the pressure toward patriarchy, sometimes to such an extent that they fled in new migrations and moved their settlements away or armed themselves and fought back. And it is mostly women today who study and advocate to restore the ways of matriarchy and pursue peace, freedom and the sacredness of life rather than militarization, commercialism and exploitation of others.

Our civilization and politics don’t have to be the way they are. Witness working matriarchal societies today, like the “strong, beautiful women of Juchitán” and the Trobriand Islanders of Melanesia analyzed by Goettner-Abendroth.[4] In the Neolithic and Paleolithic past, gift economies, egalitarianism and “goddess respect” were the rule. If these models were not inspiring realities, we could not learn from history. Striving toward reform and improvement would be an idle exercise, an entertainment, just another “human fiction,” as male writers like Harari are so fond of tracing in cultures.

Matriarchy is not the reverse of patriarchy. This perspective is stressed time after time by Goettner-Abendroth. Thus, the Goddess is not the feminine alternative to some concept of an old white man with a long beard floating around in heaven.[5] Nor are the earliest images of her such as the Venus of Willendorf just fertility symbols. She is the all-pervading life principle immanent and sacred in all living things, notably in women as child-bearers. It is an entire paradigm and way of looking at the world—something that tends to be lost since so much of the matriarchal past has been purposely destroyed. Inventing a sensible goddess to take the place of God is not the solution to history, which has been called “the nightmare from which we are all trying to awake” (James Joyce).

 

Was Mankind’s Childhood Happy?

The third book we examine is The Dawn of Everything. Billed as a “new history of humanity,” it is by David Graeber, a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, and David Wengrow, a professor of comparative archeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. It appeared in 2021, and it’s at least sufficiently up-to-date and broad-minded enough to mention matriarchy.

In a section headed by the words IN WHICH WE ENTER SOMETHING OF AN ACADEMIC NO-GO ZONE, AND DISCUSS THE POSSIBILITY OF NEOLITHIC MATRIARCHIES, The Dawn of Everything authors acknowledge the matriarchal viewpoint of such authors as Matilda Joslyn Gare (1826-98), the anarchist and student of Sigmund Freud, Otto Gross (1877-1920), a fringe psychiatrist and Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994), a UCLA professor whom he introduces as a Lithuanian-American archeologist, one who is often represented as an “oddball” and a “psychiatric rebel” “accused of having attempted to revive the most ridiculous of old Victorian fantasies in modern guises (p. 216).” Yet he says the public perception of Gimbutas is untrue, that “very few of those who dismiss her work seem to have actually read any of it.”

In fact, if you read the books of Gimbutas—such as The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe (1982)—you quickly realize that their author was attempting to do something which, until then, only men had been allowed to do: to craft a grand narrative for the origins of Eurasian civilization… In some ways (though certainly not all), the old Victorian story about goddess-worshipping farmers and Aryan invaders was actually true.

Here is how the authors summarize Gimbutas’ contribution to world history—which is even-handed and quite incisive:

 

Gimbutas was largely concerned with trying to understand the broad contours of a cultural tradition she referred to as ‘Old Europe’, a world of settle Neolithic villages centering on the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean (but also extending further north), in which as Gibutas saw it, men and women were equally valued, and differences of wealth and status were sharply circumscribed. Old Europe, by her estimation, endured from roughly 7000 BC to 3500 BC—which is, again, quite a respectable period of time. She believed these societies to be essentially peaceful, and argued that they shared a common pantheon under the tutelage of a supreme goddess, whose cult is attested in many hundreds of female figurines—some depicted with masks—found in Neolithic settlements, from the Middle East to the Balkans (p. 216).

The authors then describe how Old Europe was overrun by cattle-keeping kurgan (mound burial) folk originating in the Pontic steppe of present-day Russia, north of the Black Sea, whose patriarchal gods and societies were very warlike. The book shows how Gimbutas was vilified (without revisiting how Nazi ideologues falsely idealized the so-called Aryans). Finally, he concedes that modern-day genetics and Indo-European linguistics confirm Gimbutas’ stark storyline of male chauvinist pastoralist invaders and the conquest of matriarchal societies in Old Europe and the Near East.

Graeber and Wengrow are not so sure about Gimbutas’ rosy description of what the Russian barbarians gradually or suddenly eclipsed and replaced. Everything gets very iffy at this point. The authors never really return to the dialectic of matriarchy vs. patriarchy. The Goddess is reduced to a quaint sideshow.

 

Who’s Taboo

The “new” history of humanity lists no works by Joseph Campbell (who ended up introducing Gimbutas’ updated edition of The Language of the Goddess, 1989), Carol Christ (1945-2021, Rebirth of the Goddess, 1997), Miriam Robbins Dexter (who supplemented Gimbutas’ last book, The Living Goddesses, 1999 and wrote Whence the Goddess: A Source-Book, 1998), Riane Eisler (The Chalice and the Blade, 1987), Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Native American/ Latina/ Mexica Spanish, Women Who Run with the Wolves), Heide Goettner-Abendroth (The Dancing Goddess: Principles of a Matriarchal Aesthetic, translated by Maureen T. Krause, 1982, was her first important work), Robert Graves (The White Goddess, 1948), Buffie Johnson (The Goddess and Her Sacred Animals, 1988), Gerda Lerner (The Creation of Patriarchy, 1986), Sarah B. Pomroy (Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity, 1975) and Merlin Stone (When God Was a Woman, 1976, and Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood, 1990). To its credit, it does draw attention to Barbara Mann (Ohio Bear Clan Seneca, born 1947) and her work on matriarchy in the Iroquois (pp. 481ff.).

We feel some of the mysteries of origins and migrations of North American Indians could be better understood if historians were more open to the role of matriarchy in history. For instance, the burning and rebuilding of Paquimé with a second story to its houses around 1340 is clearly the action of clans. In general, the houses in Pueblo society were owned by the clan and when a second generation needed space, an upper level was added. The siting of Paquimé on the same longitude as Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruins was probably also the decision of the clans.

Clan-Led Migration

Although most archeologists explain migrations of agricultural people as movements along the same latitude so climate and food production would remain the same, longitudinal north-to-south and south-to-north resettlement is common with clan-managed diffusion. Goettner-Abendroth envisages immigrants from the South being responsible for the spread of matriarchies from South America to Central America and onto North America (see map 8 on page 242)—a notion that runs counter to conventional wisdom of archeologists, who derive all Indians from the North across a Bering land-bridge and think of them as randomly spilling down the length of the Americas in multiple early waves of opportunistic expansion.

Based on detailed histories and analyses of the tribes, Goettner-Abendroth identifies the “very center” of culture around Valdivia on the Gulf of Guyaquil in Ecuador, while the matriarchal social order and cultural current “flowed not from north to south but from south to north” and then west to east (p. 233). Coincidentally, the Hopi pottery tradition’s roots have been traced by archeologists to the vitrified ceramics found in the environs of Valdivia, Ecuador, produced between 1200 and 1500 BCE.

The Cherokee origin story explicitly centers on the clans (ani). 

 

Other red tribes or clans to the Cherokee tribe began to come also from the old country. The emigration continued for many years, never knowing that they crossed the great waters. In due course of time the old pathway which had been traveled by the clans was cut by the submergence of a portion of the land into the deep sea. This path can be traced to this day by  broken boulders. This was of no surprise to the clans as they were used to the workings of the floods.[6]

 

The Hopi follow the same migration route from south to north, as Goettner-Abendroth maintains, and the Cherokee must also have come from the south, since their Bird Clan, once called the Deaf Clan, is the parent of the other clans and the oldest, and since they too have connections with South America (the Wild Potato Clan).[7] The little eastern migratory tribe of the Tihanama remember that they too traveled from South America. When they doubled back to North America, the land that was lush before was now desert. They briefly lived near the Hopi in the area called Showlow, Arizona, before turning eastward.[8]

Much later, apparently around the 6th century CE, a Peruvian Tarascan/Purepecha-speaking people arrived in West Mexico by boat and settled first in Michoacán on the Balsas River, which they found uninhabited. They then spread to the highlands and finally, as a mixed people called the Toltec Chichimec, settled in the area of the American Southwest, where they pioneered the turquoise trade. They were also called the Chachihuites, or Green Stone People, as well as Zacatecas, and were much advanced. They are remembered as traders and miners closely related within a few founding families—again, the clan connection.

It was not until two female anthropologists rediscovered them that they were identified as the builders of such cities as Chaco Canyon, Aztec Ruins and Rhoda (Tucson). Around 1250 the current of civilization reversed: Kokopelli and the Chalchihuites slowly retreated back south into Mexico. La Quemada is their signature archeological site.[9] Their society appears to be matriarchal. It took two independent-minded women to rediscover it, along with a wealth of overlooked their petroglyph records and huge body of nationalistic legends.

 

Haplogroup B

A link between the Hopi and Cherokee, and ostensible proof that their migrations are trans-Pacific as well as very ancient, lies in the high incidence of mitochondrial haplogroup B the two tribes share. Lineage B, sometimes called the clan of Ina, accounts for about 80% of Southwestern U.S. Pueblo Indian DNA, making it the most common lineage (Malhi et al. 2003).[10] Its presence is also high in the Cherokee (about one-half) and Chickasaw (75%).[11]

According to Mahli (2003), Haplogroup B represents the bedrock population of the American Southwest. He assigns the haplotype to Apache, Zuni, Seri, Jemez, Navajo, Kumeyaay, Pai and Akimal O’odham and places its center in the Jemez. The ultimate source of Haplogroup B in Native American populations is Southeast Asia—not Mongolia, as has been suggested for the other four Native American haplogroups A, C, D and X. From there it took multiple circum-Pacific migratory routes to the Americas. It has high frequencies in Polynesia, which was settled from Southeast Asia, and among the Western Indians of the U.S. such as the Hopi, Zuni (77%), Anasazi (78%), Yuman, and Jemez Pueblo (89%)[12]

Note that the term “matriarchy” does not necessarily mean “rule by mothers,” as many people believe. Its precise origin is from the Greek “the mother first.” At any rate, we have seen in this first post that clan in a societal sense and mitochondrial DNA are closely allied historical concepts that rarely receive their due by male historians.

See also

The Goddess in America (blog post, Sept. 28, 2019)

Hidebound Cycladic History (blog post, Aug. 15, 2011)

The Goddess Gene (DNA test)

From Matriarchy to Patriarchy: Year 3000 BCE, The Greatest Divide in Human Genealogy and History (blog post, Oct. 28, 2010)

David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021). $35.00

Yuval Noah Harari, A Brief History of Humankind (New York: Harper). $29.95

Timothy R. Pauketat and Kenneth E. Sassaman, The Archaeology of Ancient North America (Cambridge University Press, 2020). $69.99

[1] “Northwest Mexico: The Prehistory of Sonora, Chihuahua and Neighboring Areas,” Journal of Archaeological Research (2017), 48 pp., DOI 10.1007/s10814-017-9103-5. David R. Wilcox et al., “Ancient Cultural Interplay of the American Southwest in the Mexican Northwest,Journal of the Southwest 50/2 (Summer 2008), pp. 103-206.

[2] C. R. Hallpike, “A Response to Yuval Harari’s ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,'” New English Review (December 2017).

[3] Pre-Columbiana: A Journal of Long-Distance Contacts 7/1-4 (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), pp. 56-63.

[4] Heide Goettner-Abendroth, Matriarchal Societies: Studies on Indigenous Cultures across the Globe, translated by Karen Smith (New York: Peter Lange, 2013), pp. 241ff., 177ff.

[5] This is the limited and limiting viewpoint of David Leeming and Jake Page’s Myths of the Female Divine Goddess (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), an otherwise excellent brief survey book on matriarchy, myth and religion.

[6] The Cherokee Origin Narrative: Authentic Text of William Eubanks’ “Red Man’s Origin” with Notes and Illustrations, ed. Donald N. Yates (Phoenix: Panther’s Lodge Publishers), p. 3. Compare with The Book of the Hopi, Frank Waters, drawings and source material recorded by Oswald White Bear Fredericks (New York:  Viking, 1963).

[7] Donald N. Yates, Cherokee Clans: An Informal History (Phoenix: Panthers Lodge Publishers, 2013).

[8] See The Eighth Arrow: Wisdom and Storytelling from Tennessee’s Tihanama People (Longmont: Panther’s Lodge Publishers, 2018).

[9] Patricia Carot and Marie-Areti Hers, “Epic of the Toltec Chichimec and the Purépecha in the Ancient Southwest,” in: M.A. Webster et al., eds, Archaeology without Borders: Contact, Commerce, and Change in the U.S. Southwest and Northwestern Mexico (Boulder: UP of Colorado, 2008), pp. 301-33. Compare Donald N. Yates, Merchant Adventurer Kings of Rhoda: The Lost World of the Tucson Artifacts (Longmont: Panther’s Lodge Publishers, 2018), pp. 2, 161, 165, 189, 191, 215, 270f. “When the Chalchihuites Toltec site of Alta Vista in the Mexican state of Zacatecas was first explored by modern archeologists, evidence of more than 750 pre-Hispanic mines was discovered, together with turquoise from the American Southwest, nearly 1000 miles to the north” (p. 191).

[10] R. S. Malhi, “Native American mtDNA Prehistory in the American Southwest,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 120 (2003), pp. 108-24.

[11] Bolnick, D. A. and D. G. Smith, “Unexpected Patterns of Mitochondrial DNA Variation among Native Americans from the Southeastern United States,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 122.4 (2003), pp. 336-54.

[12] J. A. Eshleman, “Mitochondrial DNA and Prehistoric Settlements: Native Migrations on the Western edge of North America,” Human Biology 76 (2004), pp. 55-75. On haplogroup B and its migratory patterns, see also “Haplogroup B and Water Clan Symbols” (DNA Consultants blog post, Jan. 14, 2011) and “On the Trail of Spider Woman” (DNA Consultants blog post, Dec. 31, 2010).

 

 

 

 

 

Be the first to write a comment.

Your feedback