M is for Golden Mouth, Maiden, & Mountain–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019MWe are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/).  The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Golden…And All Things That Glimmer.  Each post highlights golden items from a folktale from around the world. Each time you have to wonder, is something that is golden a blessing, a curse, or both?

What has inspired all this gold?–The Golden Spike with the 150th Transcontinental Railroad and the Spike 150 Grant for this year’s Story Crossroads Festival.

Golden Mouth-

This story explains why Gregory Sound is named “Gregory.” Do you have a feeling that the main character of the story is named “Gregory”?

Inishmaan, Ireland – https://folkli.com/naomh-greoihir-of-the-golden-mouth

50-word-or-less summary:

Gregory committed serious sins. Guilt caused to bite off lower lip. He wished to become monk–was refused. He agreed to exile in cave. Monks visited. Golden lip made for Gregory (not scare people). Gregory died. Not buried with monks. Coffin sunk. Floated up. Re-sunk. Floated up. Buried (isolated) with monks.

Golden Maiden-

This story has some hints of “Hansel and Gretel” and features a man who goes along with his wife to abandon his children. The man is in deep despair as he does so but yet not strong enough to defend his children. Hmm. The ending is much more like “Cinderella.” So a fascinating mash-up with its own unique qualities.

Armenia – http://www.gutenberg.org/files/46944/46944-h/46944-h.htm

50-word-or-less summary:

Man abandons children. Boy drinks water, turns into lamb. Girl and boy-lamb return home. Step-mother asks husband to cook boy-lamb. Children flee. Fairy makes it possible for girl to become golden maiden by another fairy. Jealous step-mother. Sends own daughter. Becomes ugly. Prince arrives. Loses golden slipper. Finds/marries golden maiden.

Golden Mountain-

This seems more like the Golden Rule than only about the Golden Mountain. You’ll see what I mean, especially if you read the entire story rather than only counting on the summary.

Russia – http://www.compassrose.org/folklore/russian/Golden-Mountain.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Man hired. Taken to merchant’s golden palace, meets lady who gives touchstone and flint. Merchant takes man to golden mountain, gives drink. Man wakes up inside horse with shovel being pecked by crows. Must toss down gold to merchant. No way down. Touchstone/flint magic. Re-hired. Man tricks merchant. Death. Marriage.

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 15, 2019 with free performances May 13-16, 2019 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2019-schedule/.  

We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts (Spike 150), the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.

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