The She Stands Tall Grandmother Oral Her-Story Project was born out of Rekha Govindan Kurup's own journey as a modern-day city-bred daughter of presently patriarchal Kerala (India) to positively transform her own disconnect with body and sexuality by investigating, and discovering her fading matrilineal ancestry. Her research is available as a published book (see below). Rekha continues to interview grandmothers, mothers and daughters across the breadth and depth of Kerala, across India and the world. These stories provide an empowered insight into womanhood, femininity and embodied power that is disappearing from the social-cultural fabric of Kerala, India and the world.
"Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Mother-mind centered Indigenous societies worldwide have immensely valued the wisdom, experience and presence of women in their roles of daughter, mother, and grandmother. Generational Cultural wisdom was passed down from grandmothers to grandchildren effortlessly through play, story telling, food, ritual, role playing and more; mothers attended to community and home-based roles of nurturing, peace making and holding relationships together; and daughters learned to embody and express her raw wild power. However, with fast-paced modernization, technology and nuclear families replacing old-ways of indigenous living - grandmothers, mothers and daughters roles have shifted and in many cases, "hushed" or "silenced" from their old ways.
The intention of The Her-Story Project is to record, collect, preserve, and publish the lived feminine experience of indigenous grandmothers, mothers and daughters raised in a mother-mind centered social organization, and the various factors that influenced their physical, relational, social, cultural and spiritual relationship with body, sexuality and self as they blossomed from a young girl into a crone mother. We hope to build not just an invaluable archive of stories for future generations - to learn from but also, provide insights into the disconnect that most so-called modern people experience in their bodies, mind and sexuality, in their relationships with themselves, those around them and with nature and her beings.
T H E H E R -S T O R I E S P R O J E C T
"I enter darkness, to enter birth, to wear the rainbow, to hear her hissing loudly, clearly, in my inner ear: Love. I am spiraling, I am spinning, I am singing this Grandmother's song. I am remembering forever, where we belong."
- Alma Luz Villanueva, Mexican-American poet, short story writer, and novelist.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO PUBLISH STORIES OF CRONE MOTHERS IN YOUR LINEAGE, AND NEED HELP - LET US GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS.
HELP US FIND GRANDMOTHERS, MATRIARCHS, CRONE ELDERS WHO LIVED AS EMBODIED DAUGHTERS OF THE EARTH - WHOSE STORIES WILL BE GUIDING LIGHT TO THE GENERATION YET TO COME. EVEN IF THE GRANDMOTHER IS NO LONGER IN BODY, ANY CLOSE LIVING RELATIVE CAN NARRATE THEIR STORY & WE WILL RECORD IT, ARCHIVE IT & PUBLISH IT.
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One of the long term goals of the She Stands Tall Project is to engage the younger generation in collecting and recording the stories of not just their mother's and grandmothers but also be a witness to the stories of their friend's mothers and grandmothers. We also envision to facilitate dialogues between grandmothers, and elders of the community with the younger generation in an effort to bridge the widening inter-generational gap. Every offering of The She Stands Tall Project incorporates oral her-story in some way or the other.