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Sunday, 10 November 2013

on roundness...

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. 
3500 bce.

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