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!

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!

Y is for Golden Yukon “Fever”–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019YWe 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 Yukon “Fever”-

People always want to get rich quick. The year 1897 was filled with shouts of “Gold! Gold! Gold!” Prospectors swarmed to the Canadian Northwest Territories. The link is to a story based on actual events in connection with this Golden Yukon “Fever” entitled “Klondike Gold” by Alice Provensen.

Yukon, Canada – https://www.amazon.com/Klondike-Gold-Alice-Provensen/dp/B006G882AU

50-word-or-less summary:

Two adventurers bound for Yukon. Joe was experienced, had year’s worth of supplies. “Dead” Horse Trail up the mountain was a long line of depressed men. Adventurers made it to top. Sailed to Klondike River. Rapids! Staked claim. Gold pebbles! $50,000 worth. Split. Half sunk in stream. Survived. Still gained overall.

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.