We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Golden…And All Things That Glimmer. Each post highlights golden items from a folktale from around the world. Each time you have to wonder, is something that is golden a blessing, a curse, or both?
What has inspired all this gold?–The Golden Spike with the 150th Transcontinental Railroad and the Spike 150 Grant for this year’s Story Crossroads Festival.
The Moses story with the golden calf could be what you think first, but there has been another golden calf.
Hungary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJr8lAR-ZoI
Sister-Princess receives vision of leaves/water to heal sick people. Sick prince. Healed. Fell in love. Brother-Prince seeks wife. Found princess who will marry whoever knows what is under her armpit. Golden calf crafted with prince inside. Princess buys it and places in room. Prince sees sun, moon, stars. Marriage.
It is not enough to have one golden cucumber…but two. One comes from Indonesia while the other comes from Central Java.
Indonesia – http://indonesianfolklore.blogspot.com/2007/12/timun-mas-folklore-from-central-java.html
Giant hears prayer of farmer and wife who wish for kids. Sure, but must give to giant when aged 17. Given cucumber seeds. Daughter from golden cucumber! Sad when 17. Parents gave magic salt, chilies, and seeds to escape giant. Turned into sea, jungle, cucumber field. Ah! Cucumber field! Family reunion.
Central Java – https://aseanfolktales.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/the-golden-cucumber/
Giant hears prayer of farmer and wife who wish for kids. Sure, but must give to giant when aged 17. Given cucumber seeds. Daughter from golden cucumber! Sad when 17. Parents gave magic salt, chilies, and shrimp paste (terasi) to escape giant. Turned into sea, jungle, swamp. Ah! Swamp! Family reunion.
When I mentioned “Golden City” to my boys, they automatically thought “Atlantis.” While this is true when you think about the story of King Midas and the stories he heard before desiring the golden touch (more for another post), there is another one you know…El Dorado. This is more legend than folktale…but a glimpse of glimmer of gold for you.
Brazil – http://www.phfawcettsweb.org/eldorado.htm
Talk of golden city. Intrigues explorers. Sun-worshippers share of creature who lives in lake full of gold. Impassable mountains. People smear sticky stuff so gold dust would stick, plunge into water, and people toss gold into lake. They need to gather back that gold rather than find golden city?
Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 15, 2019 with free performances May 13-16, 2019 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2019-schedule/.
We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts (Spike 150), the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.)
8 thoughts on “C is for Golden Calf, Cucumber, & City–A to Z Blog Challenge”
So interesting to read how these themes travel the globe. Just looked at your storyteller festival page also. Sounds very awesome!
Yes, fascinating to compare. Did you then see the new little-over 1-minute promo video for our upcoming festival on May 15th? Glad you enjoyed the website. Feel free to come this year or any year for the festival.
No I haven’t checked the video yet but will next time I’m making my A2Z rounds. I’m in MI so it would be a long drive but storytelling has always fascinated me, and I am retired, so….
Hah, I knew the Hungarian version with a silver goat instead of a golden calf 😀 Fun! Also, there is a Greek version of that story where the princess knows the boy is inside the statue, and they plot together. I like that detail a lot.
The Multicolored Diary
Yes, it would be interesting on the symbolism or reasoning for using the goat versus the calf. As for the Greek version of a princess in on the scheme, in a way that is what happened with this one. She did not know in the beginning though accepted and allowed the young man to share the answer of what was under her armpit in the morning.
I’ve heard of the golden city and the calf, but not the cucumber
And not only one cucumber story…but two! Very similar but I find it funny about the danger of the cucumber field. A swamp being dangerous makes more sense but a cucumber field…that’s…golden! 🙂