Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
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Salon #18 - August 14, 2021

August 14, 2021 - 5:00PM-7:00PM GMT / 11:00AM-1:00PM US CT

Kaarina Kailo and Barbara Mann

Kaarina Kailo

Presentation title: Appropriating the Bear Rituals of Rebirth. Maternal Gifting vs Exchange of Women

The aim of my talk is to show how the EU-funded Carnival King- festivals reveal the historic appropriation of maternal and life-oriented gifting rituals of rebirth. The Spring festivals with, among others, bear goddess Brigit and the Bear at the forefront celebrated gifting, food and collective merry-making as life returned. The patriarchal winter festivals have taken their place but express exclusive and misogynous practices. The all-male carnivals now appropriate women’s roles as birth-givers and wish to “tame the bear” for their hunting needs. This well sums up how the gift economy has been supplanted by the exchange logic where women become objects of exchange and exclusion. The bear, of course, has lost its divine status.

Dr. Kaarina Kailo, Ph.D. from the University of Toronto has held numerous women’s studies positions (Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Interim Principal, Concordia University; Oulu University, professor; Finnish Academy, senior scholar). Her numerous publications include Finnish Goddess Mythology, the Golden Woman and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. From Climate Change to Indigenous Earth Democracy and the Gift; Mothering, Gift and Revolution. In Honor of Genevieve Vaughan’s Life’s Work (ed) and several forthcoming books (“The Woman Who Married the Bear: The Bear Spirituality of Ancient Foremothers” with Barbara Mann; in Finnish The Sauna and Sweatlodge as sites of Rebirth and Bare/Bear Being).

Download Kaarina Kailo's presentation slides

Barbara Mann

Presentation title: Two Spirits: Fractals of the Twinned Cosmos

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.

Download Barbara Alice Mann's presentation

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