|Femslash February in myths, tales and religion - Part 1
||[Feb. 10th, 2018|09:36 pm]
Les divagations de Nelja
On this year, for Femslash February, in addition of trying to write for ladiesbingo, I will do edits and presentations for my favorite femslash ships or lesbian/bisexual characters in myth, legends, fairy tales and religion!
Here is the first week, I hope I can manage once a day (some of these are more canon than others ;-)
The Nymph and the Dryad (1/28)
They’re from a collection named The New World Fairy Book by John Angus Kennedy. It’s mainly a collection of somehow modified Canadian Native American stories told to English guests. Except this story is told by one of the English wives.
It’s a classic, moral Victorian tale, where two fairies are helping people, and it’s hard, and they’re having a fight, it’s the first fight fairies had and they’re horribly punished by God, one becomes a dryad in a tree, the other a nymph in the sea, and they would be forgiven if they kissed… but they live so far away and can’t find each other.
At the end though, there’s a big tempest and the forest join the sea, they kiss and become fairies and together again, and oh, it’s Christmas! It’s a bit cheesy. But it’s also so very much homoerotic, the way they long for this kiss for centuries, and the story never outright tells it’s not romantic love, and also, no male characters in sight.
Hit the Octopus Goddess (2/28)
In this micronesian legend, Hit’s daughter, Tarisso, was dating the god Lugeleng. But Lugenleng’s wife found them, and was, of course, angry as her husband. To help her daughter, Hit started dancing so lewdly that Lugeleng’s wife fainted from arousal.
This way, Tarisso and Lugeleng had time to conceive the future hero Olifat. The story doesn’t tell if Lugeleng’s wife forgave him and/or if she started having adventures with sexy goddesses too.
Princess Badoura (3/28)
Badoura is my favorite bisexual fairy tale princess (she’s from Arabian Nights). Unfortunately, there exists at least three versions for children that cut the second part of the story to make it straight.
In the first part, Qamar-al-Zaman, an Arab prince, and Badoura, a Chinese princess, are abducted by some jinns who want to compare them for a beauty contest. They fall for each other, fall sick, even believe it’s a dream, until the princess foster brother recognizes the arab signs on the ring he gave her, and manages to reunite them.
In the second part, they’re travelling from China to Arabia and Qamar-al-Zaman gets lost. Badoura fears he’s dead and has no idea where she is or how to get home. She travels with her husband’s clothes and name, because it’s safer, and searches from a country she knows the name of, because they will have boats for China, probably.
She comes to a king’s court who knows Qamar-al-Zaman‘s father and treats her with honors as if she was her own husband. Seeing that Badoura and his daughter like each other, he proposes them to wed. They accept, the young princes Haiat-Alnefous is not disappointed by her husband being secretly a woman, and Badoura, rather than going home, becomes this realm’s acting king/queen.
At the end, Qamar-al-Zaman was not dead! Badoura finds him back, and he takes Haiat-Alnefous as a second wife, so they can be all happy together.
Sedna is the Inuit goddess of the sea and sea creatures. Once she was a human. She didn’t want to marry, but she finally caved in, and unfortunately her husband was a bird spirit in disguise. As her father (or brothers, in some versions) visited her, she told him the truth and asked him to take her with him. He agreed, at the beginning, but the bird spirit lashed a terrible storm against them, and he threw Sedna in the sea. When she tried to hold on to the kayak, he cut her hands.
Her hands became seals. She’s now the sea goddess, but she’s also angry against humans. Sometimes, she forbids the seals to go to the surface, and then, there’s a famine. Then the Inuit send her a shaman. The shaman begs to her, they brush her hair - Sedna can’t do that by herself, as she has no hands.
In one legend, a female shaman named Qailertetang, described as “a large woman with heavy limbs” was able not only to win Sedna’s mercy for humanity, but also her love. She stayed with her as an immortal, and she cares for hunters and fishermen when Sedna doesn’t, since she was granted a small measure of control over the weather and the sea animals (which are, after all, her lover’s hands).
Pallas and Athena (5/28)
Pallas was a water nymph from the Triton lake in Northern Africa. Athena and her were raised together and loved each other deadly. One day, they were training in fighting, and Zeus, worried for Athena, intervened. But this distracted Pallas and she was wounded to death. Athena mourned her a lot. She made a statue of her, and took her name for herself.
Athena is always written as aro ace in Greek myth, and while I totally love it, I also love the idea that there was some kind of asexual young love between the girls. I don’t know of any other legend where Athena is so emotionally close to anyone, god, nymph or mortal, man or woman.
Perpetua and Felicity (6/28)
Perpetua and Felicity were historical characters, martyred for their Christian faith in North Africa in the third century. But as often, historical uncertainty left its place for legends and symbols.
Perpetua was a 22 year old noblewoman, who was nursing her child as she was arrested. Felicity was her slave, heavily pregnant. They comforted each other in prison, as her fellows martyrs were men, and therefore in another cell. Perpetua had visions from god, and at the end, Felicity and her prayed so she could give birth soon enough not to die alone (pregnant women couldn’t be executed). Her wish was granted, and all the martyrs were killed by beasts together, Perpetua and Felicity dies standing back to back and became saints.
Perpetua’s husband has barely a line in her story (while her parents and family and Christian friends are important characters). The father of Felicity’s daughter is not even mentioned. That could, of course, be to make more important their relationship with God, but it also helped some people consider them patrons of lesbians. Of course, it’s also because their relation is positive and affectionate.
Mala and Chandra (7/28)
Mala and Chandra were the two wives of the Indian King Dilipa. But he died without having children. While they worried about the potential succession wars, the god Shiva went down from the skies, and told them that if they slept together, they’d have a child who would be Dilipa’s, but would also be theirs.
So they did, and some erotic poetry was written about the encounter. :-) And they stayed together, loved each other, and raised Bhagiratha, their child, together, without ever remarrying men.
Bhagiratha had no hard bones (because in Indian theory, bones come from the father). He spent his childhood disabled, but was later transformed into an able-bodied man by his encounter with an immortal. His main trait, though, remained faith, and with austerities, he was able to make the Ganga - which until this time was a celestial river - go down on Earth, to clean the sins of all his ancestors.
Cette entrée a été crosspostée au https://flo-nelja.dreamwidth.org/614113.html. Commentez où vous voulez.