W is for What-the-Doctor-Ordered Water & Women—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”?

What-the-Doctor-Ordered Water & Women

From First Nations Canada-

A plague spread throughout the land and everyone was affected in some way. Many had died and gone to the Land of Shadows. This story explains how Mineral Springs came about.

50-word-or-less summary:

Woman told man of bird that lived near Healing Waters. Man rushed to save wife from plague. Rabbit and bear gave no help. Man buried body in path. Fox came and said was body’s spirit. Guided. Voice—“Release us!” Dug, spring—and Healing Waters! Made pot. Healed wife and villagers. Happiness!

Finding the Story: https://www.worldoftales.com/Native_American_folktales/Native_American_Folktale_72.html and https://face2faceafrica.com/article/mami-wata-the-most-celebrated-mermaid-like-deity-from-africa-who-crossed-over-to-the-west

Compare to History:

The history of humans includes being at least 60% made of water. We need water to replenish and heal every day. Water affects physical strength, energy levels, increases brain functions, prevents/heals headaches, relieve constipation, treats kidney stones, and even encourages weight loss. This is only skimming the surface…so drink up! Healing Waters are all around us.

More on the History: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water

From throughout Africa to Caribbean to Brazil & United States-

Mermaids of many kinds are natural for anyone by the seas, oceans, and rivers. The Mami Wata (with many different spellings) originated from the large continent of Africa with no real claim to one particular country. Her area kept expanding as people were forced from their homes to be slaves. She is the mother water and a deity with the power to capsize slave ships. She sometimes appeared as human to give hope to those taken into slavery. Some say she is one being while others argue she is a plural matriarchy.

50-word-or-less summary:

Mami Wata swam in rivers. She gave water for animals/people to drink. Kept people happy/strong. Monster killing people. She hid, watched monster cry. Comforted monster. Learned was man. Taught monster/man to sing, dance. Laughed-turned back to man. Swallowed people returned.

Finding the Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNM0qiDuCoU

Compare to History:

The Smithsonian had an exhibit in April 2009 to honor Mami Wata from the prayers people gave to her to boost fertility to material wealth to freedom. She had a darker side connected to lust and murder though mainly she was celebrated. This is not medically connected, yet the stories of her giving hope to those sold into slavery is a hope and healing that no doctor can prescribe.

More on the History: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/the-many-faces-of-mami-wata-44637742/

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!

J is for Golden Jersey & Jackal–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019JWe 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 Golden…And All Things That Glimmer.  Each post highlights golden items from a folktale from around the world. Each time you have to wonder, is something that is golden a blessing, a curse, or both?

What has inspired all this gold?–The Golden Spike with the 150th Transcontinental Railroad and the Spike 150 Grant for this year’s Story Crossroads Festival.

Golden Jersey (Cow)-

You may remember the Golden Calf…but this is specifically a Golden Jersey Cow with a little different story line. The Jersey is a common British cow and this story comes from England. Yes, it technically says “Golden Cow” but we know that sometimes stories lose details in time, and I would bet that this was originally a Jersey Cow. Hey, I grew up in Wisconsin. I do know cows.

England – https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510b.html#barclay

50-word-or-less summary:

King wished to marry daughter. She loved prince (of no relation). Princess requested huge Golden Jersey. King sent to prince to say, “You are not marrying her, I am.” Princess climbed inside.  Three people exclaimed, “I touched the cow!” She took that as cue to come out. Prince arrived. Marriage.

Golden Jackal-

Like with the cow story above being a Jersey, this story says “Jackal” and not “Golden Jackal.”  Again, details sometimes are lost as the years pass.  According to Indian, Middle Eastern, and several African tales, the Golden Jackal was meant when featuring this animal. This story does not feature “gold” but rather honoring “Golden Jackal” and a friendship with a lion.

India – http://www.english-for-students.com/Jackal-Saved-Lion.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Golden Jackal comes upon lion stuck in mud. Jackal sweeps sands into mud. Lion is rescued. Friendship. Lion offered Jackal to live nearby and share of his food. Lion’s wife and kids and Jackal’s wife and kids hated their friendship. They complained. Lion and Jackal separated homes but remained friends.

And though not linked to a story, here is more about Golden Jackals:

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 15, 2019 with free performances May 13-16, 2019 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2019-schedule/.  

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 Utah Department of Heritage and Arts (Spike 150), the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.

Cap’s Off to You! Joan Effiong and Celebrating Story

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Joan EffiongFeaturing:  Joan Effiong

Wife, Mother & Educator from UT

Joan Effiong told stories for many years and then decided to give back even more to the community.  While at the Storyteller Check-In desk at the Weber State University Storytelling Festival, Joan approached me and asked if there was anything to do to help.  She knew all the hard work that went into running a festival.  I gladly recommended her with the Festival Board.   There was also a storytelling event that I brought my children and she welcomed them as if we all knew each other for forever.  My children soaked in her love and I sat back and smiled at feelings felt in that room.  Joan inspires me in who she is as a storyteller, a community member, and as my friend.

So enjoy the past, present, and future influences of storytelling in Joan’s life.

Rachel:  What drew you to storytelling/stories?

Joan:  I was drawn to storytelling /stories as a way to entertain my young children, told them bedtime stories from my childhood. My children did not have the opportunities to grow up around their grandparents and this created memories for them to hear stories from the Continent of Africa.

Rachel:  What are some of your favorite memories from using stories? Why?

Joan:  My favorite stories are one that educate the audience about other cultures, promotes self development, bring about moral reasoning, teach comprehension and listening skills and promotes inclusiveness.

Rachel:  How have you seen the influence of stories and storytelling in what you do now (if at all)?

Joan:  It has influence the translation of memories, educate and inform, build rapport, established connection and preserve cultural identity.   I have been able to use both personal and folklore stories to navigate my professional life and build successful relationships.

Rachel:  What are your plans for storytelling/using stories in the future?

Joan:  I plan to become an author, leaving a legacy of my childhood stories for my children and grand children in order to preserve the cultural identity/oral history.  I would like to form an Association for Efik Diaspora Storytellers to create more opportunities for them to be heard, be the best steward of the rich oral tradition by blending the voices of our elders and youth. Expand my work as a storyteller into the corporate arena, using stories to solve corporation problems IE social change, strengthen organization culture and drum up support for advocacy and campaign for businesses.

Rachel:  Anything you would like to add about the importance of storytelling?

Joan:  This oldest art of storytelling has been used as a form of healing, enriches and strengthens communities, and helps to resolve issues.

Thank you to the permissions of Joan to do this interview as well as the use of her picture.

We appreciate Joan sharing her experience and influence with storytelling.  You have those moments, too.

Here is why:

Joan has a story.  You have a story.  We all have stories.

Aquí lo tiene.

Joan Effiong

De la pac para usted

Con: Joan Effiong

Esposa, Madre & Educador de UT

Joan Effiong contaron historias durante muchos años y luego decidió volver a dar aún más a la comunidad.  Mientras que en el mostrador de facturación, el Narrador, en la Universidad Estatal de Weber Storytelling Festival, Joan se acercó y me preguntó si había algo que hacer para ayudar.  Ella sabía todo el trabajo duro que iba a ejecutar un festival.  Estoy encantado con el Festival recomendó su junta.  También hubo un evento de narración de cuentos que he traído a mis hijos y ella acogió como si todos nos conocíamos los unos a los otros para siempre.  Mis hijos empapado en su amor y me senté atrás y sonrió a sentimientos sentir en esa habitación.  Joan me inspira en que ella es como un narrador, un miembro de la comunidad, y como mi amigo.

Así que disfrute de los pasados, presentes y futuros de las influencias de la narración de cuentos en la vida de Joan.

Rachel: Lo que le atrajo a la narración/historias?

Joan: Me sentí atraída a la narración /historias como una manera de entretener a mis hijos, les contó cuentos desde mi infancia. Mis hijos no tienen las oportunidades para crecer alrededor de sus abuelos y esto ha creado recuerdos para oír las historias del continente de África.

Rachel: ¿Cuáles son tus recuerdos favoritos de usar historias? ¿Por qué?

Joan: Mis historias favoritas son uno que educan al público sobre otras culturas, promueve el autodesarrollo, lograr el razonamiento moral, enseñar la comprensión y la capacidad de escucha y promueve la inclusión.

Rachel: ¿Cómo han visto la influencia de historias y cuentos en lo que haces ahora (si en todos)?

Joan: Tiene influencia la traducción de recuerdos, educar e informar, construir una relación, conexión establecida y preservar su identidad cultural.  He podido utilizar ambas historias personales y folclore para navegar mi vida profesional y construir relaciones exitosas.

Rachel: ¿Cuáles son tus planes para la narración/usar historias en el futuro?

Joan:  I plan para convertirse en un autor, dejando un legado de mi infancia cuentos para mis hijos y mis nietos, a fin de preservar la identidad cultural y la historia oral.  Me gustaría formar una asociación para la Diáspora Efik narradores para crear más oportunidades para ser escuchado, ser el mejor administrador de la rica tradición oral mezclando las voces de nuestros ancianos y jóvenes. Ampliar mi trabajo como narrador en la arena corporativa, utilizando historias para resolver los problemas de la corporación IE cambio social, fortalecer la cultura de la Organización y movilizar el apoyo a la promoción y la campaña para las empresas.

Rachel:  Cualquier cosa que le gustaría añadir acerca de la importancia de la narración?

Joan:  Esta antigua arte de narrar ha sido utilizada como una forma de curación, enriquece y fortalece a las comunidades, y ayuda a resolver problemas.

Gracias a los permisos de Joan para hacer esta entrevista, así como el uso de su imagen.

Apreciamos Joan compartiendo su experiencia e influencia con la narración. Tienes esos momentos, también.

Aquí está por qué:

Joan tiene una historia. Usted tiene una historia. Todos tenemos historia.