Max Dashu Presenter

Max Dashu

Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research and document women’s history on a global scale. She built up a collection of 15,000 slides and 30,000 digital images. From these archaeological and historic images, she created 150 visual presentations on female cultural heritages, and delivered them at universities, conferences, museums, bookstores, community centers, libraries and schools, in North America, Europe, and Australia.

Dashu has keynoted at numerous conferences, published in many journals and anthologies including Goddesses in World Mythology (Praeger 2010);  has created two videos: “Women’s Power in Global Perspective” (2008) and “Woman Shaman: the Ancients” (2013); and  teaches online courses and webcasts.

148,000 people from around the world follow her daily posts on the Suppressed Histories Archives page on Facebook.

Her book Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion has just been published, available from

Max’s Sessions:

Saturday, August 26th 10:00am to Noon

Immortal Sisters Panel with Livia Kohn and Robin Wang. Who are the “Immortal Sisters” and why are they important?

Xi Wangmu: the Cosmic Weaver

This visual presentation explores the imagery and symbolism of the Western Grandmother, from her earliest Shang dynasty pairing with an Eastern Grandmother, through her tiger-shaman aspects in the Shan Hai Jing, to her governance of the “Cosmic Grindstone”. She looms large as Tai Yin in the Five Element concordance, with her Tiger-Dragon throne, her presiding over the spirit trees of Sichuan, her depictions with the ancestral snake beings Nü Wa and Fu Xi, and with her many spirit servitors. 

As the Zhuang Ze says, “Nobody knows her beginning, and nobody knows her end.” 

Saturday, August 26th 8-10 pm 

The Wu

Old sources show the Wu carrying out invocation, divination, dream interpretation, healing, exorcism, driving off evil spirits, and performing ecstatic rain dances. Dramatic descriptions recount the powers of the Wu in their ecstasies– speaking in spirit tongues, spitting fire, flying on clouds, and slashing themselves with knives yet no blood flowed.

This visual presentation looks at ancient imagery of the Wu, especially as depicted in bronzes of the Warring States period, in the Chuci, and in more recent representations of the deified shaman, Chen Jinggu.