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Salon #04 - January 16, 2021

Heide Goettner-Abendroth and Barbara Mann

Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth

Presentation title: Matriarchal Politics and the Practice of Gift Giving

Matriarchal Politics is based on modern Matriarchal Studies; its intention is to create egalitarian, peaceful societies. How this goal can be achieved, is shown to us by still extant matriarchal societies, whose traditions go back to millennia.

Their economical, political, societal and spiritual patterns are of the utmost interest; they demonstrate how societies can be created and maintained free of violence and based on gender-balance and the practice oft gift giving.

Some ideas are presented how we can achieve a modern matriarchal society here and now. The relevance of the Gift Economy for the vision of a new matriarchal society will be explored.

Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth is a mother and a grandmother. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy of science at the University of Munich where she lectured for ten years (1973-1983).

She has published on philosophy of science, and extensively on matriarchal society and culture, and through her lifelong research on matriarchal societies has become a founder of Modern Matriarchal Studies. Her magnum opus: Matriarchal Societies. Studies on Indigenous Cultures across the Globe, (New York 2013, Peter Lang) defines scientifically this new field of knowledge and provides a world tour of examples of contemporary matriarchal cultures.

She has been visiting professor at the University of Montreal in Canada, and the University of Innsbruck in Austria. She lectured extensively at home and abroad. In 1986, she founded the “International ACADEMY HAGIA for Matriarchal Studies” in Germany, and since then has been its director.

She guided three World Congresses on Matriarchal Studies: 2003 in Luxembourg, 2005 in Texas, U.S., and 2011 in Switzerland.

In 2012, she received an award for her scholarship from “The Association for the Study of Women & Mythology” in San Francisco. She was twice a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2005 by a Swiss initiative, 2007 by a finish initiative.

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Barbara Mann

Presentation title: It Takes Two to Tango

The matriarchies of Indigenous America were built on the concept of the mutually entwined Twinship of “Blood” (water, land) and “Breath” (air, spatiality). Economically, the sacred Twinship plays out between the clan halves (“moieties”), constructed to reflect the cosmic halves that are maintained by the regular presentation of goods and services necessary to life.

Giftings can occur at any time, but happen regularly at festivals; at councils; at first meetings of groups previously unknown to one another; or when one group has more than it needs, whereas another known group has less than it needs. Equality of value is not the purpose of the gift, so that everyone can partake. If all one has to give is a curious rock, then one still receives a buffalo robe.

To the extent still possible in the continuing, internal colonialism in the Americas, Indigenous people continue the traditions of gifting to cement old relations and to widen the circle to include new ones.

BARBARA ALICE MANN, is a Ph.D. scholar and Professor in the Honors College of the University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio, USA. She has authored fifteen books, the latest of which are President by Massacre: Indian-Killing for Political Gain (2019) and Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America (2016). Other works include The Tainted Gift (2009), on the deliberate spread of disease to Natives by settlers as a land-clearing tactic. Dr. Mann is currently working on an international project examining historical massacres, around the world 1780–1820, and is participating in book project on that. Her internationally noted Iroquoian Women: The Gantowisas (2001, 2004, 2006) is in its third printing. Two other internationally known books include George Washington’s War on Native America (2005, 2007), Daughters of Mother Earth (2006, out in paperback as Make a Beautiful Way, 2008). She has published over 400 articles and chapters since 1995. She lives in her homeland and works for the rights of the people indigenous to Ohio, living in Ohio. (“Ohio” is a Seneca word meaning “Beautiful River,” a spiritual designation.) An Ohio Bear Clan Seneca, with community recognition, she was for twenty years the Speaker and/or Northern Director of the Native American Alliance of Ohio.

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Salon #03 - January 2, 2021

Sherri Mitchell and Jodie Evans

Sherri Mitchell - Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset

Presentation title: N’Dilnabamuk: Building a Relational Economy

Sherri Mitchell - Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation. She received her Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. Sherri is an alumna of the American Indian Ambassador program, and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program. Sherri also received the Mahoney Dunn International Human Rights and Humanitarian Award, for research into Human Rights violations against Indigenous Peoples. She was a longtime advisor to the American Indian Institute’s Healing the Future Program and currently serves as an advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America. She is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Prior to forming the Land Peace Foundation, Sherri served as a law clerk to the Solicitor of the United States Department of Interior; as an Associate with Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan Law Firm; a civil rights educator for the Maine Attorney General’s Office, and; as the Staff Attorney for the Native American Unit of Pine Tree Legal. Sherri is the author of the award-winning book Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change.

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Jodie Evans

Presentation title: Making Home: Cultivating a Local Peace Economy

Jodie Evans is a life-long peace and social justice activist and co-founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace. She was in Jerry Brown’s cabinet when he served as Governor of California in the 1970's, ran his Senate campaign in 1982, and his revolutionary 1992 campaign for President. She has led citizen diplomacy delegations to Iran, the Gaza Strip, Yemen and Afghanistan and has published two books Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Terrorism and Twilight of Empire. She founded a campaign at CODEPINK: Cultivating a Local Peace economy to address the need to change culture from a war economy culture to a peace economy culture if we want to achieve peace and justice. To a giving, sharing, caring, thriving relational economy from an extractive, destructive and oppressive economy.

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Salon #02 - December 19, 2020

Angela Dolmetsch and Alessandra Piccoli with Giovanna Berber

Dr. Angela Dolmetsch

Presentation title: The Gift Economy from Mother Nature to the Nashira Eco-Village

Two thousand years ago there lived a community in what is today El Bolo San Isidro in Palmira,‬ Colombia. This was a matriarchal community that worshipped Mother Earth and their goddesses were women breast feeding and giving birth as can be seen from the clay and gold figures found recently in newly uncovered graves. These figures of women as mothers, shown giving birth and breastfeeding, symbolized gifts received from Mother Nature, and were objects of worship, together with the sun and the moon. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the plants and other food that Mother Nature offers us are all gifts from her and are priceless. European Colonialism, accompanied by religious catechization, expelled violently this relationship with Mother Earth as Vandana Shiva rightly put it. Colonialism established a price for captured men as slaves and for the bodies of women as sex objects for the use of patriarchal invaders. They devalued motherhood, and established patriarchal paradigms that still dominate and subvert the indigenous communities that strive to preserve their ancestral traditions‬‬.

The Nashira eco-village, where mothers rule is a modern effort to revive ancestral indigenous customs, based on the tradition of a matriarchal gift economy. Giving back control of the land so as to allow mother nature to give her gifts, by respecting the environment, growing fruits and vegetables and in contrast to an often exploitative exchange economy, neighbours give and receive gifts according to their needs and those of their children. In its 18 years of existence, the Nashira eco-village has changed paradigms. Women are respected and unwanted adolescent pregnancies are no longer the norm. Mothers do not need to essentially sell or cede their daughters to richer neighbours for money, and violence against women has been largely eliminated. The sharing of resources through a practical application of the gift economy has helped to make extreme poverty a thing of the past at a time when the Covid 19 pandemic has exposed the frailties of today’s social structures.

Angela Dolmetsch was born in Cali Colombia, she has a Law degree from La Universidad San Buenaventura and a Ph.D. from London University. Her thesis was on Maternalism in Colombian Politics. She met Genevieve Vaughan in 2001 at the Wise Women’s Workshops in Loten Norway and since then she has tried to put into practice the Maternal Gift Economy. The Eco-village Nashira, is a practical example of the Gift Economy where 80 mothers victims of the Colombian conflict received land to build with government subsidies 80 houses at no cost becoming the seeds for a community of peace. She is the director of a weekly TV program el Agora, and writes a column in the Cali news paper “El Pais. She has published several books. “La otra Cara del Dólar” (1985), “Of Governments and Guerrillas” (1988) “El Hombrecillo que se tragó a Dios y otros relatos (1999). She also has articles in several publications. The following books are forthcoming: “las Madres en la Politica Colombiana ” “Nashira un Canto de Amor“.

Alessandra Piccoli

ecco quanto chiedi:

Creta project has been an experience of living maternal gift economy and construction of an elective matri-clan rferring to Studies on Contemporary Matriarchies of Heide Goetner Abendroth and to Genevieve Vaughan´s Gift Economy. A circle of women and men has worked together to establish an egalitarian society in our here and now.

Alessandra Piccoli has a master degree in archaeology and a second one in management of social and solidarity economy, PhD candidate in social pedagogy plus a ten years and more experience in project management. "I am an activist, eco-feminist and transformative scholar. My research interest are: social and solidarity economy, food sovereignty, ecofeminism, eco-social transformation. I live in Trentino - Italy and I am mother of two."

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Salon #01 - December 5, 2020

Vicki Noble and Letecia Layson

Vicki Noble

Presentation title: In Praise of Genevieve Vaughan & the Maternal Gift Economy

Genevieve Vaughan has been a major influence in my life. Her philosophical concept and implementation of the Maternal Gift Economy has the most far-reaching ramifications, linking to physical anthropology and leading to a deeper understanding of human evolution. Her articulation of the significance of the original mother-infant unit and the consequences of their particular communication process is original and profound. The gift of nurture and the gift of language go back to the beginnings of our human evolution; the Maternal Gift Economy (which already actively exists in the background) offers the single most cogent alternative to the current planetary crisis of global patriarchal capitalism. Using the pioneering work of feminist anthropologist Nancy Makepeace Tanner as well as that of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas and her exposition of Old European Goddess civilizations, I will show why restoring mothering and being mothered, as Gen puts it, must once again be brought into the foreground of our discussions and given centrality in all the current thinking about how to survive this urgent planetary crisis.

Vicki Noble is a feminist writer, teacher, and independent scholar, co-creator of the round feminist Motherpeace Tarot Cards and author of Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess; Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World, and The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power. Her books are published in numerous languages and for decades she has traveled and taught internationally with a focus on women’s history and Goddess spirituality. She has been active in the international Matriarchal Studies and Maternal Gift Economy movements. At home in Santa Cruz, California, she is a professional astrologer, as well as facilitating private intensive tutorials and Motherpeace certification courses.

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Letecia Layson

Presentation title: Kapwa and the Gift Economy

Letecia Layson is a Filipina, Feminist, Futurist, Priestess of Morphogenesis (Form Coming Into Being), High Priestess of Diana; Priestess Hierophant in FOI/TOI-LA. Letecia is one of the founding Mothers of the Center for Babaylan Studies; a member of International Feminists for Gift Economy, Modern Matriarchal Studies Network

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