Matricultural Patterns

female symbolism in art and life

Rock art and archaeology show recurrent patterns in painted pots, female figurines, megalithic statues. This video looks at the iconography of ancestral women, breastpots, vulva stones, and other sacred signs.

Medicine women, shamans, healers, mashkiki-kwe, izangoma.

Women as culture-makers; weavers, potters; painted ceramics and mother pots.

Images of birth, womanhood initiations and ceremonial dance, in ancient art from Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Greece, Italy, and Hopi and Mandan country.

Invoking women in rock art from Niger, Baja California, Arabia, Namibia, and Zimbabwe; and in artifacts from predynastic Egypt, the Aegean, and China.

And the iconography of breasts in fountains from Java and Bali, molded and painted reliefs from Germany and Sudan, carved doors from Timor, Nok ceramics in Nigeria, and the golden breastplates of Colombia, Panama, Trandanubia and Maluku.

Your Instructor

Max Dashu
Max Dashu

Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research and document global women's history, reflecting the full spectrum of the world's peoples. She uses images to teach, scanning the cultural record: archaeology, history, art, orature, linguistics and spiritual philosophies. From her collection of some 50,000 images, she has created 130 visual talks on female cultural heritages, foregrouding Indigenous traditions, with attention to patterns of conquest and domination. She is internationally known for her expertise on ancient female iconography, matricultures and patriarchal systems, medicine women and shamans, witch hunts, and female spheres of power.

Dashu's legendary visual talks bring to light female realities usually hidden from view, from ancient female figurines to women leaders, priestesses, clan mothers, philosophers, warriors and rebels. Her courses scan the cultural record—archaeology, history, art, orature, linguistics, and spiritual philosophies—making this knowledge more accessible to all education backgrounds.

Dashu has been presenting her visual talks for more than four decades, at universities, conferences, museums, community centers, bookstores, galleries, libraries and schools, in North America, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria, Australia, Mexico and Guatemala.

Max Dashu's book Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion, 700-1000 (Veleda Press, 2016) has been acclaimed as a sourcebook on European ancestral traditions. Her forthcoming Pythias, Melissae, and Pharmakides: Women in Hellenic Culture will be the second book in her 16-volume series Secret History of the Witches.

Dashu has published in various journals and anthologies, including Goddesses in World Mythology (Praeger 2010) and the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religion (ABC-Clio 2018). She created two videos: Women's Power in Global Perspective (2008) and Woman Shaman: The Ancients (2013). Her daily posts on the Suppressed Histories Facebook page are followed by 181,000 people, and 72,000 more have viewed her articles on

Articles, gallery and resources on the Suppressed Histories Archives website

Books by Max Dashu from Veleda Press

History Sibyl audio podcasts:

Veleda blog by Max Dashu:

Daily posts from the Suppressed Histories Archives on Facebook

Art by Max Dashu:

Suppressed Histories Portal on Instagram

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Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now whenever you like. It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish. You have access as long as this site exists. If you have a coupon as member of my private Veleda course, there is a limit to access, usually about 2 months.

This free minicourse is intended to give you a taste of my teaching with images. We scan the cultural record to find what has been left out, the treasures of women's history that are omitted, obscured from view, or distorted. See the courses page for what's available now. (Some of the full-length course are visible but not yet open for enrollment.) I'll be adding more video minicourses soon.

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