Microbiome is wicked?
How can we undo the assault upon the microbiome?
Can we envision strategies for a micro-ecosystem restoration?
Make to Believe
Project: Microbiome Covenant
Designers: Alix Gerber, Aya Jaffar, Mei-Ling Lu
As a result of the intersection of scientific knowledge on the microbiome and subsequent corresponding interpretations of religious texts and rituals, a new sacredness and holiness emerged around microbiota and the rituals that emphasize and cultivate them.
Religious practice, belief, and belonging are centered around the idea of a shared religious microbiome that strengthens the community of practitioners as a whole, and deepens one’s sense of religious identity by maintaining his/her religious microbiological makeup.
Specific microbiota found around holy sites and places of worship are cultivated by priests and holy people to create a sacred sourdough starter. Believers bake holy bread using the sacred starter and consume it to strengthen their biological religiosity as the microbiota makes its way into their gut flora.
Maintaining a community’s religious microbiome rests on the intergenerational passage and inheritance of religious microbiota from parents to offsprings and so on. The passage of babies through a mother’s vaginal fluids during childbirth is the most important step in creating and strengthening a baby’s gut microbiome. Thus, passing on your biological religiosity to one’s offspring becomes an important ritual for expecting mothers. Creating and maintaining vaginal fluids with the microbiotic makeup of one’s religion, through the consumption of the bread, ensures the baby will develop the same religious microbiome that you and your community share. This practice is known as vaginal baptism, and is the most important ritual associated with religious admission and rites of passage.