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I painted Uzume in 1996 for The Goddess Oracle.
Ancient Japan's shaman goddess was the one who lured the sun-goddess Amaterasu
from the cave where she'd hidden. She did so by a merry mockery of shamanic ritual.
Tying her sleeves above her elbows with moss cords and fastening bells around
her wrists, she danced on an overturned tub before the heavenly Sky-Rock-Cave.
Tapping out a rhythm with her feet, she exposed her breasts and then her genitals
in the direction of the sun. So comic did she make this striptease that the myriad
gods and goddesses began to clap and laugh -- an uproar that finally brought the
curious sun back to warm the earth.
from Goddesses and Heroines
||Exerpt from Goddess & Heroines by Patricia
[Used by permission. This text is NOT included in the Goddess
Shaman women who followed Uzume were called miko in ancient Japan. First
queens like Himiko, later they were princesses and even later, commonborn
women. Some Japanese women today, especially those called nuru and yata in
Okinawa and the surrounding islands, still practice shamanic divination.
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||Text from Patricia
Monaghan's The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines
Published by Llewellyn, copyright 1997. Used by permission of the author.