Let's start out the month right with a vivid, joyful duet by two ladies from WildCard Belly dance. This is a video of their 2008 performance from Tribal Fusion Fair in California.
there was a time in history,
a long time ago,
when the bounce and sway of a woman’s hips
was considered so beautiful
that they set it to music
and made a dance out of it...
Think you're too old, too short or too round to try belly dance? Then check out my friends at Fat Chance Belly dance and the fun folks who give us a troop called The Veiled Threats. Belly dance is for all sizes and all ages of women. Try it. I think you'll find joy in those hips.
Recent events have me thinking about two sisters, bright, funny Iranian girls in their early 20's who worked for me at a university library in the early 1980's. I post this video in fond memory of our talks about Persian culture, history and poetry back in the day. These two left Iran with their family in the 1970's. They worked hard and were able to fulfill their potential as women, as human beings, and as scholars. So here's to those two sisters who loved stories and who shared them with me. Tonight let us remember the women of Iran. May they someday have a chance to vote and sing and dance as they wish. May their children know peace.
Update 8:56 pm:
The Iranian Mother Goddess
Go read this a fasinating, insightful post by Cari Ferraro which also has some lovely photos of ancient Iranian goddess art. She is doing a whole series on goddess art which is wonderful to read.
Elam was contemporary with Babylonia, a bit further north. The Elamite religion, according to one classical writer, was "characterized by uncommon reverence and respect for womanhood." Elamite goddesses were called Kiririsha and Pinikir, but I first knew this image as Inanna or Ishtar. Though her identity is not firmly documented, she is clearly from the "cradle of western civilization." Her own posture affirms the tremendous bounty of her womb. She is the Queen of Heaven, the Sea, the Earth and the Underworld. She is very likely the ancestor of the goddess for whom the women in the biblical book of Jeremiah baked cakes so that all would be well with them.