A Plains Indian Myth: The Wives Of The Sun And Moon

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Chris Knight

A Plains Indian Myth: The Wives Of The Sun And Moon

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 18:45

'The Wives of the Sun and Moon' is one of the key myths of Claude Levi-Strauss' monumental study, Mythologiques. This evening will take the form of a story-telling followed by a workshop and class discussion to decode the message of the myth. Originally, according to this story, marriage was not a fixed state but a periodic alternation between one kind of relationship and another, a once-a-month honeymoon followed by temporary divorce and re-union with kin. Everything started going badly wrong when hunting and gathering gave way to gardening, the lunar calendar gave way to a seasonal/solar rhythm -- and womankind became subject to wedlock as a permanent state.

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Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.

Next evening class

Chris Knight

Did Matriarchy Ever Exist?
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

This lecture will discuss myths of matriarchy, which are found all over the world. Is there any truth in the idea that women once exercised political power over men? Many feminists have dismissed such stories as ideological narratives invented simply to justify men's rule. These scholars argue that biology prevents women from exercising real political power, that sexism prevails everywhere and that patriarchy has always existed. There will be discussion of the ethnographic, archaeological and genetic evidence for and against these ideas.