Monday, June 18, 2007

Churning Out GODDESSES

All over the world the first agriculturalists churned out small female figurines (and almost no figurines or other pics of males). Some of the hottest spots for these statuettes were Southeast Europe, Mesopotamia, Japan, and Mesoamerica (but people in many other places made them too).

Here for your viewing pleasure are a few from Japan.

Now, although almost anyone with a brain considers these figurines goddesses, there are a few dudes and dudettes out there spending their nights and days thinking up reasons why these figurines, blanketing the landscape as they do, are not goddesses. These dudes are so frantic that these figurines not be goddesses that they can get downright dimply.

The archaeologist Tatsuo Kobayashi is one of these. Kobie swears the figurines aren’t even female. So what if they have breasts, says Kobie, “men also have these attributes…” (p. 155). Besides “large voluptuous breasts are quite rare” on Japanese figurines. So, says Kobie, “it is considered here [in his book] that these clay figurines are neither male nor female…” (p. 155).

HAHAHAHAH, HA, HA HA HA HARDY HAR HAR!!! [Pauses to wipe tears of laughter from eyes]

Kobie’s not the only scholar using “men have breasts too” for denying the goddesshood of Neolithic female figurines.

And me, I’m scratching my head and saying, “Gee, some women have beards. Why am I not hearing these dudes calling bearded figurines “neither male nor female”?

Oh, and BTW, the people who made these goddesses, like those who made them in other places around the world, lived in virtual utopias. The goddesses above for example were made by people who lived in what most call "a lost Eden, with people living in harmony with nature and little evidence for conflict..." (p. iii).
The quotations above and the first two figurines come from Kobie's recent book, Jomon Reflections, 2004, Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK


Morgaine said...

It never ceases to amaze me. What power there must be in female imagery to provoke such contortions in academics and scientists!

Males do have nipples, but I don't see many with those wide, child-bearing hips.

Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" know Goddesses when we see them.