The story of the ancient goddess is the legacy of us all which has been forgotten for ages. It was reborn thanks to the excavation and decipherment of the signs, symbols and images of Old European art by Marija Gimbutas. ‘Joseph Campbell compared the work of Gimbutas to Champollion’s deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics, Ashley Montagu considers her findings as important as Schliemann’s excavation of Troy’, we wanted to pay tribute to her passionate devotion in revealing the truth about our past and honour her memory so she could become alive again in our performance L-Imlejqa.
Our idea was to give rise to the deep communication and oneness with Earth which Marija Gimbutas emphasised. The best possible way to do so was to become story tellers and create a mythical story based on the world of Old Europe. The concept of the circle of life was our starting point. The circle of life is a constantly flowing energy which begins at birth goes on to death and continues into rebirth of new life. The mother figure became a focal character in our storytelling because she is the one that begins a whole process of life. Before she gives birth, she must be fertilised, so at first she is nothing more than a virgin. She, the Earth becomes pregnant when the sunlight reaches her seeds just as sperm reaches egg cell. This is when spring appears. From this moment, she undergoes transformation into a mother. The mother Earth after a glorious but uneasy period of pregnancy finally gives birth to new life. Summer unfolds its beautiful fruits to the world. However, every life cannot blossom forever as the circle of life must go on. Autumn arrives along with sickness and madness. Yes, death is coming in her majestic form. The Good Mother has been transformed by the power of nature into a Terrible Mother, Death or Snake Queen. The Terrible Mother causes her own children to die. Now, winter comes into power, but also winter doesn’t last forever. The Snake Queen transforms herself for the last time. The process of renewal and regeneration takes place in which the circle of life is completed into the rebirth of a new life.
This is the story line about the ancient goddess, Our Mother Earth, L-Imlejqa in Maltese. The emergence of her presence is contained within the words, but the words on their own aren't powerful enough to remind ourselves about this memory. Therefore, out of these words, we delved into a physical process of performance creation of our beloved ‘L-Imlejqa’.
Marler, Joan. 1997. From the Realm of the Ancestors. An Anthology in Honor of Marija Gimbutas (Manchester: Knowledge, Ideas & Trends, Inc.)
Photo credit: Rafael Mielczarek - www.rafaelmielczarek.com