Audacious Foremothers: Finding Power in Knowing and Naming Our Own
Naming (and knowing) our foremothers is a powerful act. In matrilineal cultures, the naming of generations is a sacred. And there is increasing research that the genetic history of women is intimately interwoven with our mothers and passed from mother to daughter through the generations (see the book by Dr Christiane Nortrup’s book Mother Daughter Wisdom which is on my Goodreads bookshelf on the sidebar of this blog).
Sadly, most of us cannot name our foremothers much past a generation or two. I know that I cannot name any foremothers beyond my great-great grandmother and I find this very sad.
What I do know about my matrilineage is this:
I am KATIE, daughter of
TERRYNE, born in Pakistan and raised in New Zealand, daughter of
DOROTHEA, an Ack Ack gunner on the Burma Road, daughter of
DORIS, an anglo-Indian who studied music at Cambridge, daughter of
AIMEE BLOOD, a Scottish missionary to India.
Looking at these powerful and audacious women, maybe it explains why I am a teacher, an artist and a fighter. If I carry just a fraction of their audacity in my own genetic code I will count myself lucky.
My foremothers go only to about the mid to late 19th century. Perhaps there is more to learn, and one day I will find out more about Aimee Blood and why she decided to leave the safety and comfort of Scotland’s cold grey shores for the explosion of heat and light and color that is India (maybe that is the answer, lol!).
I know that Aimee married a young Anglo-Indian named Henry Bloomfield who was the son of an Englishman of some standing and an Indian woman. I am determined to find out more about this mysterious Asian foremother as well.
I love this photo. The love of the generations is so evident. I hope I am blessed to be in such an amazing photography someday as the oldest mother.
That would be a remarkable blessing.
In honor of International Women’s Day tomorrow, please name your foremothers in the comments section below and I will repost these names on the blog.
Remember, this isn’t necessarily about biology. Giving birth is not a requirement for motherhood so include anyone who mothered you or any of your mothers. Women are born, yes, but we are also created by loving and supportive hands ♡
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