Femme, tissage et mythologie

Françoise Létoublon


This article explores the strong relation between Greek women, weaving and the tools they used for this work. Its methodology is based on the study of formulas in the Homeric epics combined with a socio-anthropological approach of the 'roles' of men vs. women in Greek archaic society as described in Homer's texts. The formulas depict two strictly separated worlds: warfare and weaponry, navigation, political assemblies and public speaking, pottery and singing as a social activity belong to the realm of men, whereas women are confined to the inside of the oíkos, and assigned to wool carding and weaving, washing and cooking. In Homeric society, singing is also a woman's activity, but women only sing while weaving: it is shown as an individual practice without any social function. The actual role of women in archaic society is reflected by the paradigmatic use of some myths, particularly the myth of Aedon the nightingale, lamenting the loss of her son.

Femmes_tissage_mythologie.pdf338.13 KB