Fitzgerald, J. (2023). Ancestral grief of the motherline: A heuristic inquiry of transformation among change and culture makers [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

This study aimed to explore the experience of ancestral grief of the motherline, and the nature of transformation when engaging with practices of reconnection. The research project uses the qualitative method of heuristic inquiry, with a topic that is grounded in the personal experience of the researcher as a self-identified culture maker. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five co-researchers. Three of them contributed additional materials in the form of images. The results indicate that ancestral grief is experienced within the body, and that the transformational process of reconnection brings about themes of longing, cultural context, land and lineage, presence, and collaboration. The findings identify primary places of disconnection from loss, the importance of connecting in more embodied ways and developing compassion for the motherline, the importance of land when there is difficulty connecting directly with lineage, expanding intuition, and gaining clarity of one’s collective purpose.

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