learning a new language: rug symbols & patterns

Tree of life pattern, Javaghk (majority-Armenian populated region of Georgia) Kamee was born to an Armenian family by way of the SWANA region. They arrive in the world today as a queer mother and an interdisciplinary creative, producer, and facilitator. Their work is primarily collaborative, spiralling in-to and out-of fragmented time/place/being through ancestral reclamation, diasporic…

VARTIVAR: digging for the pagan roots of our holidays

VARTIVAR… a celebration and ritual associated with the goddess Astghik (water, beauty, love, fertility) and the time of harvest (vart = rose; var = rise). Apparently, the meaning of vartivar is twofold: “the flaming of the rose” and “to sprinkle with water” (hence the waterfights most typical amongst Armenians). Traditionally, a common gift to your…

ancestral migration patterns

I sewed my ancestral migration patterns, as far back as my great-great grandparents (which is as far back as our history has been “recorded” since the genocide) onto a map I drew on a paper bag. Gifted it to my mother and sit with it every time I visit her. Kamee was born to an…

armenian wedding tradition: the “ghnah”

I know we aren’t the only ones who do this! Dipping the pinky fingers of unmarried guests in ghnah (henna) at a party that is also known as the ghnah — on the night before my cousin’s wedding. The women (elders) prepared and carried this beautiful plate (with red candles and a red apple —…

Welcome to our new column!

Welcome to a new column dedicated to archiving folk knowledge and stories from our Armenian kin. Inspired by the many lovely posts I see from my SWANA Armenian friends just floating around social media, I wanted to create a space to honor and archive these precious stories in a more stable way.  If you are…

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION… Do NOT steal my culture please!

Written by Layla B. (aka Umm Muawiyah) CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!  I want to have a discussion about this, not a debate, as this is something important in general, but in the birth world it is essential. If you search on google, this is what Cultural Appropriation is defined as: “the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members…