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Sacred Embodiment: Fertility Ritual, Mother Goddess, and Cultures of Belly Dance

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This essay examines belly dance movement as a mimetic ritual of universal significance 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 definition 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 telling—a narrative of the body's history, a fluid and kinaesthetic record of the individual body, and, by extension, the community and in some ways humanity itself.


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Affiliations: 1: European University Cyprus, Nicosia


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