The prehistoric ages were split into three periods: the Paleolithic (or Early Stone Age), Mesolithic (or Middle Stone Age), and Neolithic (or Later Stone Age). The Neolithic era is marked by the use of tools by our early human ancestors and the eventual transformation from a culture of hunting and gathering to one of farming and planting.
You reap what you sow
The Neolithic Revolution occurred around 12000 years ago in the region of Mesopotamia, between the Tigris (Diçle) and Euphrates (Firat) Rivers. We call the Neolithic revolution a cultural revolution, but what do we mean by this? As mentioned above, the Neolithic period was a time when farming and planting developed; in other words, a period when agriculture developed. Agriculture is the science or practice of farming, including the cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. The agriculture of a society determines the culture of that society. Often times, we define villages and towns by the goods that they sow and reap.
There are proverbs that help us understand this connection between the customs that we still practice today and agriculture. For example, the proverb “you reap what you sow”, meaning you eventually have to face up to the consequences of your actions, allows us to understand the importance of our behaviour. We have all heard of this saying, but we are unaware that this concept, and many others, has a history of thousands of years and comes from agricultural practices. Agriculture has defined the characteristics, the customs, and the ethnology of humanity.
The language of the Neolithic is the language of nature
Within the Neolithic period, women did manual labour as a productive force. As is known, in Neolithic villages, all the women of the village worked and produced together. Society was based on co-operation and solidarity; working rules were determined according to the characteristics of the object to be made. For example, when making pottery, it was necessary to be quiet; the temperature was important during the firing phase of the pot; if it was too high, the pot would crack. They were focused on sound. In order to understand the consistency of the fired pottery, a small stick was used to hit the pot, and the tone of the sound would help them understand this.
Language developed as women increased production. The language of the Neolithic is the language of nature; the language of wind, water, birds, butterflies, lions. As women increased their production activities, the development of language accelerated and words multiplied. To put it simply, as women were the ones that produced, as women were the productive force of society, they also paved the way for the development of language. This development allowed for humans to be able to communicate with each other in a more cohesive manner and to have a deeper understanding of life. Language is a vital part of human connection. Although all species have their own ways of communicating, humans are the only ones that have mastered cognitive language communication. Language allows us to share our ideas, thoughts, and feelings with others. In other words, women, through domestic work, have developed the concept that distinguishes us from animals.
What was once liberating is now a tool of enslavement
While domestic work in the Neolithic period defined women as pioneers, sacred and goddesses, with the development of patriarchal civilisation, domestic work (housework) defined women as invaluable and uneducated. The home belonged to the woman as it was the space that advanced life. To make a home was to create everything that included life. Activities in the Neolithic that were carried out in the home, modern civilisation now calls schools, factories, laboratories, assemblies, etc. This is the main reason for the identification of women with the home. The home and the economy created by modern patriarchal civilisation have been turned against women, and this space that once made women free, creative, and sacred pioneers, has been transformed into a space where women are imprisoned and enslaved.
Women understanding their role in continuing to develop and spread language is very important for the protection of cultures and the prevention of assimilation. Rêber APO stresses this, claiming that: “Mothers not reaching their children in their mother tongue is a brutal practice. A child who is unable to learn his mother tongue is unable to love or respect his mother. There is alienation between mother and child. I protest against the denial of this most fundamental right. ” As young women, we need to feel the same anger towards the denial of this right and be in a constant effort to learn and spread our mother tongue.