Folktale Blog

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January 23, 2018 Meeting - Erin's notes
 Bixi is one of the 9 sons of the Dragon King.  He can be seen in the architecture in China propping up supports of buildings.

Bixi is one of the 9 sons of the Dragon King.  He can be seen in the architecture in China propping up supports of buildings.

 Puca is a shape-shifter.  In this image he's in the middle of changing from a 6-foot rabbit (much like Harvey the Rabbit) into a kelpie (water horse spirit).

Puca is a shape-shifter.  In this image he's in the middle of changing from a 6-foot rabbit (much like Harvey the Rabbit) into a kelpie (water horse spirit).

 In Serbian lore, the dead are usually lain beside a wall so animals are not able to jump over the body.  In this sketch, the body was not lain near a wall, and a dog was able to jump over it. Therefore this body became a vampire.

In Serbian lore, the dead are usually lain beside a wall so animals are not able to jump over the body.  In this sketch, the body was not lain near a wall, and a dog was able to jump over it. Therefore this body became a vampire.

Erin KourelisComment
January 23, 2018 Meeting - Sonja's Notes and Drawings

Sonja's pictures- the descriptions and drawings below are Sonja's:

SERBIAN VAMPIRE LORE:

1. "Anti-vampirization" measures at work: the deceased is laid against the wall so no animal can jump over their head, which is why the dog is, with a sigh, restraining himself to the dead man's feet. Hawthorn branches are laid all around the bed because they were believed to be one of the only things that can prevent one becoming a vampire as well as one of the most effective weapons in killing an existing vampire.

 

 IRISH PUCA:  2. Puca puking onto the blackberries and making them intentionally poisonous to eat after Halloween:)   

IRISH PUCA:

2. Puca puking onto the blackberries and making them intentionally poisonous to eat after Halloween:)

 

 CHINESE DRAGON KING:  3. Dragon King is depicted as the sun with ten rays extending all around him to represent his 10 children. Two children are depicted in two of the rays, one who cooks (depicted by a bowl of hot noodle soup), and the other who has great physical resilience is depicted with a heavy bag on his back. The fact that the rays emanate from the sun emphasizes the connection between the father and children as well as the father's eventual acceptance of his children's unique qualities and paths in life.

CHINESE DRAGON KING:

3. Dragon King is depicted as the sun with ten rays extending all around him to represent his 10 children. Two children are depicted in two of the rays, one who cooks (depicted by a bowl of hot noodle soup), and the other who has great physical resilience is depicted with a heavy bag on his back. The fact that the rays emanate from the sun emphasizes the connection between the father and children as well as the father's eventual acceptance of his children's unique qualities and paths in life.

Sonja 3.JPG
Erin KourelisComment
9 Sons of the Dragon King

This is an awesome video with brief descriptions of the 9 Sons of the Dragon King, courtesy and with permission from Amanda Piel. 

The original is here:  https://vimeo.com/amandapiel/9sonsofthedragon

Erin KourelisComment
Dec. 02, 2017 - Erin's collected thoughts from the Nov. 28 meeting

Please scroll through my drawings (below).  The first is a step into cryptozoology with the Phoenix.  I discussed how this majestic fabulous bird was found in stories from various cultures.  It has a description in ancient China (Dennys, N., The Folklore of China, 1876, p.112) as being a sort of cross between a peacock and a pheasant, with the neck of a tortoise and the beak of a sparrow.  It's in many rebirth stories from Egypt, to China, and then Europe (Nigg, J., The Phoenix, 2016, frontispiece and throughout).

Next was the tale Tracy brought- Jenny Greenteeth.  She will elaborate on this in her post, I'm sure, but basically Jenny was a fairy who dragged children into the water to their deaths.  She had seaweed hair and eyes of a frog, and hideous green teeth.

Finally, we have Coyote, as told by Jayne from Native American history, and also found in First Nations stories.  In the picture I (tried to) draw, Coyote was fighting with Tar.  Coyote is also involved in creation stories.  

-E. Kourelis

Erin KourelisComment
Scottish Fairies

What is a Scottish fairy?

Fairies in Scotland are "the human form divine" but in miniature (MacGregor, A.).  They shoot fairy arrows called "saighdean sithe," which have barbed, yellow flint arrowheads.  There are detailed descriptions in Alexander MacGregor's "Highland Superstitions."  The original text from MacGregor can be found in the 3rd volume of The Celtic Magazine, from the 1870s.

Erin Kourelis
O Saci-Pererê

Here's another sketch of Saci.  (This one is from Erin, the other one is from Tracy.)  Saci is basically the one who does all of the minor mischief in the house when no one is looking- like mixing everything in the silverware drawer, or riling up the animals in the barn.  He's usually wearing a red hat and appears from a dust-devil.

Erin Kourelis
O Saci-Pererê

Who is Saci?

Saci is an impish boy with a missing leg.  He's from the folk stories of Brazil, a story brought to Brazil from African slaves.  According to his stories (see the writings of Monteiro Lobato (in Portuguese).  Giant thank-you to Tracy who introduced Saci at the October monthly meeting and translated some of Lobato's stories about Saci :)

Erin Kourelis