Friday, 9 March 2012
Horrible and terrifying news for all those British parents who apparently don't like reading fairy stories for children...over 500 new fairy tales have been discovered in an archive in Regensburg, Germany, collected by a local historian Franz Xaver von Schonwerth, a contemporary of the Brothers Grimm. Celebrate this momentous find by reading The Turnip Princess right now.
It's been a while since Disney tackled myths and legends from Britain, and no one was that fussed about The Black Cauldron. (I think it's pretty good though, and even better, it's connected with the former Welsh Kingdom of Strathclyde) However, Disney / Pixar are apparently pulling out all the stops for the release of Brave, set in the Highlands, including teaming up with VisitScotland to promote tourism.
Last month, the Association for Cultural Equity started making the field recordings of prolific American folklorist Alan Lomax available to listen to online. It's a remarkable project, and you can literally lose yourself for hours in the collections. Lomax travelled the world collecting and recording, and this week, there's a particular treat for Scottish folk; Alan Lomax recorded hours of ancient ballads, childrens songs and Gaelic work songs from all over Scotland, these are now available to stream online.
As the American election continues its interminable warm up with various "super" days of the week, why not momentarily forget about separating out the fact and fiction of Romney's taxes or Obama's broken promises, and check out the truth behind some George Washington folklore...did he really have wooden teeth?
It is easy to sneer in disbelief at the fact that witchcraft is still considered a very real blight in some parts of the world, but in recent weeks there have been several horrifying stories in the news...superstition should never be taken lightly when the human consequences are all too real. Of all the stories however, the Ghana football team apparently casting spells on each other is the least disturbing.
At the other end of the witchcraft spectrum, everyone's favourite slavonic witch who lives in a house with chicken legs, Baba Yaga, makes her Blu-Ray debut this month. I have yet to see this slice of 70s surrealism, but based on the reviews, Im not sure they focussed too much on the folklore elements of the character and went instead for what we now like to call a "reboot" into the world of fashion photography. Ehm...yeah...let's stick to classic Baba Yaga action for our folk tale this week...