The First Writing Original

Unique book

8 x 6 inches

10 pages

2004

Not merely scribble
devised by accountants
to track livestock
or record property

the first writing

made to track the moon
inscribe spirit
praise for the great mother

text by Cari Ferraro

I was inspired to create this book by the work of archeologist Marija Gimbutas. In The Civilization of the Goddess, she showed evidence that the first writing grew out of symbolic marks on ritual objects made to venerate the Great Mother in Old Europe. I was pleased with the idea that writing came out of a spiritual place rather than a commercial one as we are usually taught. I invented an alphabet style based on Gimbutas' catalog of marks and in the background of the paste paper used symbols found in the 5000-year-old passage grave Newgrange in Ireland, whose meaning has never been fully deciphered.

Accordion book with bead, copper and leather closure; calligraphy in gouache on acrylic painted pastepaper; pastel, metallic ink.

Case made from Cave paper with deerskin lining; antler button and leather tie closure.

This is the original book from which the pages for the edition were reproduced.

Private collection

First Writing Original coverFirst Writing Original page spreadFirst Writing Original last pagesFirst Writing portfolio caseFirst Writing case inside