Thursday, March 17, 2016

Folklore Thursday: Siberia, the Saami, and the Sun Maiden

Today is Folklore Thursday on social media! If you want to find out more, follow this link, or click on the #FolkloreThursday hashtag on Twitter! Hosted by @FolkloreThursday.

So, this was going to be an A to Z Challenge post, but I recently changed my theme for this year. Also, I am super busy with my dissertation, and I decided to recycle this post for Folklore Thursday.
Enjoy! :)

The Sun Maiden and the Crescent Moon
Siberian folktales
James Riordan
New York: Interlink Books, 1991.

Number of stories included: 43
Illustrations: None

Culture(s) represented: Siberian indigenous peoples (Saami, Nenets, Eskimo, Ket, Chukchi, Nanai, Nivkh, Mansi, Ulchi, Itelmen, Nganasan, Even, Yakut, Khanty, Tofalar, Evenk, Udegei, Dolgan, Selkup, Aleutian, Yukagir)

3 reasons to read it:
If the list of peoples above made you go "huh?!"
If you are interested in shamanistic traditions.
If you liked Frozen.

Best stories
Akanidi the Bright Sunbeam / How happiness came 
A really gorgeous pair of Saami stories open the book. Stunning imagery involving the Sun and his daughters; witches, miracles, shiny beads and berries, and emotions ranging from jealousy to happiness.

Daughter of the Moon, Son of the Sun
Similarly to the opening pair, the closing story of the book is also Saami and it is also beautiful. The mischievous and kind-hearted Daughter of the Moon, pursued by the greedy and demanding Son of the Sun, takes shelter in a little house where the Northern Lights live. One of my favorite Northern Lights legends.

Father of Sickness 
There is a twist in this story that I have never seen in a folktale before, and caught me completely off guard. Also, features a very wise young (!) shaman.

Greedy Mogus and the Orphans
This is essentially the folktale original of Home Alone. A pair of orphans protect their home from a man-eating giant by setting a series of ingenious traps.

Read more like it
Far North Tales is also a great collection.

1 comment: