Rhizomatic Mother Goddesses in North Africa:The Great Mother’s Resurrection in Sophie El Goulli’s Hashtart: À la Naissance de Carthage

Insaf Khémiri


With reference to Sophie El Goulli’s Hashtart: A la Naissance de Carthage, the present paper will examine the Goddess religion of North Africans, mainly Numidians, and Carthaginians, focusing on the rhizomatic model of the Great Mother archetype: Tritonis, Neith, Tanit, and ‘Hashtart.’ The Tunisian writer, Sophie El Goulli celebrates the Punic culture founded by Elissa and inspired by the transformation of Hashtart and the renaissance of the Goddess ‘Tanit’ to unite Numidians and Phoenicians. The rhizomatic character of these pagan goddesses facilitates religious syncretism and allows for building inclusive communities. In an attempt to defend their cultural heritage and resist appropriation, native people cross religious borders and recreate religious symbols, deities, myths, and traditions. Moreover, since religion has been employed to condemn women as inferior to men and, thus, keep them subjugated to the rules of their patriarchal societies, Goddess worship reemerges to defy this ‘patriarchal masculinity’ and spread the Feminine principle to heal both men and women.






Goddess Archetype, the Feminine, Great Mother, Tanit

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