The Goddess Principle

Carrie JordanShamanism

View New York Times article and slideshow on African art

I love mermaids. This has been on my inspiration board for a week.
I’m taking an African Politics class this semester and one aspect of politics/culture that we read about is the goddess principle. According to the goddess principle, women are central to the production of life. The notion that gods and goddesses exist gives women more legitimacy and power as opposed to the notion that only one God exists, which is a patriarchal idea whether we realize it or not – it has had connotations and innuendoes that we may not know are there because we grew up with that ideology. The goddess principle contributes to the flexibility of gender relations in society because the earth’s fertility is linked to a woman’s maternal powers. In the west, religion reproduces ideas of alienation as Christian fundamentalists and Muslim ideologies control women’s rights. Colonialism in Africa introduced patriarchal tendencies and imposed Christian and Muslim ideologies and undermined women’s rights by restricting their freedoms and forming gender roles specific to sexes. In pre-colonial Africa (and in many indigenous societies), the goddess principle prevails. As a result, women were very important in the economic system (they ran the marketplace), decision-making, and politics.
So this is a picture of Mami Wata, Mother Water, Mother of Fishes, goddess of oceans, rivers, and pools.
I could go on, but maybe you should just read Ifi Amadiume’s Male Husbands, Female Daughters and Malidoma Some’s The Healing Wisdom of Africa. Interesting stuff!