R is for Rescuing Ropes & Rain—A to Z Blog Challenge

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 Hope & Healing…folktales around the world that beat back viruses. Each post highlights one or more balms to soothe and cure our struggles of today with oral tradition and lore of the past. At times, a post will make a connection to history. You can guess what inspired this theme. Yes, the COVID-19. What better time to delve into tales where things can and do turn out “happily ever after”?

Rescuing Ropes & Rain-

From Orkney-

The Sea Mither, also known as the Sea Midder or Sea Mother, brought peace and calm when she reigned. She does use rope once a year to be triumphant against Teran, who is much like the devil or at least represents winter. Unrelated, there is of this land and all of England the belief that hangman’s rope, after its grisly deed, transforms into a rope of healing. Sometimes it is cut into 1-inch pieces and sold for that healing.

50-word-or-less summary:

Sea Mither fought against Teran within the waters during Gore Vellye/Autumn Tumult. She fell to sea’s bottom from weakness. She gathered seabed kelp and made rope. During Vore Tullye/Spring Struggle, she bound Teran and triumphed over Teran. Peace and calm filled the sea.

Versions of the Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMJU6CsDk2c and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Mither

Compare to History:

Ropes and other binding materials have been used in the battlefield and modern life through tourniquet. It was a way to “bound the bad” much like Sea Mither does every year with Teran. For a while, tourniquets were reserved in dire need during battles but had now become an important training today sometimes called “Stop the Bleeding.” Tourniquets used to be associated with amputation such as during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Rarely do tourniquets lead to such drastic measures under proper training available to regular citizens.

More on the History: https://www.tinyurl.com/Oxfordmedicalrope

From First Nations Canada-

When the animals failed in their mission to bring back Rain, due to leaving when Whirlwind was banished, they counted on the birds. Even mighty birds could not accomplish what sparrow did to bring healing to the land.

50-word-or-less summary:

People banished Whirlwind when he did one too many tricks. Whirlwind took blind friend Rain with him. People asked animals to bring back Rain. Failed! Asked birds. All failed but sparrow. Rain brought Whirlwind with him. Growth and healing in land. Sparrow promised by people to never be hunted.

Finding the Story: https://www.worldoftales.com/Native_American_folktales/Native_American_Folktale_75.html

Compare to History:

On May 17, 1899, Lorenzo Snow, the 5th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, took saints that they needed to fast, pray, and pay tithes for rain to come back again. It had not rained in southern Utah for months, and the suffering was great. On August 2, 1899, a telegram was received in Salt Lake that “Rain in St. George.” It came barely in time for a full harvest that year.

More on the History: http://mormonhistoricsites.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Reexamining-Lorenzo-Snows-1899-Tithing-Revelation.pdf

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings in process of being adapted due to COVID-19.Our 2020 Festival has been transformed into Story Crossroads Spectacular, a virtual experience. See here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/spectacular on May 13, 2020 starting at 9am MDT with events all day.

We thank our funders such as National Endowment for the Arts, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, Zoo, Arts & the Parks of Salt Lake County (ZAP), City of Murray, Salt Lake City Arts Council, and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by donating today!

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