Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cinderella #301: According to the Larousse Dictionary of World Folklore


A tiny shoe!

Cinderella #301: According to the Larousse Dictionary of World Folklore
Once upon a time, there was a woman named Alison Jones. This is what she had to say about Cinderella: It is a "European folktale, an example of cardinal tale-type found in some form in virtually every country of the world." It "tells of beautiful and good-natured girl, who is forced to act as a drudge in the household of her stepmother, and treated cruelly by her two stepsisters." The version prettied up by Cbarles Perrault, "includes many details fundamentally different from the more authentic oral versions." (p.113)
On Ashenpüttle: She is a "fairy tale character, heroine of the highland version of the Cinderella tale-type". (p. 36)
On Birds: "Birds often represent the soul, especially the separable soul, absent from the body during sleep or illness, or the escaped soul, released after death....In various mythologies gods have been represented with bird characteristics" from ancient Egypts' Horus to "the Holy Spirit appearing as a dove in Christian tradition." (p.67)
On Pumpkins: "In Chinese lore, the pumpkin is a regal fruit symbolizing fertility and wealth". In Europe, "a great tradition observed annually at the great Parisian market involved dressing an enormous pumpkin as a king, complete with paper crown, and parading it around town." (p.357)
On Shoes: They are "symbols of sexuality and a significant element in mythology, folk tales, and proverbial lore." Shoes "are consistently used in reference to female sexuality" in the Middle East. As for the Chinese, we all know about foot binding, the custom in which "the feet of young, well-to-do girls were tightly bound in cotton bandages...the result was a misformed, tiny clubfoot, which would fit into shoes of only a few inches in length." Shoes play an important role in the Biblical story of Ruth. when "Boaz ratifies his purchase of her by ritually placing his sandal on the ground before the assembled men." It was not so long ago that in "England, the shoe of the bride was passed from her father to her husband." It is also unlucky, notes Jones, "to put the left shoe first". If one knows the trick, shoes can be used for divination. (Shoemancy?) . Jones said, "A sick child in the Omaha tribe in North America may be protected by a hole cut in the soul of his moccasin." This because "when the spirits of death call him, he will be unable to make the journey because his shoes have worn out." (p.392)
From: Jones, A (1995).  Larousse Dictionary of World Folklore: A remarkable guide to the hidden history of humankind. New York:Larousse

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