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Flash Fiction: Mana’s Gold

Written for Microcosms, my prompts were “musician”, “Hamburg” and “fairy tale”.

Mana’s Gold

The harp’s music drifted over the still-sleeping town with its looming castle. Though not yet light, Mana sat in the room at the top of the castle’s tallest tower and played the golden harp by the light of a lantern.

As she played the spinning wheel in the corner of the room spun straw into gold all by itself. Already the room was lit in glittering light from the golden thread that she had made through the night.

She stared out of the window. Another day and the moon would be in the right stage of waxing.

The last few pieces of straw were turned to gold and she stopped playing. She had told them that it was the music that was magic and turned the straw to gold. In truth it was the music that kept her unborn child safe.

 

The next night, after the straw had been spun into gold, Mana placed a spell on the harp to keep playing while she took the golden thread and dragged it to the window. She forced it open and spoke another spell. Then she threw the end of the thread into the air and it soared higher and higher until it tied itself around one of the points of the sickle moon. She threw her wedding ring on the ground before gingerly stepping onto the golden thread.

Mana walked and walked until she reached the moon from where she had fallen seven years ago. Reaching the moon, she untied the golden thread and sent it back to the tower. She had no need of silly gold when she had golden sunlight, silver moonlight, and her child.

The people of the town marveled the next day at the gold thread spilling from the tower’s window like someone’s golden hair.

Myth and Folklore Thursday – Podcasts

Interested in mythology and folklore? One of my favourite ways to learn more about these subjects are through listening to podcasts. And, o my, isn’t there many to choose from!

Here are just some of the podcasts that I listen to. I may also have appeared as a guest on The Folklore Podcast. Just saying…

The Folklore Podcast

Folklore: Beliefs, traditions & culture of the people. Traditional folklore themes from around the world. Recalling our forgotten history, recording the new.

Lore

A bi-weekly podcast about the dark historical tales that fuel our modern superstitions. Because sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

Mythos Podcast

This podcast is a storytelling journey through world-folklore. With brief context and analysis in the introductions, the main focus is the retelling of stories themselves. From saucer-eyed spectral dogs to pond-scum haunting child-eating witches…

Anything Ghost Show

Anything Ghost is a free audio show that has been sharing personal paranormal experiences since 2006! In the show, the host Lex will read the stories – enhancing them with effects and his original music.

The Mythology Podcast

The Mythology Podcast explores myth, folklore, and legend from throughout history and from all over the world.

Just A Story: Urban Legend Podcast

A weekly podcast taking a look at the stories that we tell over and over again. What our myths and misdeeds, fears and fables say about us as humans.

 

Flash Fiction – The Sisters’ Oath

This story was written for the Microcosms flash fiction competition last week. The prompts were “nymph, the Underworld, myth” and the theme of the week was Greek mythology.

The Sisters’ Oath

It was the day of the solstice. Like countless years before, the people of the villages around the mountain braced themselves for the opening of the Underworld and the taking of the Chosen Dead. A rumbling came from within the mountain when day dawned and the two wardens of the entrance to the Underworld waded through the icy cold streams of the River of the Dead to open the great stone gates that barred the land of the dead from that of the living. Between them stood the barefoot nymph they simply knew as Summer. She was pale after the long time she had been kept away from the land of the living, but today she would step out into the world once more and people would rejoice. In her place would come Summer’s sister, Winter; the oath the sisters had sworn an age ago to keep their beloveds safe still ongoing.

The gates swung open to reveal a world in the grip of cold and mourning. Those who had been chosen to die during the year were slowly making their way up the mountain, wearing the brightest clothes they owned, carrying the branches of evergreen trees and humming an ancient hymn of which most words had been forgotten with time. Leading them was Winter herself.

The sisters saw each other only in a tearful passing, the guards pushing Summer into the world and taking Winter prisoner once more. As the Chosen Dead walked through the gates into the underworld a light started to shine from within them until they seemed to glow with a golden light.

Summer stood between the dropped evergreen branches and, as the tears dropped from her eyes onto the ground, she saw the first sprouts of spring starting to emerge. A new year had come.

Folklore and Myth Thursday – Week 25: Y & Z

Welcome to week 25! This week I’ll be looking at elements and figures beginning with Y and Z. This post will include: Yam, Yao, Yarikh, Yei, Yew, Yinlungen Bud, Ymir, Yurlunggur, Yurupary, Zhang Guo, and Zhu Rong.

Next week a whole new series of Folklore and Myth Thursday posts will start!

Yam

Yam is the Canaanite sea god. Like “his Babylonian counterpart Tiamat” (Tresidder, 2004:526), Yam embodies the forces of chaos and disorder and is envisioned as a monstrous creature (see Tresidder, 2004:526). According to the mythology, “Yam challenged the storm god Baal for sovereignty on earth… Baal killed Yam, scattering his remains and thereby that he controls the divine waters that [fall] as fertilizing rain” (Tresidder, 2004:526).

Yao

Yao is a “mythical early ruler of China renowned for his humility and modest way of life” (Tresidder, 2004:527). Tresidder (2004:527) notes: “[during] his reign, Yi the Archer came to earth to tackle the ten suns that appeared in the sky”. Yao, Yu, and Shun are revered as the Sage Rulers of Antiquity (see Tresidder, 2004:527).

Yarikh

Yarikh is the Canaanite god of the moon. “One myth recounts the arrangements for Yarikh’s marriage to Nikkal, the moon goddess, and the subsequent birth of his son” (Tresidder, 2004: 527).

Yei

“A group of Navajo creator deities” (Tresidder, 2004:527), the Yei are “invoked during ceremonies by masked impersonators” (Tresidder, 2004:527). Tresidder (2004:527) notes the “chief of the Yei is known as Talking God”.

Yew

The Yew is seen as a tree of immortality (Tresidder, 2004:528), is often “seen in English graveyards, and is associated with strength, resilience, and magical powers” (Tresidder, 2004:528). Tresidder (2004:528) notes that in “superstition, yew was lucky to touch, but unlucky to bring inside the house”.

Yinlungen Bud

Yinlungen Bud, according “to the Chewong people of Malaya” (Tresidder, 2004:529) is a tree-spirit who “taught humans to share food after hunting and how to bear and raise children”.

Ymir

In the Norse mythology, Ymir is “an androgynous cosmic giant … who arose from Ginnungagap … at the beginning of creation” (Tresidder, 2004:529). Ymir “spawned … three creator gods called the Sons of Bor. The three gods slew Ymir and formed the earth from his body, the ocean from his blood and the sky from his skull” (Tresidder, 2004:529).

Ymir gets killed by Froelich.jpg
By Lorenz Frølich, Public Domain, Link

Yurlunggur

Yurlunggur is a great serpent and is “believed to be manifested in the rainbow” (Tresidder, 2004:529) and is part of the origin myth of the “Yolngu Aboriginal people of Arnhem Land” (Tresidder, 2004:529).

Yurupary

Yurupary, the “Manioc Stick Anaconda” (Tresidder, 2004:529) is a “culture hero of the Barasana people of Colombia” (Tresidder, 2004:529). According to the myth “Yurupary stole fire for humans from the underworld” (Tresidder, 2004:529).

Tresidder (2004:529) also notes: “[Yurupary] used [the fire] to kill his brother Macaw, but Yurupary also burned to death and his bones became the charred logs of the first manioc garden”.

Zhang Guo

Zhang Guo is the sixth of the eight immortals of Daoist myth (see Tresidder, 2004:532). “He was said to have lived at the time of the empress Wu (ruled 690 CE – 705 CE) and was famed for his magical skills” (Tresidder, 2004:532).

“Zhang Guo bestowed babies on couples and his portrait would often be hung in the marital bedroom” (Tresidder, 2004:532).

Album of 18 Daoist Paintings - 17.jpg
By Zhang Lu (1464–1538)Telling Images of China (exhibit). Dublin: Chester Beatty Library.
(direct link), Public Domain, Link

Zhu Rong

Zhu Rong is, according to early Chinese myth, the “benevolent ruler of the universe and god of fire” (Tresidder, 2004:532). “He is said to have defeated the malevolent water god Gong Gong in a battle for control of the cosmos” (Tresidder, 2004:532).

Sources and Other Websites

Read the previous posts in this series by clicking here.

The official #FolkloreThursday site can be read over here and remember to follow the Twitter conversation using the #FolkloreThursday tag.

Check out The Folklore Podcast – Old Hag Syndrome! Fairies! Slenderman! Fantasy Fiction! Awesomeness! And more!

Also be sure to stop by Ronel’s blog for her folklore and fiction posts!

Books:

Tresidder, J. (2004). The Complete Dictionary of Symbols in Myth, Art and Literature. London: Duncan Baird Publishers.

Folklore and Myth Thursday – Week 24 – X

Welcome to week 24! This week I’ll be focusing on figures starting with ‘X’. These are the Xian, Xuan Zang, and Xi-he.

The Xian

According to Chinese mythology, the Xian “are beings who have gained immortality … [they] are not deities, but have been granted the gift of eternal life” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). These immortals can be celestial or terrestrial (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). Those who are celestial live in “Tian, the Daoist heaven, or th eisles of the immortals situated in the Eastern Sea, or in the Kunlun Mountains” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). The immortals are able to change their appearance, “and are often represented riding on the backs of cranes” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). “The terrestrial immortals live in forests and mountains” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486).

Xuan Zang

Xuan Zang was “a celebrated Buddhist monk of the seventh century AD” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). “Some of his bones are still revered in temples in China and Japan” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486).

See also Cotterell & Storm (2007:486) for details on the Xi You Ji by Wu Zheng-en.

Xi-he

Also known as Hsi Ho, Xi-he, according to Chinese mythology “is the mother of the ten suns and the wife of Taiyun Djun, the god of the eastern sky” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:483).

Sources and Other Websites

Read the previous posts in this series by clicking here.

The official #FolkloreThursday site can be read over here and remember to follow the Twitter conversation using the #FolkloreThursday tag.

Check out The Folklore Podcast – Old Hag Syndrome! Fairies! Slenderman! An interview with me! Awesomeness! And more!

Also be sure to stop by Ronel’s blog for her folklore and fiction posts!

Books:

Cotterell, A. & R. Storm. (2007). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. London: Hermes House.

Folklore & Myth Thursday – Week 23 – W

Welcome to week 23’s Folklore and Myth Thursday post! This week I’ll be looking at: Wandjina, Watatsumi-no-kami, water and washing, the White Buffalo Woman, Widjingara, Wisakedjak, and the wren.

Wandjina

Wandjina is an “ancestral spirit of the Dreamtime in the Aboriginal mythology of Australia’s Kimberley region” (Tresidder, 2004:512). Tresidder, (2004:512) also adds that “[each] clan is said to posses a wandjina, linked with an animal, as its protective ancestor”.

Wandjina rock art.jpg
By Claire Taylor from Everywhere, Australia – Wandjina Rock Art, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Watatsumi-no-kami

Watatsumi-no-kami is the Japanese “god of the sea, ruler of the oceans and numerous lesser deities” (Tresidder, 2004:513). Watatsumi-no-kami’s daughter, Tayotama-hime, married Hiko-hoho-demi. They were the grandparents of the first emperor of Japan, Jimmu-tenno. See also Tresidder (2004:513).

Water and Washing

While water is an “ancient and universal symbol of purity, fertility and the source of life” (Tresidder, 2004:513), washin is an “important purification rite” (Tresidder, 2004:513). “[Pools] for ritual ablution are known from ancient Egyptian and Indus Valley temples…” and in Islam, “it is the custom to wash the face, hands, and feet before worship five times daily” (Tresidder, 2004:513). Tresidder (2004:513) adds that in “Buddhist initiation ceremonies, novice monks ritually wash away their past lives” and that, by “washing his hands after his trial of Christ [Jesus], Pilate sought to absolve himself of guilt for the crucifixion”.

The White Buffalo Woman

“A mysterious and beautiful woman of the Buffalo people, according to Lakota myth. She brought the Lakota the sacred pipe central to their ritual” (Tresidder, 2004:517).

Widjingara

According to the “Worora people of Australia’s western Kimberleys” (Tresidder, 2004:517), Widjingara was the first human to die. “Widjingara was killed by wandjinas who, contrary to marriage rules, had wanted to steal a woman betrothed to someone else” (Tresidder, 2004:517). Tresidder (2004:518) adds that Widjingara “later became the native cat… a nocturnal marsupial that scavenges on corpses”.

Wisakedjak

Wisakedjak is the “trickster figure of the Cree people of North America…” (Tresidder, 2004:520). “In Cree myth, the supreme being Gitchi Manitou asked Wisakedjak to teach animals and people to live in harmony, but instead he sowed discord”. Gitchi Manitou sent a great flood which only Wisakedjak and a few animals survived (Tresidder, 2004:520). “The world and its inhabitant were created anew, but Wisakedjak kept few of his powers” (Tresidder, 2004:520).

Wren

An emblem of happiness for Native Americans, the wren is in Welsh tradition the little king of the birds. In Ireland the wren is associated with prophetic powers. See also Tresidder (2004:523).

Odontorchilus branickii.jpg
By Joseph Smit – Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (vol. 1885, plate VII), Public Domain, Link

Sources and Other Websites

Read the previous posts in this series by clicking here.

The official #FolkloreThursday site can be read over here and remember to follow the Twitter conversation using the #FolkloreThursday tag.

Check out The Folklore Podcast – Old Hag Syndrome! Fairies! Slenderman! Awesomeness! And more!

Also be sure to stop by Ronel’s blog for her folklore and fiction posts!

Books:

Tresidder, J. (2004). The Complete Dictionary of Symbols in Myth, Art and Literature. London: Duncan Baird Publishers.

Folklore and Myth Thursday – Week 22 – V

It’s time for week 22! This week I’ll be looking at figures beginning with ‘v’, including; Vlkodlak, Vohhu Mano, Vulture, Vamana, Varaha, and Vila.

Vlkodlak

Vlkodlak is the “wolf-man” from Slavic folklore. Cotterell & Storm (2007:250) states that “he exists because of the ancient respect accorded to the ravenous wolf, which in the forests of northern and central Europe was the animal most feared”.

Voku Mano

Vohu Mano, one of the Amesa Spentas (Holy Immortals), is found in ancient Iranian mythology. “These divine beings were believed to people the universe and to look after humanity” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:328). Cotterell & Storm (2007:328) also adds that “Vohu Mano (’Good Thought’ or ‘Spirit of Good’) reigned over useful animals and was often represented by the cow.”

Vamana

Vamana, a “divine dwarf” (Tresidder, 2004:500) is the fifth avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. See also Tresidder (2004:500) for the myth of Vamana and the demon, Bali.

Varaha

Varaha, a “divine Boar” (Tresidder, 2004:501) is the third avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. “When earth, envisaged as a woman, become submerged in the ocean, Varaha lifted her out of the water with his tusks” (Tresidder, 2004:501).

Vila

The Vila in Slavic myth, are one of “a race of female spirits of the dead” (Tresidder, 2004:504). Described as being “forever young and beautiful” (Tresidder, 2004:504), in Bulgarian tradition they are said to represent the souls of young, unbaptizes girls (see also Tresidder, 2004:504). “The Poles claimed that the vila was condemned to float between heaven and earth because she had been frivolous in life. Prominent in southern Slavic folk myth, she was beneficial and loved to dance and sing”(Tresidder, 2004:504). Tresidder (2004:504), adds that there “are stories of vilas marrying mortal men”.

Vulture

“Now a metaphor for opportunistic greed, but in ancient Egypt a pretective symbol” (Tresidder, 2004:511). The Egyptian vulture goddess, Nekhbet, was the guardian of the pharaoh and the queen wore a vulture headdress (Tresidder, 2004:511). Tresidder (2004:511) adds that “[in] ancient Iran, vultures were purifiers, speeding the process of bodily disintegration and rebirth” and that “in Tibet [bodies are fed to them] as a final act of compassion” (Tresidder, 2004:511). Lastly Tresidder (2004:511) lists that vultures are “tutelary spirits in some Indian myths”, they were sacred to Mars in Rome and was ridden by Saturn because they were associated with old age.

Sources and Other Websites

Read the previous posts in this series by clicking here.

The official #FolkloreThursday site can be read over here and remember to follow the Twitter conversation using the #FolkloreThursday tag.

Check out The Folklore Podcast – Old Hag Syndrome! Fairies! Slenderman! Awesomeness! And more!

Also be sure to stop by Ronel’s blog for her folklore and fiction posts!

Books:

Cotterell, A. & R. Storm. (2007). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. London: Hermes House.

Tresidder, J. (2004). The Complete Dictionary of Symbols in Myth, Art and Literature. London: Duncan Baird Publishers.

Folklore and Myth Thursday – Week 21 –

Welcome to week 21 of the Folklore and Myth Thursday blogposts. This week I will focus on figures beginning with the letter ‘u’; Utnapishtim, Utu, Umai, Ulgan, and Ulu Toyo’n.

Utnapishtim

“In the Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim is the sole survivor of a deluge sent by the gods to destroy the human race” (Tresidder, 2004:498). Tresidder (2004:499) also notes that this story shows striking resemblances to the Biblical story of Noah.

“The god Enlil was displeased with humanity and decided to destroy it in a flood” (Tresidder, 2004:499). Utnapishtim survives because of the “cube-shaped boat” (Tresidder, 2004:499) he builds. When the waters start at last to recede, “he sent a dove, a swallow and a raven to find land” (Tresidder, 2004:499). Utnapishtim emerge from his craft and offers a sacrifice to the gods. Enlil then bestows immortality on him.

Utu

Utu is the Sumerian sun god, “son of the moon god Nanna and brother of the love goddess Inanna” (Tresidder, 2004:499). Tressider (2004:499) notes: “[they] constitute a great divine triad, equivalent to the Akkadian Shamash, Sin and Ishtar”.

Umai

“Umai is the mother goddess of the Turkic people of Siberia. She is said to have 60 golden tresses, which resemble the rays of the sun, and to look after newborn babies and help couples to conceive” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:481). Also known as Ymai or Mai, she may originally have been identical with Ot, the fire queen of the Mongols” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:481).

Ulgan

“Ulgan is the great sky god of the Altaic people of SIberia. He sent the saviour Maidere to earth in order to teach men to respect the true god” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:481). He is at times depicted as being surrounded by rays of light (see also Cotterell & Storm, 2007:481).

(See Cotterell & Storm (2007:481, 456) for Maidere and Erlik.)

Ulu Toyo’n

“Ulu Toyo’n is the benevolent creator spirit of the Yakut people of Siberia” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:481). Living in the third sky, he rules over the Abaasy, or evil beings, “who live in the lower world” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:481). “Ulu Toyo’n is also the lord of thunder and is said to have given fire and one of their three souls to human beings (see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:481).

Sources and Other Websites

Read the previous posts in this series by clicking here.

The official #FolkloreThursday site can be read over here and remember to follow the Twitter conversation using the #FolkloreThursday tag.

Check out The Folklore Podcast – Old Hag Syndrome! Fairies! Slenderman! Awesomeness! And more!

Also be sure to stop by Ronel’s blog for her folklore and fiction posts!

Books:

Cotterell, A. & R. Storm. (2007). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. London: Hermes House.

Tresidder, J. (2004). The Complete Dictionary of Symbols in Myth, Art and Literature. London: Duncan Baird Publishers.

Folklore & Myth Thursday – Week 20 – “T”

Welcome to week 20 of the Folklore and Mythology Thursday blogposts. This week I’ll focus on figures from myth and folklore whose names start with ‘t’, including; Tiresias, Tuatha Dé Danann, Tapio, Triglav, Tuoni, Tahmuras, the Thens, and Tengu.

Tiresias

The son of the nymph Chariclo and Everes, Tiresias is the blind seer of Thebes who was so wise “that even his ghost had kept his wits, and [had] not been overcome by forgetfulness like other inhabitants of the underworld” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:88). Tiresius plays a part in various myths, including:

  • advising Odysseus that “he would never return to Ithaca if he harmed the cattle of Helios, the sun god” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:88)
  • warning King Pentheus about the identity of Dionysus when the god came to Thebes in disguise (Pentheus’ refusal to listen to Tiresias leads, ultimately, to his death at the hands of the god’s worshippers)
  • Tiresias confirms the Delphic Oracle that it was King Oedipus who “was personally responsible for the plague which troubled the Thebans” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:88)

(see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:88).

There are various stories which explains Tiresias’s blindness. In one of these myths Tiresias is blinded by the goddess Hera, but given a long life and the gift of prophecy by the god Zeus (see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:88).

Tuatha Dé Danann

The Tuatha Dé Danann (’people of the goddess Dana’) “were the last generation of gods to rule Ireland before the invasion of the sons of Milesius, the ancestors of the present-day Irish”(Cotterell & Storm, 2007:172). Cotterell & Storm (2007:172) notes that the Tuatha Dé Danann overcame the Fomorii at the second battle of Magh Tuireadh “largely because of their superior magic”.

The Tuatha Dé Danann “learned magic, crafts and knowledge in four marvelous cities of the north, Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:172). From these four cities they brought four talismans (see also Cotterell & Storm, 2007:172):

  • the Stone of Fal
  • the sword of Nuada
  • the spear or sling-shot of the sun god Lugh
  • the cauldron belonging to Dagda

After their defeat by the Milesians, the Tuatha Dé Danann went underground, living beneath grassy mounds that contained a “sidhe, a subterranean court which glittered with wonders within” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:172). See also The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends by P.B. Ellis (2002).

Riders of the Sidhe.jpg
By John Duncan – MerlinPrints.com, Public Domain, Link

Tapio

Tapio is the Finnish forest god “who, along with his wife Meilikki and his son Nyyrikki, was believed to ensure that woodland game remained in plentiful supply” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:232). Cotterell & Storm (2007:232) notes that there is also a dangerous side to him “as he enjoyed tickling or smothering people to death”. Tapio is “often portrayed as wearing a cloak of moss and a bonnet of fire” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:232). Cotterell & Storm (2007:232) further states that “[along] with other sylvan deities, [Tapio] was lord not just of forest plants, but also of forest beasts and the herds of woodland cattle”.

Triglav

Triglav is the “three-headed god of the Slavs living in central Europe” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:240). See Cotterell & Storm (2007:240) for more about the temples at Stettin and the war-booty due to the god.

Tuoni

Tuoni is the Finnish god of the dead who lives in a dark world called Tuonela (see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:240). “With his wife Tuonetar he had several children who were deities of suffering, including Kipu-Tytto, goddess of illness” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:240). Vainamoinen is one of the few heroes who manage to escape from Tuoni and Tuonela (see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:240 and the Kalevala).

Tahmuras

Moving on to Iranian mythology, Tahmuras is the son of Hoashyanga (the firTahmuras (The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp).pngst king), who taught people to spin and weave and train birds of prey (see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:320). Tahmuras had to take up arms against the Daevas and managed to capture two-thirds using his magic and killed the remainder with his club. (see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:320).

“The daevas pleaded for mercy” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:320), promising to teach Thamuras a great secret if he should spare their lives. “Tahmuras relented and … [they] taught him how to write and made him extremely wise and learned” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:320).

By Unknown – Pages 329 and 332 of this book, Public Domain, Link

The Thens

“[According] to the people of Laos and northern Thailand” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:479) the Thens are the “three divine ancestors who, together with three great men, Pu Lang Seung, Khun K’an and Khun K’et, established human society (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:479).

The myths of the Thens also contains a great flood myth (see Cotterell & Storm, 2007:479) (similar to that in the Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh).

“The three great men taught the people how to cultivate fields and how to weave” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:479). For further myths about the Thens, the coming of the different peoples and how other skills were taught to the Thais, see Cotterell & Storm (2007:479).

Tengu

Karasu-Tengu-Statue.jpgIn Japanese folklore the Tengu are supernatural creatures that are sometimes worshipped as Shinto kami (see Rosen, 2009:373). “Tengu are usually depicted as kites or other birds of prey, but, even in bird form, they often have human characteristics. Their bird beak may become a long nose or they may have a human body with a bird’s wings, head, or beak. As Kami, Tengu may take the form of beaked, winged figures with snakes wrapped around their limbs, riding a fox” (Rosen, 2009:373).

See also Rosen (2007:373) for further information and myths surrounding the Tengu.

By WolfgangMichelOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Sources and Other Websites

Read the previous posts in this series by clicking here.

The official #FolkloreThursday site can be read over here and remember to follow the Twitter conversation using the #FolkloreThursday tag.

Check out The Folklore Podcast – Yule! Fairies! Slenderman! Awesomeness! And more!

Also be sure to stop by Ronel’s blog for her folklore and fiction posts!

Books

Cotterell, A. & R. Storm. (2007). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. London: Hermes House.

Rosen, B. (2008). The Mythical Creatures BibleLondon: Sterling Publishing.

The Kalevala translation I have read and thoroughly enjoyed is the Oxford World Classics version.

The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends by P.B. Ellis (2002) is also a book I have read, enjoyed and can recommend.