Now that I’m nearing the end of my summer literary adventures, I feel it is only right that I introduce you to another one of my small passions: mythology. To me, mythology is not just a set of fairy-tales imbued with magical god-creatures, it is a fantastical way of explaining the world as we see it, a way of portraying the hidden. A favorite element of lore for me is the stories’ connection with oral tradition. Each story travels and changes each time it is told: although many details may be tweaked, and sometimes even completely erased or added, the core purpose of the story remains.
So, today’s hit is sampled from Artful Dodge 38/39, a small set of myths on crocodiles and caiman complied from Colombian students studying to become teachers in their communities and supplemented by oil pastel drawings done by Luis Fernando Arango and Kathryn Arango. The myths themselves depict caiman as a source of magical power, and their pastel pals are quite the beautiful addition to the stories. For example, one set features the story of a woman who marries a magical man who transforms into a caiman around regular people. The woman is the most beautiful in her village and could have married any man there that she wanted, but instead decides to run away to what everyone else assumes is solitude. Of course, Arango’s re-telling is much more detailed and breathes more life into the story, so I would go ahead and read his version if you get the chance.
I’d also like to mention that Ananya found these myths a few years ago and provided an excerpt in a blog you can find here:
autumn, Editorial Asst.