It's easy to think modern society is the source of all our breast obsessions, whether it's a media emphasis on everyday cleavage or sexualized images of women's bodies. But tens of thousands of years ago, breasts were also the center of attention.
Goddess worship was common because the female body and breasts symbolized fertility, birth, and nourishment. Think about it: a woman carries a child in her womb until it matures, and then produces the perfect food to sustain a fragile new life. It's an amazing process that happens every day, but is often taken for granted or trivialized.
The female form was seen as a reflection of Mother Nature. Ancient cultures, at the mercy of weather or natural disasters, couldn't count on a consistent source of food. Goddess worship helped guarantee survival. Why wouldn't you worship representations of an obvious life-giving force? You'd be crazy not to respect her power.
Women's curves were carved out of stone, or made from other materials, to honor this feminine divine. Here are a few of the more well-known female deities discovered at various archeological sites.Venus of Willendorf via Museum of Ancient and Modern Art Minoan Snake Goddess via Museum of Ancient and Modern Art Nile River Goddess via Museum of Ancient and Modern Art
Goddess worship continues today, albeit in a less organized form. (I keep a little Minoan Snake Goddess at my writing desk for inspiration.) Artists are still fascinated by their history, mystery surrounding their purpose, and how these sculptures reflect the female form.
I ran into one such artist, on a recent visit to Seattle. Faye Baker is a professional potter who teaches classes at her studio. The subject of boobs (naturally) came up and she showed me her collection of "Goddess" pottery. I asked her why she created these breast objects, and said:
The Goddess work is about honoring our Mother, Mother Earth and all the Mothers and our beautiful bodies. I also make reproductions of ancient Goddess figurines like the ones found in Marija Gimbutas book "The Language of the Goddess." This book is sacred to me it is always out in my studio giving me inspiration. These figurines are over 30,000 years old and have been found all over the world. The simple truth is that the Mother was the original deity we all worshiped.
Here are some examples of Faye's work. You can find more of Faye's pieces at FayezArt.com.Faye Baker Goddess Mugs and Lotion Bottles Images via FayezArt.com
What do you think of these examples of breast-centric art? Would you display them? Should we be worshipping the curves of women's bodies for more than their sex appeal? What do you think of the ancient practice of Goddess worship?
Featured image: Faye Baker Goddess figurines. All images copyright of FayezArt.com.