is an international women's history project
seeking to uncover the realities of female lives,
and of peoples free, conquered, enslaved, decimated and resurgent.
We want to know...
How have women been written out of history?
What "non-historical" sources offer information on the female experience in various cultures?
Why are societies that accord women honor, liberty and open power seldom portrayed or discussed?
How did patriarchal codes develop? How do they relate to patterns of conquest, to slavery and class systems?
What forms of violence have been used to enforce patriarchal and colonial supremacy?
What role has religion played in subordination and internal colonization?
What kinds of interaction took place between matrix cultures and male-dominated cultures?
How has racism distorted and censored the information available as "World History"?
Why is the history of most of the world usually reduced to a brief glimpse of the colonial era?
Why the omission of indigenous peoples from "history" and "philosophy"-- and the emphasis on them in "anthropology" and "ethnology"?
Why the assumption that these peoples represent less advanced "stages" in human development?
Or the assumption that women's status in indigenous societies is lesser and powerless, when the reverse is often true?
Women who were leaders, defenders and liberators of their peoples are among the most remembered --the ones whose names managed to penetrate the heavy curtain that screens out female achievements. But textbooks and the media seldom mention them, so few people have heard of:
Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, sisters who galvanized the Vietnamese resistance to Chinese domination in 60 CE
Boudicca of the Iceni and Veleda of the Bructerii, who led tribal European insurrections against Roman rule
Gudit Isat (Judith the Fire), charismatic Ethiopian religious leader who felled the Axumite dynasty
Wetamu of Pocasset and Anne of Pamunkey, female leaders in the resistence to English invasion of eastern North America
Queen Nanny of the Maroons, the Ashanti woman who led Africans out of slavery into the Jamaican highlands
María Candelaria, Maya priestess and leader of a rebellion against Spanish rule in Chiapas, 1712
Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, who led a revolt against the British empire in India
Nehanda Nyakasikana, a Shona diviner and leader of resistance to Rhodesian colonization of Zimbabwe
Qiu Jen, Chinese women's rights activist executed for sedition by the Manchu dynasty in 1911
Niuta Teitelboim, Jewish partisan of the Warsaw Ghetto and mastermind of daring actions against the Nazis
The Suppressed Histories Slide Series also draws attention to entire groups of women whose names have not survived, though their creative and technological achievements endure:
the inventors of agriculture --not only in western Asia but also in southeast Asia, the African Sahel and the Americas
the potters of Thailand, Rumania, Iraq, Manchuria, New Mexico, Algeria, and the Amazon basin
the weavers of Indonesia, Arabia, Bosnia, Arizona and northwestern America
the makers of felt cloth (Turkestan); Kasai velvets (Congo); bark cloth (Tonga, Samoa, Indonesia, and central Africa); porcupine quill embroidery (North America)
women who invented food preservation techniques -- drying, smoking, salting, potting, and fermentation -- and discovered the biochemical technologies used to make leavened breads, cheese, butter, yogurt, kefir, beer, wine, kumiss and chicha.
the leatherworkers of Niger, Siberia, Canada, Namibia, and the Dakotas
the designers and makers of Bedouin tents, Mongol yurts, Pueblo adobes, North American tipis, wigwams, wickiups; and the mural-painted houses found across vast stretches of Africa
the market women of Nigeria, Burma, Indonesia, Mexico, Ireland, Papua, and Bolivia
was founded in 1970 by Max Dashu. Her research on international women's history is solely funded through slide presentations that draw on a collection of over 14,000 slides. See the Catalog pages for descriptions of the Suppressed Histories Series.