Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Talesingr: The Tale of the Coming of Humankind (for Mo Crow!)

The Tale of the coming of humankind

Only a tiny fragment of this tale survives, a brief outline with little detail. Woodford- Harding collected it from a seafaring people he stayed with very briefly, most likely in 1904, but he recorded almost no information about the tribe itself, thus it is difficult to determine who exactly they were or even their exact location, though it is believed they were most likely people living along the coast of the Bering Sea in far Eastern Siberia.  Unlike modern western perceptions of killer whales (also known as 'Orca'), this tribe clearly thought very highly of them and considered them to be the ancestors of their people.

Two spirits eloped together, for the laws of their tribe forbade them to marry. To escape they turned themselves into fish and swam down river to the sea. There a Killer Whale came upon them. She was hungry but she could see they were spirits disguised as fish, so she said to them, “I am hungry. If you will give me the fish bodies you wear, I will hide you from your families.” So the fish swam into her mouth, and she swam far away from their angry tribe. And in her belly, the two spirits took off their fish bodies as they had promised. But they were afraid they would be found again and punished for breaking the law. So they stayed in the belly of the Killer Whale. And in the spring, she gave birth to a woman and a man, and they became the mother and the father of the first people. 

All text and images © Christina Cairns 2011


Cori Lynn Berg said...

oh what a neat story! I just started following your blog and I'm so glad I found it. I love stories, I love meanings behind artwork and symbols! It will be fun getting to know your work!

Julia Guthrie said...

How have sent my creative muse mad with delight with this :)

Mo Crow said...

this piece has been whispering to me since last Friday when you posted its photo along with A Brief History of the Talsesingrs & feel so lucky that it will be mine very soon!
I love watching these stories and talismans unfold!
Mo Crow
PS Back in 2004 my friend Wayne Snowdon said of one of my pieces...
"I fully appreciate directing ones art towards the talinistic, who says art has no function! if it must look in, let it protect it's own illusion...
(and he replied at the time to my query re the origins of "talinistic")
"hey I figured out where I got talinistic from... it was a cross between talisman and talon, with an "istic" thrown in on the end"

Lecte said...

The drawing is very elegant, and thank you for the story!
I've never heard such a version of the origins of humankind before.

Jean said...

I like it.

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