WOMAN - WOMEN
|WOMAN - WOMEN
Stories, Folktales, Folklore, Fairy Tales, Legends,
Myths, History, Nursery Rhymes, Fantasy & Facts
Scroll down or click on your choice below
• SOS: Searching Out Stories/Info-Woman-Women
Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers,
Teachers and Librarians
SOS: SEARCHING OUT STORIES AND INFORMATION - WOMAN - WOMEN
Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians
(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)
Book titles and online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them for more information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Storytell posts are added chronologically as they are received by Story Lovers World.
1) "Clever Manka," found in Joanna Cole's Best-Loved Folktales of the World (The Anchor folktale library). Manka is more clever than her husband and outwits him in the end. He finally learns to appreciate her gifts.
2) "Tam Lin," actually Mary Grace Ketner's adaptation, "Janet and Tam Lin" found on her site:
Janet chooses to go with Tam Lin even though she knows what the price will be, to bear his child. She rescues him from the fairy queen through a number of tests that require great strength.
Tam Lin: An Old Ballad by Jane Yolen.
Tam Lin by Susan Cooper.
3) "Maid Maleen," an adaptation of the Grimm Tale by Nancy Burks, found in Best Stories from the Texas Storytelling Festival (American Storytelling). I have read the original tale and Nancy has done a far better job with it than the Grimm version IMHO. Maleen is shut up in a tower by her father who refuses to allow her to marry the prince. After seven years she escapes the tower, finds the prince and rescues him from an impending marriage to a horrible woman.
All of the above stories have one thing in common, the woman rescues the man, either from mortal danger or from himself.
4) The story of Rhiannon has her chased on horseback, but effortlessly she outdistances her pursuer - until he stops chasing her and calls to her asking her to wait. (Sounds similar to "gentle invitation" mentioned). When I was looking for information for a girl named Rhianna, Philip Anderson suggested looking in the Welsh epic, the The Mabinogion (Everyman Paperback Classics). Some versions can be found on the Internet.
The Mabinogion (Dover Thrift Editions) by Lady Charlotte Guest.
The song of Rhiannon;: The third branch of the Mabinogion (Adult fantasy) by Evangeline Walton.
Here's more of what Philip said: There's a strong horse presence in the Mabinogion, with Rhiannon probably being a horse-goddess in origin; there's a dreamlike scene when she first appears, riding slowly past the otherworldly mound, Gorsedd Aberth? - for all her lack of haste, no messenger, on foot or horse, can catch up with her, nor Pryderi the prince himself, until he calls on her to wait (there's a moral there).
5) Scottish Selkie stories come to mind, where the woman/selkie only stays until she finds her skin.
The Selkie by Melanie Jackson.
Selkie Girl (The) by Cooper.
6) This is an Ifugao (I-FU-gaw) Folktale. The Ifugaos live in the northern part province of the Philippines. if you are familiar with the Banaue Rice Terraces or Baguio City, that is their region.
"The Star Wife"
A young warrior is in search for a wife. He looked far and wide with in the village and outside for a mate. But, lovely as the maidens are in his village and the neighboring ones, no one captivated his heart for marriage. One day, he was hunting when he heard the lovely singing of a woman. He followed the lovely sound and found himself near the river. Bathing in the river was a lovely woman. He fell in love at first sight. It was a disturbing feeling that the next thing he did was to know where she lived.That night, the young warrior dressed himself in his finest. He will propose marriage to the woman he found in the river. He went to her hut but found it empty. He waited until night turned into day. As the first rays of sunlight burst out of the eastern sky, he saw the image of a woman flying down to earth. She was shinning! Her wings were so light and magnificent. She offered her a smile and his heart melted at the welcome. With bended knees, he offered her marriage and a life on earth. She accepted with one condition, that she may visit her star sisters in the heavens. He agreed. They were married. Every night, she would wear her wings to fly in the darkening sky. The husband warrior felt lonely and miserable when her wife is away. He loves her so much but could not bear the loneliness in his heart. Soon the star wife was carrying their baby. The time came for her to give birth. They had a lovley daughter. Caring for her newly born child made the star wife so busy that her visits to her star sisters became less and less. This gave the husbnad warrior an opportunity to hide her wings. Soon, she forgot her life among the stars. The star wife may be happy with her daughter and loving husband but she always felt a deep sadness. A feeling that she is incomplete. One day, as she was cleaning the house, she discovered a hidden closet. She opened the closet door and found her wings. Evrything came back to her in one passing moment. Wearing her wings he flew to the sky and did not return for many days. Her husband knew of her discovery and was even more worried. he blamed himself for what she did. His baby daughter cried and cried the whole time. He had to call a wet nurse in the village to pacify her. And then one night, while he was sleeping, he was wakened by the sound of fluttering wings. It belonged to the star sisters. They were to take his daughter with them where she rightly belonged. They put on her wings and took her with them. The husband warrior never saw her wife nor her daughter anymore. But looking up in the stars would remind him of teh family he once had.
7) It isn't short (although you could perhaps take just parts), but look at "The Silent Princess," an Iraqi tale. One version is in Naomi Baltuck's Apples From Heaven: Multicultural Folk Tales About Stories and Storytellers. When the princess is infuriated into speaking as to which of the men should gain the bride in the three tales-within-the-tale, the princess cries, "Fools. First it is clear that the woman "belonged" to none of the men. Yet if she should choose to marry, then she would choose ..."
8) I love "The Curious Girl," a version of the Grimm's story Frau Trude retold and extended by Kay Stone. I suggest you try to get hold of one of versions of the essay she has written to accompany the story, which discusses the role of the "crone" in the transformation and maturation of the girl. Both the story and the essay have changed slightly over the years Kay has worked with it. You can find versions in her book, Burning Brightly: New Light on Old Tales Told Today by Kay Stone, 1998, or in Feminist Messages: Coding in Women's Folk Culture (American Folklore Society, New Series), ed. Joan Radnor,1993. This story and this essay have been tremendously important to me since I first started studying storytelling. When I asked her about permission, since the second half of the story is essentially her original work, she told me "the story is there for the using," but she does like to be credited. Kay Stone is a folklorist and storyteller in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I encourage anyone to read her writing about storytelling. She has published numerous articles.
Was asked this morning to do a song and dance routine with stories at the inter-provincial conference of the Red Hat Society to be held here in the fall. Any suggestions?
Dale P. 4/20/06
a) I love the story of "Clever Manka." It speaks the wisdom of women. Just a thought.
Karen C. 4/20/06
b) My experience with Red Hat groups is that they want something really FUN! They are definitely NOT a serious group. I would count on going over the edge and just a little risque. The whole concept of the Red Hatters is a chance to go out to eat and talk and remember what they never did (or maybe want to forget. . .)
Steve O. 4/20/06
c) Steve is right, they like to have fun, fun, fun! I bet the HCA story, "What The Old Man Does Is Always Right" would go over well. I adapted it for a telling last winter, lots of fun, cumulative tale and you can really ham it up. Here is a link to the text:
Hans Christian Andersen: What the Old Man Does Is Always Right.
http://www.andersen.sdu.dk :: The Hans Christian Andersen Center
Karen C. 4/20/06
d) I told for a big Red Hat event last year - World's Largest Tea Party. I had an awesome time and the ladies were great. I told stories where the woman gets the upper hand over the man and they were perfect for the event. Now, most of mine were my own, but there are tons of stories like that out there.
Stephen H. 4/20/06
e) I can see the Kit Kat Bar with, perhaps, one of the characters wearing a red hat.
When we told at a retirement community last spring, my friend told an expanded version of the story of the woman facing surgery, to whom God promised many more years of life, so she splurged on cosmetic surgery, then a new wardrobe and make-over (the really played up this part . .) --- and was then hit by a bus. In heaven, she questioned God's previous promise, and He answered, "I didn't recognize you." It was a hit!
Possibly that story about the divorcee putting fish in the curtain rods of the dream house her ex was taking from her??
Anything with fun old favorites for singing along seemed popular as well...
Mary G. 4/20/06
f) Check out Alan Chinen's book, In the Ever After: Fairy Tales and the Second Half of Life -- fabulous collection of traditional folktales that feature elders.
Lee-Ellen M. 4/20/06
g) Sharon Creeden's In Full Bloom. And I have to tell you how great my school librarian is. I asked for a cart of folktale books for the project we are beginning today. (Read 5 stories from 5 different books, summarize, write a paragraph about why your favorite is the best, and organize a Works Cited page). I realized a favorite was not included in the selection, so I sent her the following e-mail, and she succeeded in finding Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Ragan.
Mary G. 4/21/06
h) Gray Heroes: Elder Tales from Around the World, edited by Jane Yolen.
Pat N. 4/21/06
Created 2003; last update 9/27/09
Story Lovers World ... 707-996-1996