To those who may be receiving one of these post-notifications for the first time: This is not a blog; it’s actually part of a book, and will make little sense to you without knowledge of what has come before—which you can easily obtain, along with a goodly amount of satirical theatre as matters progress, by simply entering ttgftyri.org into your web browser, opening the menu, and starting at page one. J.J.
The chart below lists ten objects determined by archaeologists to have been created during Paleolithic times, or as it’s more commonly known, the Old Stone Age.
As you can see, they’re referred to by the chart-maker as ‘Venuses’: the name loosely given to these mysterious artifacts by the first puzzled archeologists to study them, and traditionally used for the many more that would ultimately follow. Here, however, we shall refer to them more cautiously as simply depictions of a woman.
Further examination of our chart reveals that these particular figurines, carved of mammoth ivory and a variety of relatively soft stones—or in one case, fashioned of clay and subsequently baked into hard ceramic—were discovered across a three thousand mile range reaching from Spain to Siberia; and that they date from around forty thousand years ago up to twenty thousand—or over a thousand generations, counting a round twenty years to each.
Why would we rearrange our concept of time here to think in terms of generations? Because for most of us, ‘forty thousand years’ is just a number that doesn’t quite compute in terms of our own brief lives; while here, we would make clear as much as possible the fact that the people who left these figurines behind, no matter how far back in time, weren’t of some alien tribe, but of course, well within our own, human lineage.
So now let’s examine the figurines themselves. We shall follow the chart, save in the case of the Brassempouy piece, and will also add a few.
Found in a German cave of the same name. Carved of mammoth-ivory. Less than an inch in height—and so we should take notice of the small loop at the top, in lieu of a head; apparently, the object was worn as a pendant.
* * *
From lower Austria. Carved of serpentine—a mottled, dark green mineral historically coveted for its marble-like appearance. Estimated to have been produced five to ten thousand years after the Hohle Fels piece.
* * *
From around the same period, but unearthed in Moravia in the modern Czech Republic. About seven inches in height, it’s made of fired clay, and as such, is the oldest known surviving ‘terracotta’ or ceramic piece in the world. Of even more interest to us would be the fact that several hundred fragments of similar figures at the site of its discovery indicate that it was actually mass-produced there. We must wonder why.
* * *
This ivory carving was badly damaged during its excavation from the floor of a cave high in the French Pyrennes; alongside, an artist’s rendering of what it probably looked like whole. Looks almost modern, doesn’t it, with its treatment of mass and volume—this artwork of your ancestors and mine, some 1,200 generations ago.
* * *
A limestone figure discovered amid the remains of a mammoth-hunter’s camp along the banks of the Danube near the modern village of Willendorf, Austria. Bears traces of red ochre, with which it appears to have been originally smeared. About four inches tall, most likely carved out of a rock small enough to be held in the carver’s other hand.
* * *
Our chart also lists an ivory piece from Mal’ta, near Lake Baikal in lower Siberia. More than thirty of these enigmatic objects have been discovered at this site to date. The two on the left are much older than the other and are carved of stone; the one on the right is our ivory work, and should be of interest to us for two reasons: (1) unlike any figure that we’ve encountered so far, it bears an ever so slight attempt to include some facial detail; and (2), note the hole at the bottom: was this object too, only about an inch and a half in height, meant to be worn as some kind of pendant?
* * *
From Slovakia. Carved of mammoth-ivory, about four inches tall. Not very well executed, headless, and badly worn over time, but nonetheless appearing on our chart, so we shall at least give it honorable mention here.
* * *
This eighteen inch bas relief carving is from the wall of a cavern in France. Note its residual smears of red paint.
* * *
Three of more than a dozen nameless figurines unearthed to date at a small, twenty thousand year old mammoth hunters’ village near Adveedo, on the Russian steppe.
* * *
Three more of these objects, from Kostienko, another mammoth-hunters’ village in Russia; closely related to the find at Avdeevo.
* * *
One of many similar figurines found at various points throughout this site, also in Russia.
* * *
From northern Italy. Carved of serpentine. Almost nine inches in height, it’s the tallest of all the figurines found to date. The point at the bottom suggests that it was meant to be stuck into the ground.
* * *
Some of the thirteen carvings turned up in the Balzi-Rossi caves in northern Italy. Several are less than an inch in height, and again, apparently functioned as some kind of pendant.
* * *
So now let’s expand a little on what we’ve learned so far.
Altogether, more than two hundred of these mysterious carvings have been found to date, with most turned up across the three thousand mile range—think across the entire width of the mainland United States—shown below.
More than half were carved of mammoth ivory; the remainder were carved from bones, antlers, various kinds of stone, or in one case, made of ceramic. A few of the miniature ones actually turn out to have been carved from teeth!
Ranging from from less than an inch in height to almost nine, the oldest were discovered in caves, or occasionally in open air sites. Many of the mid-size ones were discovered in long-buried prehistoric settlements—whose primitive hut interiors, especially in Russia, were often found to include wall niches specially created for their display.
Except for a few carvings from Siberia, the figure of our mystery woman is consistently depicted sans facial features, while unfailingly inscribing her vulva and often wildly exaggerating her breasts.
Just think about that for a moment: across a range of thousands of miles, it was the same; and for more than a thousand generations, it would remain the same!
And now, does this ivory carving (an attempted portrait?) of a young woman’s head—our aforementioned Brassempouy piece, found in France, accompanied here by a much older male head from Dolni Vestonice—leave any doubt that our artistic ancestors even as far back as twenty-five thousand years ago could easily have added facial detail to their figurines had they been of a mind to?
But remarkably, they didn’t—not one of them that we know of. Could it be because these figurines really didn’t represent ‘a woman’ as much as simply the ‘spirit of womanhood’—or more to the point, given their emphasis on her birthing orifice and breasts, the spirit of motherhood?
Or then, maybe what the world now traditionally refers to as Mother Nature?
And finally, one thing sticks out so starkly in all this that it can’t possibly be ignored by anyone who would seriously study the history of human culture—and especially of religion.
You see, there’s been no comparable find of male figurines from that twenty thousand year period—anywhere across that three thousand mile expanse. Indeed, when archaeologists start turning up the soil there in search of a clearer picture of our human cultural development, they find plenty of male and female figurines—including many of both thought to be religious in nature—down to about the level of ten to twelve thousand years ago. But deeper than that, about the only references to the male gender involve a few isolated phalli—that is, not in association with any of the female discoveries—some hunting scenes painted on the walls of caves, a depiction of a shaman, presumably male, wearing a horned headdress while performing some kind of ritual, and a depiction of a hunter being gored by a bull.
At which point, we should consider the fact that around the turn of the twentieth century, anthropologists doing research among the aboriginal peoples of Australia, New Guinea, and the Trobriand Islands reported that their subjects didn’t recognize any connection between babies and sex. Of course, they were quickly followed by others who guffawed at this news and proclaimed their observation preposterous—and in that mindset, promptly set out for the region themselves to disprove it. And after spending some time among the peoples in question, their cautiosly worded report found that while their ideas about the making of babies were rather strange, they did understand that at some point, in one way or another, “a male had to be involved.” Not exactly a resounding rejection of the original finding—which to this day, has never been completely blown out of the water; though of course since then, the people in question have become as sexually knowledgeable as you and I.
And then, should we go on to take a look at certain common, everyday words such as ‘mother’ and ‘father’, we discover that paleolinguists studying the roots of various language families throughout the world consistently find that the words for father appear to have come into use much later than those for mother; while in our own language, the etymology of the word ‘uncle’ is given in every English dictionary as having originally meant—listen closely—mother’s brother.
For the simple reason, one must assume, that back when people first coined that word, there was no notion of fatherhood!
Which brings us back to our movie—and the man who declared that he could figure out anything.
And so it happened that one morning people find themselves standing around the fire staring upon their very first child: a girl.
And First Person suddenly turns to stare at the mother quite as though he’d never in all his life seen a mother with her infant before; or if he has, he’s only seen her cursorily, with his eyes, same as any animal might. Now for the first time, he sees her with his still-developing reasoning faculty—that is, with the cortex or ‘skin’ of his cerebrum, which is no longer growing in size, but now just more neurologically complex—and looking from mother to infant, he wonders, Now, how did she do that?
“Who understands women?” he quietly nudges some of the men who are standing alongside him, gaping at her.
But they can only shrug; for they understand as little as he.
* * *
And so after thinking about it all day without beng able to figure it out, he dares to approach the new mother herself that evening and ask, “Tell me, how do you women make the young?”
“Oh I don’t know,” she answers without any apparent concern. “I can’t say that I’ve ever bothered to give it much thought.”
“You don’t know how you do it?” he continues incredulously. “I mean, don’t you have to begin with some idea of how to make them?”
“Nope, I guess we just make them,” the woman tells him. “Anyway, why do you want to know?” she titters, and nudges him teasingly, “—are you jealous?”
“No, of course not,” he replies, blushing deeply in the shadows, “—I’m simply very impressed. Although it does seem to me,” he adds helplessly, “that we men should have some comparable power.”
“Oh, but you do,” the woman nods, and points out not unsympathetically, “—you men make the spear and things like that. Now try to go to sleep, dear, before you wake the baby.”
However, First Person is anything but ready for sleep just yet; rather, he goes to sit alone by the fire, where he stares into the flame for a long while and tries to recall everything that he already knows about woman.
For after all, he too had once taken form within one—indeed, had begun as a very part of her!
And even after his momentous parturition from her—marked by the sudden, traumatic dangling of his umbilical cord—he’d continued to depend on her for nurture; until soon, upon arising from her breast and taking his first, curious look about the world, he’d found nothing more obvious about it all than, well, that She was the great power behind everything.
To be sure, as he’d subsequently climbed to his feet and taken his first independent steps, he’d hardly dared turn away from her, but had brought to her his every need; which seemed only proper—he thinks now—since he wouldn’t have had any had she not made him.
And of course, she’d usually satisfied it—in time, leaving him with the impression that here was someone on whom he’d always be able to depend, who’d always ‘be there’ for him. Someone, then, whose every wish he’d do well to heed—and whose essential goodness none might ever dare question.
He’d grown up ever ready to fight at the drop of a slur against her—indeed, was still ready. He’d sealed his most important vows by simply swearing on her name as the most inviolate relationship in all his life—for then it had been assumed that no way would he ever dare to renege.
* * *
And then all grown up and pronouncing everything good—he squirms to recall now—he’d found himself with some new, adult need. Which he’d certainly brought to his mother like any other had he not also discovered—in a moment so troubling, he still had trouble thinking about it—that his path to her that way was blocked; that another male, older than he and much more established in the world than he was, already had her attention that way; and quite to her satisfaction!
At which point, a great crisis might well have arisen in his own relationship with her; save only that about this same time, as he’d gazed all about for sympathy and relief, he’d noticed—right there amongst his own generation—some rapidly developing breasts that, well, had simply reminded him of the mother who was suddenly no longer available to him.
And homing in on one of these young ladies with cries of eternal devotion, he’d scarcely been surprised when she’d expressed an interest in his problem and soon solved it; because after all, as he’d always understood the thing, taking care of him was what woman was for.
Not that any of this explained how women made their young—he yawns now before the warm fire—but only that parting of the cord or no parting, men remaned attached to women and ultimately dependent on them in one way or another, forever!
And First Person soon finds himself so filled with the importance of understanding all this that the next evening, as people are all lazing idly together around the fire, he relieves himself of some of the burden of it by simply speaking of it.
“You know, if there’s one way in which we people are clearly superior to the animals,” he begins, taking a deep breath and staring earnestly about at everyone, “it’s that we with our greater reasoning faculty may come to recognize the divinity of woman and bring the whole world to order accordingly before her almighty figure!
“I mean, what mere animal might know enough to adore their female,” he continues, if only rhetorically, “—no, we people alone now come to that.”
* * *
“As the source and sustainer of life, the female—that is, in maturity as the mother who alone may replenish and succor us all—should be regarded as its natural ruler; is that what you’re saying?” a man seated nearby asks after a moment.
“Exactly!” First Person nods.
“Hm, I like it,” the man agrees finally, “—I mean, it does have a whiff of intellectual progress about it.” And now the other men begin grunting their own approval—while the women merely return to tending their newly delivered young, by now including a few boys.
“But what might this ultimately mean for us men?” someone suddenly thinks to ask.
“Well, I haven’t gotten all that worked out yet,” First Person replies easily, “—but in general, it appears to mean that we should look to woman to lead us in the good life: to sustain that which she in her great maternal aim would find good for us, and about us, and leave the rest to wither.”
“I gather ‘goodness’ is simply whatever woman herself would say it is,” a man remarks to First Person next evening by the fire, “—then, does this mean that she’s incapable of badness?”
“Oh, I suppose she’s theoretically capable of it,” First Person allows, “—it’s just that she’s essentially very good; or at least, her creating and sustaining if us is certainly good, and sets the example for the next generation of women.
“Indeed, a really good woman,” he continues, quickly warming to the whole subject, “will have barely have moved her first child from womb to breast before she’s happily making a second; and then the first to the ground and the second on to her breast, before she’s busily making another! For such is her satisfaction, and indeed unique responsibility in all this.
“Nonetheless, I suppose oh, some strange, irresponsible woman might actually refrain from making us any young—or having made some, might just as irresponsibly abandon them—and surely either would make her bad.
“But I have to admit, I myself can hardly imagine such a damnable woman!” he quickly adds after a moment.
* * *
“And then of course, this ‘damning’ stuff is as a stick with two ends,” First Person goes on carefully after another moment.
“For should one’s mother, having made and nurtured one along, someday want something in return, one may not properly refuse it—lest one be found unworthy of the good life, and ultimately be damned oneself!
“It’s true that I’ve never actually heard of one being damned by their mother,” he concludes with a deep shudder, “—but can you imagine anything more terrible?”
“It’s obviously very important that one not forget this obligation to the mother,” one of First Person’s young followers notes next evening just as he’s joining everyone by the fire, “—but then, life is so busy and endless, we can’t hope to renember everything.”
“Yes, I too have been giving some thought to all that,” First Person nods quickly, “—and have come to the conclusion that we should carefully associate the whole matter in our mind with something that would forever remind us of all we owe her.”
“So what do you suggest?” the other invites.
“Well, I was thinking that we might associate it with her own, precious blood,” First Person replies, “—which we often find smeared on her young at the parturient moment, you know?”
“Oh what a great sacrifice she makes for our sake,” another young man cries out rapturously, “—no wonder we owe her so much!”
“Now let’s not get absurd,” one of the older men interjects quickly. “I mean, she’s only expending her blood as she herself finds satisfying! Still, a debt clearly remains, and I suppose this blood is a fitting enough symbol of the whole affair.”
And it’s agreed.
“Now then, if you men are all through philosophizing,” she who’d brought forth people’s first child suddenly speaks up early next evening just when everything seems to be going quite smoothly around the fire, “I, First Mother, must insist that you proceed to the rear of everyone else and thereafter be still unless a woman would invite your further opinion about something; for having heard all your fine theories, it still remains for us women to make all the real decisions around here!”
And most of the men begin shuffling toward the rear.
However, one of the older men hopes to remain where he is. “Look, I don’t know about going to the rear,” he begins—and his face begins to grow crimson.
“Shh, don’t let everyone know how ignorant you remain regarding the natural way of the world!” First Person quickly scolds him—and meanwhile tries to nudge him toward the rear of the council.
And now the other men are also careful to be seen glaring with disapproval at the reluctant one.
“Well, I don’t know how to explain it, but I just wouldn’t feel comfortable going back there,” the older man tries to argue.
“Feel?” First Person echoes with obvious contempt. “Animals ‘feel’; we people think. And what the rest of us have had figured out for some time now is that it’s woman’s role to lead in this world and man’s to follow!”
“Now look here, I can remember when we men did pretty much as we pleased around here, while regarding woman as no more than some evening frolic,” the other finally explodes, “—and I mean, none of us ever had a problem with that! Yet now you say that we’re supposed to let them have the last word in everything?”
“You got it!” First Person roared impatiently.
And so the older man too now stomped toward the rear—albeit with his jaw set in an attitude of lingering defiance.
“And now I suppose we must do something with all of you ladies who haven’t yet gotten around to motherhood,” First Mother gazes cooly about the fire after the last man has passed to the rear of the council, “—although for the life of me, I don’t know why we should consider you any more important around here,” she suddenly scolds them with a contemptuous toss of her head toward the rear, “than that other, male crowd.
“I mean, you certainly don’t appear to be in any hurry to take up your great responsibility as women,” she stares at them accusingly. “As far as I can see, all you care about is feeding and diddling all day long—and who knows how far into the night. What I want to know is, when do you intend to get on with making us some babies?”
And when the embarrassed women only blush uncomfortably in reply, First Mother continues pitilessly, “Oh, I’d be embarrassed too if I were found spending so much energy on that frivolous stuff. And so now I’m going to help you concentrate on more important things.”
Then she commands, “I want everyone here—including you men—to go cover yourselves at once. Just find a big fig leaf or something, so that we might all get down to business around here!”
* * *
And when it was done, First Mother again turns to her less fortunate sisters.
“Now then, I expect you to get on with it,” she shakes her finger firmly at them, “—while lest all these gawking men give you the idea that it’s enough just to be a woman around here, from now on we’re going to distinguish carefully between fulfilled women and your kind: henceforth, then, you all shall be called virgins,” she snorted derisively, “—and derided as such until you begin to show some sign of having undertaken maternity!
“Now go take a position just forward of the men,” she snaps, “while we mothers get on with running everything.”
Then First Mother sets forth certain rules by which she claims all reasonable people will unhesitatingly abide.
“Society shall be governed by us mothers,” she declares, “while I, as the senior mother, shall preside over the council and ultimately reign as your Queen.
“Similarly, each mother shall reign over her own family—as in ‘female’—assisted by her daughters, according to their own seniority; and in time, by her daughters’ daughters.
“Meanwhile her sons,” she continues with a sweeping motion toward the rear, “shall simply support all her decisions and help carry them out—and then those of their sisters—while here again, the eldest shall have the primary responsibility.
“While as for those of us who might yet remain too young to bear a share of all the growing responsibility around here,” First Mother finally turns her attention to all the dozing toddlers, “for now, just let them learn to respect their mother as the head of their family; and then their eldest uncle—a new word specially denoting one’s mother’s brother—as her foremost support and family disciplinarian.
“Although as a general courtesy— and to keep everyone else’s feathers smooth,” she sighs after a moment, “they might also be taught to regard just any of their mother’s special, close male friends as a kind of ‘uncle’.
* * *
“And now before we adjourn for the evening, First Mother continues quickly just as everyone else is thinking to rise and depart the council area, “I must warn you men back there that any of you who might ever again think to deny us women our natural control of all this—much less abuse us, or any of our young—that proper folk will respond by summarily driving you into the wilderness and abandoning you to the company of all the other mindless animals! Are we absolutely clear on that?” she challenges them directly—and stares hard about the rear of the council as now the other women nod in firm approval.
And most of the men, too, nod meekly.
“Nor do I expect you to waste a lot of energy abusing each other, such as in your interminable brawls over us females,” she further admonishes them, “I mean, grow up, for pity’s sake—there’s certainly enough nookie to go around.
“And finally, need I point out that you who have no role in the creation of life may not properly destroy it! In other words, there shall absolutely be no killing of one another unless you might first receive my official sanction—again, upon pain of banishment.
“While as for some all out war—why of course, that’s far too important a matter to be left to you men, with all your prickly pride. We mothers will let you know.
“And now let’s all get to bed,” First Mother fnally dismissed everyone, “—for we have much to get on with in the morning!”
“What I’d sure like to know,” one of the younger men whisperers to First Person next evening as they sit together at the rear of the council, “is just why women bother to create us men in the first place!”
“Oh, that isn’t hard to figure out,” First Person responds calmly. ‘You see, mothers know full well how hard pressed their daughters are going to be perpetually watching over one child while nursing another and making still another; and so they make them brothers, that they might have someone to help care for their growing broods.
“Hence a good man,’ First Person continues—again warming to the general subject of goodness—”accepts that he was created to serve woman, and would conduct himelf in all matters accordingly.
“For instance, he would never raise his voice to a woman—much less strike her—but ever regard her as though she might be, after all, only his own dear mother.
“And in fact, he should present himself to all women as a perfectly harmless, but strong enough, silent type: that is, before speaking, he should wait for her to invite his thought; in eating, for her to appoint his portion; and of course in copulating, for her to indicate her readiness. While even in walking, he would allow her to lead the way—unless there might be some sign of danger, when he should immediately spring to the fore!
“Not that she can’t face danger as bravely and fiercely as he—as will certainly be attested to by anyone who has ever tangled with a mother of any kind defending her young—but that in view of her greater importance, and of his own absence of any great power in the world, he should take pride in ‘defending the women and children’; and that she’d be wise to permit him this small vanity.
“And then in battle, naturally, he should have no care for himself—but ever fight fearlessly, suffer stoically, and shed his own blood cheerfully.
“In fact, I suppose somewhere in all this,” First Person sighs dreamily, “a man might even get killed—but then, just think: he’d be a hero!
“I mean, only a man might truly be heroic in this woman’s world,” he concludes finally, “—since only he might live, suffer, and die all for another’s creation.”
“So what do you suppose might happen to a man,” another man asks after a long moment, “who dared to rise up against the system of this woman’s world?”
“Why, not being so disposed myself,” First Person replies, “I’ve never really thought about it—but I’ve heard rumors. “For instance, some men propose that women can not only make babies, but indeed whatever else they might want in this world—I mean, even someone’s fortune, and of course, misfortune; things like that.
“Of course, I scarcely know whether to believe that stuff myself,” he shrugs, “—but I certainly wouldn’t want to offend one.”
* * *
And so after the council, the other dares to approach First Mother herself and inquire about the true extent of woman’s power.
“Excuse me, dear mother,” he begins carefully, “but I’ve heard it said that you women can actually create anything you want in this world—even one’s fortune and misfortune, things like that. Then, please advise me: is this true?”
“You bet it is,” she replies sternly, “—so you men had better behave yourselves!”
And the man hurries away to tell the others that he’s verified the rumor at First Mother’s own lips.
1: Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_figurines
2: Don’s Maps https://www.donsmaps.com/galgenbergvenus.html
3: Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_figurines
5: Don’s Maps https://donsmaps.com/willendorf.html
6: Don’s Maps https://www.donsmaps.com/malta.html
8: Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Laussel
10: Don’s Maps https://www.donsmaps.com/kostenkivenus.html
11: Don’s Maps: https://www.donsmaps.com/gagarino.html
12: Don’s Maps https://www.donsmaps.com/savignanovenus.html