V is for Vultures of Vitality—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”?

Vultures of Vitality

From Egypt-

Nekhbet was the white vulture goddess considered the “Mother of Mothers.” With her connection to fertility and protection, a birth house as well as small temples and a lake have been dedicated to her in Upper Egypt. Her name literally translates into “mother.” She hovered over pharaohs to protect during peace or war. The pharaoh’s queen often wore white vulture feathers in her crown as she also symbolized a protection of the pharaoh.

50-word-or-less summary:

Set wished to kill Horus. Isis, since the birth of Horus, kept Horus hidden so he could avenge his father—Osiris. The “Eye of Ra”/sun disc/Eye of Horus was formed to include many goddesses including Nekhbet. Horus gave Osiris this Eye and was brought back to life. Pharaohs were known as the living Horus on earth with rightful reign.

Finding the Story: https://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/eye/ and https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/osiris-seth-horus-and-the-divine-origins-of-kingship/

Compare to History:

Vultures have had a “love and loathing” from many cultures around the world. For some people, it was forbidden to touch the dead yet the vulture got rid of the dead. The act of touching the dead—especially for eating—had a “dark angel” feel. The angel part was that society was healthier with the carrion gone. Egypt valued the vulture as the heat made dead flesh more dangerous to have lying around. Though, if the Greeks did not want bodies to be eaten, they believed myrrh countered the putrid smell of the vulture and thus protected any devouring.

More on the History: https://prizedwriting.ucdavis.edu/love-and-loathing-role-vulture-three-cultures

From India-

The vulture needs its sight so this story of a blind vulture fascinated me. Although it has a sad ending, I love that the vulture was a protector to the best of his abilities. Perhaps more humility is the key to being stalwart to protect.

50-word-or-less summary:

Birds brought food to Taradgava/blind vulture in tree. Vulture watched fledglings. Cat noticed. Crept. Fledglings and Taradgava sensed danger. Cat, being caught, claimed to be vegetarian and wanted to learn vulture’s wisdom. Cat allowed in tree. Fledglings eaten one by one. Cat left. Birds thought vulture ate them.

Finding the Story: https://mocomi.com/hitopadesha-the-story-of-the-vulture-the-cat-and-the-birds/

Compare to History:

Vultures rely on their sight when finding prey. The Egyptians believed that vultures would linger at a place a battle would take place seven days prior. Vultures were connected to seeing in the future, thus some vulture parts consumed were thought to bring such knowledge to light. While declared “unclean” to eat by Christians, the vulture was a symbol for when the Savior Jesus Christ would come and bring ultimate healing. Sometimes the vulture was interchangeable in the Bible for eagle.

Yet in Africa, mainly Nigeria, there is illegal trade for vulture. On May 8, 2019, Celebrity Vulture Ambassadors from music and voice-over worlds attempted to change minds about the vulture and stop belief-based trade of the vulture.

More on the History: https://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/news/new-project-tackles-illegal-trade-vulture-body-parts and https://prizedwriting.ucdavis.edu/love-and-loathing-role-vulture-three-cultures

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!

U is for Unusual & Useful—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”?

Unusual & Useful-

From Australia (Aboriginal)-

Many Aboriginal names are long and hard to pronounce like the man Byamee and his two wives, Birrahgnooloo and Cunnunbeillee. He searched for honey while his wives go to bathe but come upon the kurreahs, dragon-like creatures that dwell in lakes.

50-word-or-less summary:

Husband placed feather on bee to follow to hive/honey. Two wives bathed at spring. Kurreahs/dragons swallowed them. Kurreahs took underground waterway to Narran River. Dried up spring. Husband searched for wives. Speared kurreahs. Recovered wives. Placed on flying ant hills. Ant bites revived/healed wives. Holes from kurreahs formed Nassan Lake.

Finding the Story: https://www.worldoftales.com/Australian_folktales/Australian_folktale_4.html

Compare to History:

What appears to be strange or “unusual” could be the trick to ease your pains and sores. Fifteen interesting remedies could range from covering yourself in crystals (vibrational energy) to improve memory to eating local honey within 25 miles from your home to potentially swallow pollens to fight allergies. Perhaps that husband wanted to fight allergies and had to fight dragons instead. These ideas have been around for over a century…sometimes longer.

More on the History: https://www.thehealthy.com/home-remedies/15-harmless-folk-remedies-worth-a-try/

From Ireland-

The most famous hunchback would be the hunchback of Notre Dame thanks to Victor Hugo. Yet, Lusmore of Knockgrafton feels like the second most famous one to me. Now Jack Madden also was a hunchback and had the opposite experience of Lusmore. So be kind and useful for healing to come.

50-word-or-less summary:

Lusmore suffered from weight of hump on back. Still kind. One day, has to rest due to hump. Near fairies singing. Added to song. Fairies loved it! Lusmore fetched underground. Took hump! Story spread. Jack Madden-hunchback-attempted same feat. Jack-grump. Fairies felt he spoiled tune. Gained Lusmore’s hump.

Finding the Story: https://folkli.com/lusmore-the-hunchback-local-legend-of-knockgrafton

Compare to History:

In January 2004, a book was published entitled “The Strange Case of the Walking Corpse: a chronicle of medical mysteries, curious remedies, and bizarre but true healing folklore” by Nancy Butcher. Frog eggs were used in the past to heal and even urine. Though, a raw potato can relieve burns while bananas cure warts.

More on the History: https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Case-Walking-Corpse-Chronicle/dp/1583331603

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!

T is for Tending & Telling Tales—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”?

Tending & Telling Tales-

From Armenia-

Nourie Hadig feels like part Snow White and part Sleeping Beauty. However, instead of a woman asking a mirror, it is the moon. As for a sleeping princess, this time it is a sleeping prince.

50-word-or-less summary:

Woman asked moon who’s most beautiful. Woman. When daughter was 15, moon answered girl. Jealous! Asked husband to kill her. Pretended. Escaped! Girl comes upon sleeping prince. Must tend for 7 years to heal/break curse. Awake! Prince proposed. Asked for Stone of Patience. Tells her tale. Broke stone. Married!

Version of Story: https://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2013/6/2/nourie-hadig-an-armenian-folktale

Compare to History:

The Parkinson’s Story Exchange was founded by Johanna O’day after enjoying NPR’s StoryCorps and how they collected stories from around the nation. Johanna partnered with StoryCorps so that researchers for Parkinson’s could understand the patients and the patients could understand the medical people. They inform each other through the stories shared and archived. Healing and medical progress come as a result—like being awakened from a 7-year sleep.

More on the History: https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/blog/the-parkinsons-story-exchange-inspiring-stories-from-people-living-with-parkinsons/ and http://healthlibrary.stanford.edu/story-exchange.html

From India-

Princess Savitri, named after the goddess Savitri with her miracle birth, later grew up and married happily to Prince Satyavan. Then, she tended to her husband doomed to die in one year. Yama, the god of death, arrived on time. She must rescue her love from death somehow.

50-word-or-less summary:

Princess chose husband prophesied to die in one year. Happy year. Tended. Princess starved/insomnia three days before prediction. Saw Yama/god of death due to fasting/praying. Chased after Yama. He admired loyalty. Three chases, three wishes (can’t ask for husband’s life). Last wish-children with prince as father. Wit! Lived!

Finding the Story: http://www.aaronshep.com/storytelling/GOS03.html

Compare to History:

Many nurses have tended to the sick and dying. Florence Nightingale brought hope on the battlefield during Crimean War of 1854z After her, professional nursing was seen alongside soldiers. During the American Civil War, Clara Burton saw the need of more trained nurses and had nursing schools established. Clara traveled to Switzerland, witnessed the International Committee of the Red Cross, and eventually founded the American Red Cross in 1882. Then, in 1888, some American Red Cross nurses jumped off moving trains to reach people in need. Remind you of the tenacity of Princess Savitri?

More on the History: https://www.workingnurse.com/articles/Nursing-with-the-American-Red-Cross

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!

S is for Soothing Spirits & Sweet-Nothings—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”?

Soothing Spirits & Sweet-Nothings

From Costa Rica-

Small and simple acts of kindness can bring about great and glorious deeds. There are many adventures within the story though it is the goal to heal the king—or father—for it to end happily.

50-word-or-less summary:

Three brothers/princes traveled to find cure for blind father. Passed dead man unable to be buried (poor). Youngest paid. Spirit of man visited. Explained where to find bird with healing power. Prince gained bird, flying horse, princess. Jealous brothers! Pushed youngest off cliff. Coat caught on branch. Returned. Saved father.

Finding the Story: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375714391/ref=as_li_tf_il?imprToken=VR8Z2iWl0-ugX3c4x52oVw&slotNum=10&ie=UTF8&tag=boorio-20&linkCode=w61&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=0375714391

Compare to History:

Shamans help to heal and sometimes commune with the dead. You find shamans in many cultures including Mexico and America. A Mexican shaman is better known as a Curandero. In November 1983, an author learned there were 1,000 Curanderos in Orange County alone of Los Angeles. These folk healers were mostly legitimate in their skills and held “secrets” that folklore eluded to with the oral tradition.

More on the History: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1010994/

From California Hispanic Culture:

A husband and wife plan what would happen if the other one died. They decided that if one died, the other would be buried alive so they would not be parted long. That was the plan…until a mouse with a flower cane along.

50-word-or-less summary:

Husband and wife agreed the other would take own life if other died before them. Wife died. Husband had grave dug wider to accommodate him. Had pipe to breathe. Husband noticed live mouse and dead mouse spouse. Dead mouse given flower (through mouth). Alive! Husband fed dead wife flower. Alive! Unburied!

Finding the Story: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375714391/ref=as_li_tf_il?imprToken=VR8Z2iWl0-ugX3c4x52oVw&slotNum=10&ie=UTF8&tag=boorio-20&linkCode=w61&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=0375714391

Compare to History:

There is an actual corpse flower that smells of rotting flesh. It can grow 10-15 feet, like a husband and wife laying down flat. It is one of the largest “flowering structure,” and can increase its temperature to 98 degrees. The smell combined with the heat attracts pollinators—like flies and bees—that carry the pollen and allowing that plant to—essentially—live again.

More on the History: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.livescience.com/amp/51947-corpse-flower-facts-about-the-smelly-plant.html

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!

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!