Cannabis couture and clothing has deep roots in goddess cultures worldwide.
Cannabis cultivation, ‘hemp’ clothing & high fashion are entwined into humanities history for thousands of years. One could say that our use of cannabis is responsible for modern civilization. High praise for high fashion. Let us skip across time…
Celtic princess, Cambri Formosa, taught women the sewing of hemp and flax in 373 BC. She was teaching the arts of hemp fabrics and hemp cultivation in the British Isles over 2,000 years ago. She and others helped spread hemp textiles across the kingdoms and throughout Europe. The number of British and Irish place-names that contain the word ‘hemp’ or variants thereof, show the ubiquity of hemp crops. Scottish and Welsh hemp use predates Christianity. Roman and Anglo-Saxon hemp remains have been found that date back to 140-400 AD. The Norse goddess Freya the goddess of Love and War is associated with cannabis in ancient legends. Viking farmers actively cultivated hemp in their settlements in many regions. Cannabis artifacts from a Norwegian farmstead date from 650 A.D. to 800 A.D. Viking burials of warrior queens held hemp fabrics and seeds. The Germanic goddess, Ostara (Easter) was worshipped with hemp in old Europe 1200 years ago. Medieval records in 1175 show hemp as being a valuable and tithe-able item. The tribal beat goes on.
For countless centuries, we have been growing cannabis (hemp) worldwide and weaving the sacred plant into clothing for humanity. China, over 6,000 years ago, was cultivating cannabis across the land. The Chinese Goddess, Ma Gu MaKu, (Magu) was responsible for spreading cannabis throughout Asia. She is shown as a young vibrant woman who heals. (Ma is the Chinese word for hemp today.) Traditional wedding dresses in China are made of hemp fabrics. People in China have been eating the sacred seed for thousands of years and made hemp paper 4,000 B.C. Today, China grows a majority of the world’s hemp supply.
Sheshat, the Egyptian Goddess of knowledge and writing, is enshrined in stone with the seven-leaved symbol of cannabis carved above her head. This ancient artifact shows the reverence and wisdom of the Tree of Life throughout the known worlds for thousands of years before our time. Hemp twine and fabrics from ancient Egypt show that cannabis couture has indeed been in fashion for many ages.
Today, high hemp fashion is in full swing. Many companies are in the market and new ones are entering daily. The truly fabulous fine fabrics coming out of Italy and China range from silk to suit quality, upholstery fabrics up to heavy-duty industrial coverings. A friend of mine in China recently sent me dozens of hemp fabrics: ranging in weight from silk to a canvas: in a beautiful array of weaves, blends, finishes, and patterns. Long gone are the rough hemp textiles from two decades ago. Truly astounding what modern technology and ancient crops can weave together.
Ralph Lauren in Italy has shown a high-end approach to hemp fabrics, fashion and design. In January 2008, before the opening of New York Fashion Week, two dozen internationally recognized designers including Donatella Versace, Behnaz Sarafpour, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Isabel Toledo, captured the audience with stunning creations made with hemp-based fabrics supplied by Hemp Industries Association at the Earth Pledge eco-fashion show. Heads turned at Donatella Versace‘s cream-colored knockout hemp-silk gown with an open back and a dramatic draping that was the final piece of the show.
Some of the advantages of hemp fabrics over cotton and synthetics are: stronger organic and natural fibers, better wear, long-lasting, UV & microbial resistance with anti-bacterial qualities. Hemp is easier to grow, uses less fertilizer and water. No pesticides or herbicides are needed. Unlike cotton, these garments will be around for decades. In fact, some of the dresses, fabrics, papers, and yarns from ancient China & Egypt exist today as mute testimony to the ageless beauty of cannabis.
Now we can take advantage of all that has come before: let the goddess clothe us, feed us, house us and light our way: she shall overcome the darkness and ignorance of prohibition which has outlawed her blessings. Buy some hemp clothing and fabrics – support the future of cannabis around the planet.