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the Minoan Snake Goddess

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Author Topic: the Minoan Snake Goddess  (Read 3050 times)
Gwen Parker
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« on: July 06, 2007, 06:26:15 am »

Women in Minoan Culture

In Crete women played an important if not dominant role: They served as priestesses, as functionaries and administrators.

They also participated in all the sports that Cretan males participated in. The most popular sports in Crete were incredibly violent and dangerous: boxing and bull-jumping. In bull-jumping, as near as we can tell from the representations of it, a bull would charge headlong into a line of jumpers. Each jumper, when the bull was right on top of them, would grab the horns of the bull and vault over the bull in a somersault to land feet first behind the bull. All the representations of this sport show young women participating as well as men.
Women also seem to have participated in every occupation and trade available to men. The rapid growth of industry on Crete included skilled craftswomen and entrepreneurs, and the large, top-heavy bureaucracy and priesthood seems to have been equally staffed with women. In fact, the priesthood was dominated by women. Although the palace kings were male, the society itself does not seem to have been patriarchal.

Evidence from Cretan-derived settlements on Asia Minor suggest that Cretan society was matrilineal, that is, kinship descent was reckoned through the mother.

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