X is for Xany Xhuuya

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.

XHUUYA-

From Haida People in Northwest Pacific Coast of Canada

First, what does “xany” mean? It means “wild” or “overly energetic.” For a trickster and shape-shifter Raven named Xhuuya (pronounced as Khoya), he needed to have those traits and many more to accomplish that amazing deed: stealing fire from the gods.

Xhuuya has an interesting family tree. His uncle was a killer whale known as Sghulghu Quuna. Considering Xhuuya’s ability to shape-shift…that was probably genetic.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

While there are many stories of this Raven named Xhuuya, he was known for constantly being two-faced or someone else. Due to this ability, he did mingle with women…a lot.

Yet, despite his–ahem–looseness, he is celebrated for bring light, water, berries, and fish to humans. Much appreciation is shown during mid-winter as light stays in the sky longer. His story is re-enacted.

50-word-or-less summary:

Dark! Xhuuya comes to home of old man and daughter. Owns box within box holding light! Daughter gathers water. Xhuuya transforms to hemlock needle. Drinks water. Daughter births Xhuuya as human. Begs! Old Man (Grandfather) allows Xhuuya to play with box. Takes light. Transforms back to Raven. Light for all!

Finding the Story: 

“How Raven brought light to the World” – found here

Understanding this and more legends of Haida People – found here

Wisdom of the Mythtellers (translates to English on next page) – 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.

W is for Wounded Wiles

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.

WILES-

From Armenia

Storks are plentiful in Armenia. Some locals call these congregating spots of storks as villages. These same storks are protective of sparrows. As this story features a sparrow that is constantly being helped (and taking advantage of people’s kindness), I find it interesting that no storks are in the story.

But how did sparrows get so crafty and full of wiles? Well, Chess is required to learn and take in school. Yes, this is for human youth. But perhaps the sparrows watch as the game is taught and played?

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Most of us have a hard time asking for help. Then there’s Sparrow. He took advantage of people’s kindness. Once he figured out the “rhythm,” he could take something, knowing that people would get tempted, and then demand payment. Hmmm.

So the cute and little Sparrow can be conniving and wily. And carry a sheep or bride, mind you. Much more than he appears.

Yet, when we are two-faced, we should not be surprised when karma comes to get us. I admit, there was satisfaction in the Sparrow getting a thorn again at the end by sitting on a prickly branch. But I feel guilty, because even then, I don’t like anyone coming to harm.

Does that make me two-faced?

50-word-or-less summary:

Thorn! Sparrow begged. Woman tossed thorn in fire. Sparrow insisted – HIS thorn. Payment! Given bread. Took bread to man to “watch” while away. Ate bread. Payment! Given sheep. Wedding. “Watch” sheep. Guests ate. Payment! Given bride. Minstrel “watch” bride. Distracted by own songs. Bride runs. Given lute. Branch. Thorn!

Finding the Story: 

Book entitled “The Greedy Sparrow” – found here

Study Guide and Questions for Story – found here

Video of LIza Manoyan reading the story in Armenian – 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.

V is for Voracious Vegetarian

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.

VEGETARIAN-

From Peru / Andes Mountains

So many wonderful foods in Peru – and most include meat. One of the most classic? Guinea Pig also known as Cuy. This meat is a delicacy that pre-dates the Incans. People could breed Guinea Pig faster and it was healthier overall.

However, here are two dishes without meat: Papas a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce), Rocoto Relleno (Stuffed Spicy Peppers). And it was hard to find recipes without meat.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Knowing how popular Guinea Pig meat is in Peru, I love seeing the Guinea Pig be the trickster. We see Raven or Rabbit as tricksters. We recently talked about the Terrapin/Turtle. When the usual-dish-on-the-table becomes the hero, tell me more!

Small size brings about big brains. Vegetarian fights off against Meat-Eater.

50-word-or-less summary:

Cuy holds up edge of rock. Invites Fox to hold sky to give break. Fox tires. Let’s go. Nothing. Rain of fire! Digs hole. Nothing. Cuy dresses as human. Helps in alfalfa fields. Eats at night. Sap-doll catches Cuy. Human ties Cuy to tree. Tricks Fox to be tied up.

Finding the Story: 

Book entitled “The Guinea Pig and the Fox” – found here

Online story of “The Fox and the Cunning Cuy (Guinea Pig)” – found here

Video of Rebecca Knudson sharing picture book of this story – 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.