Tag Archives: Feldenkrais History

Moshe Feldenkrais and Margaret Mead Meeting

On my main blog over at Feldenkrais Podcasts, I recently blogged asking people to share any stories that they may know about the Feldenkrais work in New York: Feldenkrais In New York City: Got Any Stories? It’s fascinating how much knowledge in the community is not published but is still “in the heads” of the participants and otherwise unavailable. As of yet, I have not heard from anyone.

Margaret Mead & Moshe Feldenkrais, cerca 1975

Though I am not only interested in history but also what is happening right now, I did find a little story about Moshe and his meeting Margaret Mead and Jean Houston. It’s from Chapter Two of The Elusive Obvious or Basic Feldenkrais

“It may be good to tell an anecdote here. A few years ago I had the good fortune to be introduced to Margaret Mead by Jean Houston and Bob Masters in the Serendipity Restaurant in New York. When we were seated at our table, Margaret Mead said she would first like to ask a question to see if my answer rang a bell with her. During her anthropological studies, she had returned to the same island for more than twenty years, yet she had not been able to teach the inhabitants or their children certain foot movements—a kind of hopping from one foot to the other, in spite of the fact that the people were good hunters and fishermen. I was unable to give a precise answer without knowing a little more about the movement, but I told her, in my view the fault or interference most probably arose from an inhibition or taboo affecting crawling in early childhood. She exclaimed she believed that I was on the right track. She then told me that the people of that island do not allow their babies to touch the ground on all fours for fear that they will grow bestial. Crawling is therefore eliminated altogether. That meeting was the start of a friendship which lasted until her death.”

I do not know when the meeting took place. But the book was published in 1981, so it have to be prior to that year. The photo above was reported to be taken in 1975 as the San Francisco training. So the meeting my have occurred in that year.

Do you have anything to add? Make a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

More photos can be found on the website of the International Feldenkrais Federation Website.