Cap’s Off to You!-Roslyn Bresnick Perry (Posthumously) and Celebrating Story

Featuring: Roslyn Bresnick Perry

Bright Light, Lifelong Learner, Eye-Opening Storyteller

Roslyn Bresnick Perry was being honored at one of the National Storytelling Conferences. I had heard her name talked highly by other storytellers and was able to get a glimpse of who she was within a couple minutes. People had their hands up – not always to clap but what almost seemed like to capture some of her bright light so that they could carry forth with more joy.

She joked about having dyslexia and how that naturally made it lovely to be a storyteller. Yet, she could become serious about how this same dyslexia made life complicated when she was little.

She immigrated to America from the former Soviet Union and shared eye-opening accounts that many of us could not completely understand yet can respect. She was loved beyond the Jewish community and, really, throughout the world.

If you have links to add – video, audio, articles – please share by emailing info@storycrossroads.org or commenting on this blog post.

You can see more details on Roslyn Bresnick Perry’s page with the Story Artists Memorial. Here is a video of her telling a story.

Do you know a Story Artist who has passed on and want others to remember them? Memories? Pictures? You can submit names and memories of Story Artists who have passed on through our online form. 

I appreciate Roslyn Bresnick Perry with her contagious energy that lit the room. Whether or not you had a smile on your face, you couldn’t help it by the end with her there.

Roslyn still has a story. You have a story. We all have stories.

Z is for Zaftig Zilant

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 Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.

ZILANT-

From Eastern Europe/Western Russia

What does “zaftig” mean? Well, it is “full figure, plump.” And zilants can often be “full” due to being a half snake/half bird creature that is much like a dragon and its menu of meats…including humans.

Some folkloric creatures cross border. Considering the terrible war going on right now, I have seen many stories that feel the same. Or ones that mirror each other. Western Russia is the most populated of all of Russia. Eastern Europe can mean Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Zilants already are two type of creatures combined – snake and bird. Really big snake and bird, but combined nonetheless.

No one in the kingdom would have thought that the Princess of Kazan would approach the Zilant to make a deal to fight off an invading army. The Zilant asked to be fed sweetgrass AND, every three weeks, have a child and woman. I guess that meat is tender and didn’t want any men? The princess agreed in the moment, trying to figure another way out. She needed to appear to keep her promise. Being duty-bound versus being two-faced.

Thankfully, a man named Gol accidentally (or luckily) killed the Zilant and she never had to send forth children and women. She even got the benefit of the deeds of Gol and his men to fight the army instead.

50-word-or-less summary:

Warrior Princess faces invaders. Makes deal with Zilant to fight. Must feed and give child and woman every three weeks! Agrees…but worries. Zilants creates nest to await invaders. Gol leading soldiers. Ragged. Zilant unsure if these are invaders. Gol – by luck – kills Zilant. Gol and soldiers help Princess.

Finding the Story: 

Book “Mythopedia: An Encyclopedia of Mythical Beasts and Their Magical Tales” with Story – found here

Book The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures: The Ultimate A–Z of Fantastic Beings from Myth and Magic – found here

Wikipedia on Zilant – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

Y is for Yoruba Youth

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 Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.

YOUTH-

From Nigeria

Twins are important in the Yoruba culture. The second-born twin is actually known as the oldest twin. Taiwo is sent by the older twin, Kehinde, to experience the world and see if all is safe. The chance to be a twin are quite high in Nigeria, specifically Igbo-Ora, the highest possibility in the world! They have held twin festivals and twins are respected to the point of gifts of God and full of magical powers.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Twins certainly have duality. Twins could mean that something ominous is about to happen. Yet, there is the power behind this twinship…so something glorious, too.

Thus, there is a kind of good luck/bad luck.

In the story shared, we eventually find out that one of the first people when the earth became populated was Shango. He became the Father of Twins and God of Thunder. But he was mortal first, entered the heavens, and eventually gained this power. It is quite intense. Though what about before? I find it fascinating that Oludumare had to send two sons – not at the same time – much like how twins are born. Not that they are twins…but still interesting.

50-word-or-less summary:

Oludumare created world. Sent son, Obatala. Took chicken, divination board, gelede mask. Populate! Heard drums. Followed. Festival! Became drunk. Oludumare sent second son, Oduduwa. Now Oduduwa had to populate world instead. Chicken made 16 piles of dirt – 16 kingdoms. Principal ancestor Shango, became Father of Twins/God of Thunder.

Finding the Story: 

Article called “Yoruba Customs and Beliefs Pertaining to Twins” – found here

Los Angeles Times article about Twins Bring Luck – found here

Article about Stephen Tayo who photographed many Yoruba Youth/Twins – found here

The J. Richard Simon Collection of Yoruba Twin Figures – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.