It felt an empowering action that while I was en route to the Women’s march back in January I stopped off at the Post Office and mailed my mDNA sample. And as I walked the hour and a half to the rally I couldn’t help but think of all the generations of women on whose shoulders I now stand, of the countless generations and millions of women of my lineage – their stories, their experiences and what of their voices is knitted into my very bones.
Two months later and the results are here – all the way from the Oxford Ancestors lab in the UK. I am descended from Xenia who lived 25,000 years ago on the southern margins of the Great Plains, which stretches from the low lying British Isles in the west to Kazakhstan in the east. The plains were bare of trees save for a few patches of birch and willow scrub. This was a bleak and windy place with vicious blasts from the expanded polar ice caps sending winter temperatures down to -20oc (-4of) for days or even weeks at a time.
Mammoth bones & hides were the only materials for shelter
Xenia’s lineage is an interesting one and DNA records that as the ice ages got more severe they split up with some generations heading west and others east throughout Asia and eventually over the land bridge into the America’s. Her people would have followed the great reindeer herds as well as the woolly mammoth and horse herds. I have often had dreams of the great icy tundra and of following reindeer which in part might be due to a diet of documentaries from the FIlm Board of Canada when I was young or you could call it an artistic streak that listens to my ancestors stories which are knitted into my very bones!
This insight will continue to resonate and inspire for knowing our matriarchal lineage certainly evokes empowering ancestral memories and inspirations which vibrate those luminous thread from us to them that connect us through space and time. We can still move between these worlds and ask them for their wisdom and insight and then weave that into our lives.
Working on mini drums for a new series of clan mother dolls – the drums set against a map o the Loch and Ben Lomond.