AND THE THEME IS…
THEME: Hope & Healing…folktales around the world that beat back viruses
No matter the contagion, pestilence, or curse, there would always be a way to succeed and be cured. Almost all stories have some level of “happily ever after,” where all returns to how it was…though a little wiser.
The medical field is constantly changing their approach to keep up with science and compassion. Myths, legends, and folklore are always created as these miracles take place.
While many men receive accolades for advancing the medical field, do you know about the first female doctor whose name was recorded for us to know? Do you know Merit Ptah who lived around 2,700 BC and hieroglyphs on her tomb call her “Chief Physician.”
Now compare Merit Ptah to Isis, goddess of life and magic and who healed many people with special protection of women and children. Perhaps it is not surprising that both Merit Ptah and Isis come from Egypt.
Or have you heard of the ships of Jacques Cartier that were trapped in ice in 1536 near present-day Quebec City? The crew got scurvy with flesh falling off and no one had any idea of what to do. Then Cartier kidnapped two men with one known as Dom Agaya. Despite the lack of trust, Dom Agaya made a concoction from a tree to boost the deficiency of the Vitamin C. The crew wondered if this could be a poison but took it anyway. Today, it is unknown what this “tree of life” was exactly though it is guessed to be white cedar or white spruce. While Dom Agaya was released due to this miracle, Cartier later on kidnapped Dom Agaya as well as nine other people when the scurvy came back. Scurvy did was a problem for sailors for more than 200 years, but stories about a “tree of life” sailed the seas. Almost all cultures have “tree of life” stories and even today we attempt to protect the rainforests, knowing that the bark or roots or other parts of trees there provide cures to more than we can imagine.
Folktales take our imagination and then transform them into fascinating stories on how humans can defy death from any number of would-be-deadly diseases and countless curses.
There are Apples of Alteration to Elixirs of Exuberance to Infertility Interdicted to Knock-out-of-the-park Kissing.
Some of these seem obvious, though what about Loud Laughter, Omnipotent Ointment, Purging the Physique, and Troll Trophies.
What? Did we write “Troll Trophies”? We sure did.
And More Surprises!
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 13, 2020 (and how exactly that will actually look like is still up in the air due to the COVID-19…but we will figure out something). Our latest plan can be found here: https://storycrossroads.org/contingency-plans-covid-19/
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 City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, and many other individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to go directly to donation page.)