|Small female figure. Anatolia. 30, 000 bce.|
When I was pregnant, or shortly thereafter, I remember thinking: Everybody loves the Venus of Willendorf, but nobody wants to be her. At least nobody in the 21st century.
In our distant past, it seems, there was a reverence for roundness. A recognition that it is in the roundness of our female bodies that our fertility is found; that our life-giving abilities are located.
The heads on these figures are often small; almost always simplified. The arms are nearly always missing; the lower legs as well. The breasts may be small or vast. But it's the thighs and the buttocks that are invariably massive; substantial.
It was ever thus, I guess.
How is it that we can no longer find it in ourselves and in our culture to honour and celebrate the roundness of women?
|Venus of Willendorf. Austria.|
24, 000 to 22, 000 bce.
|Venus of Lespugue, as she was found (left)|
and in a recreation of what she might have originally looked like (right).
France. 22, 000 to 24, 000 bce.
|Eastern Europe. 12, 000 bce.|
|Three views of the same figure. France. 4000 bce.|
|Romania. 4000 bce.|
|Turkmenia. 4000 bce.|
|Inanna. Sumeria. 3500 bce.|
|Anatolia. 3500 bce.|