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Photos: The Death Of Goddesses

Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt


Earth can be fertilized and that is why primitive people often symbolized earth or water as female phenomena.




In the north of Iran, traditionally only women cultivate rice.  By their essence, women know fertility better than men.  Primitive man believed that the spoiling of earth could be regarded as abuse of trust or incest.



    North of Iran, women cultivating ricece


In ancient Persia , people had temples for water and worshiped the Goddess of Fertility, whom they named ANAHITA or NAHID.  It was believed that She is the source of all waters upon the earth, fertility, purifying, and the seed of all males.


In Iran we may find natural rocks that people use to symbolize the female goddess.





As an example, here you can see a natural rock. But local people believe that it shows a goddess. They also believe that water flows from her navel. She is the source of water and life.  Apart from this prehistoric example, we may find temples and buildings from pre-Islamic times that were places for worshiping this goddess.


Ghaleh Dokhtar - Near Shiraz



There is evidence that the cult of worshiping goddess of water existed in my village Polour.  The people built a castle near the springs and worshiped water.  





Unfortunately due to construction of some factories for mineral water, most of springs in Polour have been destroyed.  They ignore the rights of ordinary people and living creatures who live there and need water too.


I am very sad that in Iran, the organization that is in charge of these affairs legitimized this demolition of nature and historic sites.  





As a reaction before and during the process of this demolition, I installed and hide some of my goddesses near the castle.  I also carved my fish on the natural rocks. 





This is unfair battle. I only use a hammer and chisel which is made by the recycling of a machine's peace. But those who do not respect nature use huge machines and so they destroy nature and my art-works very quickly. 








     The death of my Goddess





One may ask why I perform or install my artwork in these locations?  In many occasions the lovers of nature asked me to do so.  I believe that environmental art can be a solution for protection of nature and cultural heritage.   


The survival of my artworks depend on the survival of nature.  I was aware that these works would eventually be destroyed, but if those who by ignoring nature, destroy it, then I have good reason to shout this fact.















One of my students assisted me to depict her shadow and then I carved a goddess 



Recently I finished this goddess 


    My wife and my goddess










... Payvand News - 10/15/09 ... --

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