Sacred Embodiment: Fertility Ritual, Mother Goddess, and Cultures of Belly Dance
Karayanni, Stavros Stavrou
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This essay examines belly dance movement as a mimetic ritual of universal signifi cance in its representations of the birthing of the human race and the worship of the Mother Goddess. In this examination, the contested politics of female fertility and birthing rituals will be discussed. The essay's scope expands to include discussions of the popular tropes of "body memory" and "in the blood," fascinating instances of identity defi nition and ideological location before originary questions of human embodiment, descent, and gender tensions. Movement is directly connected to identity. Movement and choreography may function as story tellinga narrative of the body's history, a fl uid and kinaesthetic record of the individual body, and, by extension, the community and in some ways humanity itself.