B is for Blindness Banishment-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”?

From China-

The power of healing blindness is contained—of all minerals—jade. This lovely green ornamental mineral is highly featured in Chinese art as well as surrounding countries. Jade symbolizes purity or purification. Thus, One must wonder if it’s the container and not the ointment inside that makes all the difference in the following folktale known simply as “The Jade Bottle.”

50-word-or-less summary:

Shi Long shares bread with old man-really god of mountain. God rewards youth with jade bottle/healing ointment. Heal girl who is blind? Marry? Boy heals but father breaks promise to allow marriage. Youth run! Pursued! Youth marry. Father burns them. Old man/god takes jade bottle. Revived! Happy!

Find Version in the “Folktales of Love from China”: https://books.google.com/books?id=EAvADgAAQBAJ&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=cure+blindness+folktale&source=bl&ots=ohlOgB5S_L&sig=ACfU3U1ZdPDNWgjAOmVW3KbS7yPrvSE7-w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJo57uzsjoAhUIK80KHWnBCbAQ6AEwDXoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=cure%20blindness%20folktale&f=false

Compare to History:

There have been many ancient Chinese Civil Wars, and crazy enough, have affected eyesight for generations and centuries. Soldiers for these wars were recruited from the strongest man with great eyesight. Those who were weaker and could not see so good were left at home. Soldiers died. The man left behind and families and their children inherited their bad eyes. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, can sometimes be as high as 90% in east Asia compared to only 12% of Americans and 23% of Australians.

While the folktale does not explain how the girl became blind, I now wonder if it could be nearsightedness.

More on History: http://newoptixoptometry.com/why-do-asians-have-bad-eyesight/

From Norway-

Brothers can be rough with each other. My Dad is a twin, and he got in plenty of trouble with him. Yet, the extreme found in this story called “The Two Travelers.”

50-word-or-less summary:

Brothers named Truth and Untrue fought while traveling. Ow! Untrue blinded True. Blinded brother spent night in tree (safety from wild animals). He overheard animals talking and learned the king was going blind and his daughter was going deaf. Lime tree’s dew heals blindness. Crumb cures deafness. True heals all.

Version of Story: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0613.html#norway

Compare to History:

Scandinavians, which of course includes Norwegians, had a tradition during the Viking times of planting sacred trees. This was likely to reflect the world tree, Yggdrasil, that had roots connecting to the underworld, the land of the giants, and home of the gods.

More on History: https://norwegianjournaloffriluftsliv.com/doc/192010.pdf as well as https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/linden-tea#section10

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 postponed Festival is now scheduled for May 12, 2021 with other virtual plans that can be seen here: https://storycrossroads.org/contingency-plans-covid-19/ and http://www.storycrossroads.org/virtual.

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 Golden Rings & Reed Pipe–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019RWe 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 Rings-

Images of “The Lord of the Rings” comes to mind, though this golden ring that can multiply itself and even serves as a symbol of fertility…combined with death.

Viking Lore AND About Gold Ring Draupnir –http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/07/26/draupnir-god-odins-magical-ring-multiply/

50-word-or-less summary:

Loki tricks dwarves to compete in making gifts for the gods while offering his head in payment. One of the gifts (besides Thor’s hammer) is a ring that multiplies itself with eight other rings-given to Odin. Brokk and Ertri won. Loki said can have his head but not his neck.

Viking Lore AND About Gold Ring Andvaranaut –http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/04/12/andvaranaut-magical-ring-made-gold-stolen-norse-god-loki/

https://spangenhelm.com/curse-andvaris-stolen-gold-magical-ring-precious/

50-word-or-less summary:

Odin, Loki, and Hœnir kill an otter-shapeshifting-dwarf. Father of dwarf seeds skinned otter skin and demands justice. Loki sent to gather ransom (fill otter skin with gold). Loki uses cursed gold of Andvari as well as the magical ring, Andvaranaut. Loki knew curse would destroy Dwarf’s kingdom. Much death.

Golden Reed Pipe-

This is really the same story as “Golden Flute” but this instrument is “Golden Reed Pipe.” Otherwise, the same.  Though, this is more complete than the link found for “Golden Flute.”

China (Yao) – http://chinese-tales.blogspot.com/2008/04/golden-reed-pipe-yao-folktale.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Little Red (girl) stolen by dragon. She predicted brother would save her. Mother confused-no son. She eats berry, pregnant, has son, Little Bayberry. Bayberry becomes like 14-year-old in days. Learns of sister through crow. Quest. Pushes rock. Finds golden flute. Lizards dance/obey. Plays for dragon. Forced dancing. Rescues sister.

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.

Q is for Golden Qilin (mythical hooved Chinese chimerical)–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019QWe 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 Qilin-

Is “Qilin” in your vocabulary? What some people nickname the Chinese unicorn? It wasn’t until this A to Z Blog Challenge. So besides being a mythical hooved Chinese chimerical, it also arrives when there is someone wise to behold. Perhaps there is one near the one who has inspired you most.

China – http://chinesefolktales.blogspot.com/2009/10/golden-qilin-fujian.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Couple has no kids. Person’s body with Golden Qilin head becomes their child. Happiness. Couple dies (old age). Princess can be married once war is won. Qilin leads and wins war. Emperor dislikes Qilin’s look. Trickery to be in sealed for 7,749 days. Mad princess. She saves him. Marriage. Banishment. Happiness.

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.

N is for Golden Nugget–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019NWe 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 Nugget-

This story lets me ponder on what type of friend I am. Let us all be like Ki-wu and Pao-shu.

China – https://www.worldoftales.com/Asian_folktales/Chinese_Folktale_13.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Ki-wu and Pao-shu head to the woods. They discover a large golden nugget. Ki-wu offers to friend. Pao-shu refuses. Nugget left behind. They find a man in forest and offer to him. Man searches and finds snake that he cuts in half. Friends return and see two golden nuggets. Happiness.

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.

F is for Golden Fish, Flute, Fleece & Feast–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019FWe 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 Fish-

Four golden fish from four different countries…I was fascinated in the comparisons. The golden fish could be as popular as Cinderella.  Well, not that popular. Still, it is impressive.

Russia – https://russian-crafts.com/russian-folk-tales/golden-fish-tale.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Fisherman catches small golden fish. Fish speaks. Fisherman releases fish without accepting offered wish. Fisherman’s wife upset when hears story. Go back. Wish for bread. Bread received. Wish for wash-tub. Wash-tub received. House. Governor’s Lady. Fisherman not treated as husband. Queen. Mistress of the Sea. Everything disappears. Lived as before.

China – http://www.topics-mag.com/folk-tales/folk-tale-greed-china.htm

50-word-or-less summary:

Old man caught golden fish. Fish asks to go. Man says will eat fish (despite impressive talking of fish). Fish offers man golden rope. Proof. Fish advises. Man then finds rope. Pulls rope. Does not release fish. Greed. So much rope in boat that it sinks. Man dies. Fish lives.

Bangladesh/India – https://www.pitara.com/fiction-for-kids/folktales/the-golden-fish/

50-word-or-less summary:

Fisherman catches small golden fish. Fish speaks. Fisherman releases fish without accepting offered wish. Fisherman’s wife upset when hears story. Go back. Wish for bread. Bread received. Wish for cottage. Cottage received. Man was threatened and lashed. Queen. Threatened with beheading. Empress of the Sea. Everything disappears. Lived as before.

Thailand – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suvannamaccha

50-word-or-less summary:

Hanuman is building a causeway/bridge to rescue Sita. Sita’s husband, Rama, needs bridge so his army can attack and save wife. Suvannamaccha (means Golden Fish) orders her mermaids to take away stones at night so bridge cannot be built. Hanuman attacks mermaids. Failure. Sees Suvannamaccha. Woos her. Love. Sita’s rescued.

Golden Flute-

A few other musical instruments are golden. With a flute typically being made of metal anyway, then why not a golden flute?

China – https://www.readinga-z.com/book.php?id=206

50-word-or-less summary:

Little Red (girl) stolen by dragon. She predicted brother would save her. Mother confused-no son. She eats berry, pregnant, has son, Little Bayberry. Bayberry becomes like 14-year-old in days. Learns of sister through crow. Quest. Pushes rock. Finds golden flute. Lizards dance/obey. Plays for dragon. Forced dancing. Rescues sister.

Golden Fleece-

I couldn’t pass up this classic story of “Jason and the Golden Fleece.” Jason had so many adventures, though this is probably my favorite.

Greece – https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/jason-and-legendary-golden-fleece-001307

50-word-or-less summary:

Pelias steals throne of Iolcus. Jason born. Pelias worried this is one to take revenge on him. Orders Jason to get Golden Fleece (skin of winged ram of Zeus). Protected by dragon. Jason recruits 50 Argonauts including Hercules. Sows land with flaming bull and teeth-warriors. Attacked! Sorceress/Medea magic. Success!

Golden Feast-

Compliments to the host for such a golden meal…or not.

Philippines – http://afterschool.smarttutor.com/stories-for-kids-the-golden-feast/

50-word-or-less summary:

Couple loved to count gold coins. Did not fix their house, rather count gold coins. Servants said dinner was ready. Counted coins instead. Counted so long that feast turned to gold. Couple excited. Invite neighbors! Continued counting. Any food brought in house turned to gold. Never left home again.

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.