In search of other stories–part one

As you know, dear readers, I have a complicated relationship with fairy tales. On the one hand, they’re a great source of historical values and entertainment. But on the other, the anachronisms are hard to stomach sometimes. Especially as a woman.

Even with my serious case of doublethink, I seek the stories out to better understand them, and to understand where we came from. Not only do I read fairy tales and folklore, but I also love mythology. I read Greek myths as a child and thought they were the perfect mix between fantasy and history, just like a fairy tale. And their purpose was to explain the unexplained. That led me to Norse mythology, Celtic folklore, and then it hit me. What about the other stories?

World Mythology map

Everyone has mythology

I know I’ve beat this drum before–diversity and inclusion is something I’m passionate about–but I’m not talking about that exactly. The other stories I’m talking about are related to other cultures. I think I remember learning about a trickster storyteller from an African culture and one or two stories about Hindu gods, but very little else. As a Latina and specifically a Puerto Rican, I learned nothing about Taino mythology. Why is that? Honestly, the only answer I have for that is if they’re not looked for, they can’t be found.

Indigenous peoples all over the world have myths and legends that are strikingly similar and vastly different than the ones from northern Europe. Stories about fairies, little people, monstrous creatures, gods and goddesses. These are stories that should be available and told again and again.

In the coming weeks I hope to do my part, small as it may be, to help shed light on other stories and show how similar, and how different they are from the stories we all know. I hope you’ll share stories, too.

 

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