Feminist Historian trying to restore Women to Cultural Memory & Founder of The Suppressed Histories Archives
Maxine Hammond Dashu or Max Dashu, is an American feminist historian/ herstorian extraordinaire, author, artist and an icons in women’s spirituality.
Dashu is internationally known for her expertise on ancient female iconography in world archaeology; female spheres of power and matricultures; patriarchies and allied systems of domination.
Her work foregrounds indigenous women passed over by standard histories and highlights female spheres of power retained even in patriarchal societies.
She has been tracking international cultural patterns and comparing maricultural societies for over 50 years.
Suppressed Histories Archives
In 1968, she earned a full scholarship to Harvard University, where she began researching women's history. Facing "entrenched resistance" to feminist scholarship, she chose to leave the university to become an independent scholar and founded the Suppressed Histories Archives to research and document women's history and culture and to make the full spectrum visible and accessible.
The collection includes 15.000 slides, 30.000 digital images and 150 slideshows. Dashu's work bridges the gap between academia and grassroots education.
Historian / Herstorian
Dashu's decades-long work has focused on women's history around the world, including Europe, Asia and Africa. Areas of focus include women shamans and priestesses, witches and the witch trials, folk religion and pagan European traditions. Her work has cited evidence in support of egalitarian matrilineages.
History has been largely written by men for men; so it is important to feature and support people like Max Dashu in their work to remind us of the physical, political, social and spiritual power we as women have held throughout history.
Amidst countless articles, Dashu is the author of Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion, 700–1100 (2016), the first volume of a planned 16-volume series called Secret History of the Witches. The series explores the cultural history and suppression of women in Europe, spanning 2,000 years. She also provided the illustrations and uses her own illustrations to recreate incomplete or damaged artifacts.
The next volume, under the working title Pythias, Melissae and Pharmakides, will focus on Greece.
Also Max Dashu’s art re-envisions cultural worlds that have been obscured and hidden. Goddesses, spirits and ancestors, medicine women, seers, and shamans, historic figures and legendary founders.
She created a series of posters and prints that collage multiple artifacts according to themes and patterns: ancient female figurines, breastpots, vulva symbolism, women warriors.