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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reading Newt and Cuckoo

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The Cuckoo
No other bird in European mythology is more generally associated with the gift of prophecy than the cuckoo. Its loud cry is often awaited in spring in the freshly sprouting leaves of the forest canopy. An old song describes a dispute between spring and winter, both claiming the cuckoo as its own. But the cuckoo’s call heralds the dearest time of year, namely spring, and according to folk belief, whoever hears the cuckoo’s cry first can inquire of the bird how long he will live. Children in Switzerland call out “Cuckoo (Gugger), how long shall I live?” The caller must then listen and count the number of times the cuckoo calls in response and that will be the number of years left to live. It was said the bird was an enchanted baker or miller and that is why its feathers were dusted with flour. But it is bad luck to hear the cuckoo call after St. John’s Day (summer solstice) for then it foretells hard times. It was believed that the bird was never heard to call before April 3rd and never after St. John’s Day. But it was impossible for the cuckoo to call until he had eaten another bird’s egg. The direction from which the bird called was also significant. To hear its call from the north forebode sadness, but from the east or west meant the greatest fortune. When his call was first heard in spring it was important to have money in your purse for then a year of plenty lay ahead. But if you had no money you would suffer want and hunger the entire year. Because the cuckoo was rarely heard calling after the summer solstice, it was a common belief that it turned into a hawk or bird of prey for the remainder of the year.
The cuckoo is commonly associated with marriage and allegedly could foretell the number of children a person would have. According to Serbian folk tradition, after her brother’s death a young maiden was transformed into a cuckoo; her mournful call gave voice to the sadness and despair of her loss. In the Latvian folk tale below it is the wife, who mourning the loss of her husband, transforms herself into a cuckoo. The cuckoo’s call reputedly alerted a husband to an unfaithful wife. The word cuckold is based on the bird’s behavior of placing its eggs in another bird’s nest for care. Thus the cuckoo’s call was not a welcome sound to a married man.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Fairy Tale of Newt and Cuckoo

Translation: Copyright FairyTaleChannel.org(Please read, enjoy, link to or pass this story on to friends. Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!)
(If you are dead, let a maelstrom of blood rise up...)
How the Cuckoo Came to Call

There once was a mother who raised a flea in her bathroom. The flea became so large that she was able to make an entire pair of shoes from its skin for her daughter. Soon thereafter the mother was invited to a wedding with her daughter. At the wedding feast the mother promised to give her daughter’s hand in marriage to the first person who could guess the kind of hide the shoes were made from. One after another tried to guess, but in vain. Suddenly a newt poked his head through a crack in the floorboard and cried “The shoes are made from the skin of a flea!” And so, nothing could be done, the mother had to give her daughter to the newt in marriage.

The newt led his wife to his castle by the sea. They lived there for a long time. One day, the wife became restless and desired to see her parents again. But the newt would not allow it, she must first find her way and walk in iron shoes, then he would allow it. Well and good, after seven years she had mastered walking in iron shoes and they were ripped to shreds. The wife took her three children by the hand to visit her parents. The newt led all four to the seashore. He said: “When you return, step very closely to the edge of the sea and call out: “Newt, if you live, let a maelstrom of milk rise up; if you are dead, let a maelstrom of blood rise up. When I hear your words, I will come to meet you.”

And so they said their good-byes. After the newt’s wife had spent some time with her parents, she became homesick for her newt. Her parents did not want her to go. But the newt’s wife praised her life with the newt; life in the castle by the sea was good for her and her children; it was now time to go home. The parents wanted to follow her and find out how she met the newt by the big water and how they could find the castle, but she would not tell them. So, if she would not say, they would have to worm it out of the small, dumb children.

They asked the oldest: he said nothing. They asked the middle child: she also said nothing. They asked the youngest, he said it. As soon as the father found out the secret, he went to the seashore and called out: “Newt, if you live, let a maelstrom of milk rise up; if you are dead, let a maelstrom of blood rise up!” The newt whirled up an eddy of milk and emerged on shore. But the father took aim and shot him dead. The next morning when the wife went to the seashore with her children and called out: “Newt, if you live, let a maelstrom of milk rise up; if you are dead, let a maelstrom of blood rise up!” The newt whirled up an eddy of blood. The mother was terrified and asked the children, which of them had divulged the father’s secret. The youngest acknowledged his misdeed. The mother spoke her judgment on each one. “You my eldest son, shall become an oak tree, so that everyone admires you. You, my middle daughter, shall become a fresh linden tree, so that the maidens adorn themselves with your branches. You, my youngest chatterbox shall become a stumbling block, which shall break the axle of even the largest cart. I myself will become a cuckoo and will call for my newt for ever and always.” And so it was.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

July Fairy Tale: Tanzwut or the Dangers of Dancing Rage at the Height of Summer

Grimm’s Saga No. 51: Dance with the Waterman

Near the town of Laibach a water spirit lived in a river of the same name. He was called Nix or Waterman. He showed himself to fishermen and sailors by night and to others by day so that everyone knew how he rose up from the water and revealed himself in human form.

In the year 1547 on the first Sunday in the month of Julius, the entire village gathered according to an old custom at the old Laibach market near the fountain, under the cheerful shade of a beautiful linden tree. Here they ate their meal in a joyful, communal spirit whilst music played and not a few danced merrily. After a while a finely shaped, well-dressed young swain entered the throng, as if he wanted to join in the dance. He nodded politely to the assembled folk and offered each dancer his hand in a friendly way. But his grip was limp and ice-cold and upon touching his hand, a gray shudder went through the limb of the person he greeted. Soon he selected from the group a splendidly adorned, fresh-faced but impudent maid, who was known as Ursula the shepherdess and began the dance. He was a graceful dancer and commanded all the unusual steps. After they had danced wildly with each other for a time, they veered from the platform, which had marked off the dance space and swirled ever farther and farther away. From the Linden tree across the Sittich square and on down to the Laibach River, where he in the presence of many seamen, grabbed the waist of his partner and jumped into the splashing waters. Both disappeared before their very eyes.

The linden tree stood until 1638, when it had to be chopped down because of age.


Fairy Tale Factum:
St. Vitus is the patron saint of dancers for allegedly his powers included the ability to alleviate Tanzwut or hysterical dancing mania. The symptoms included frenzied leaping and swirling, even uncontrollable gyrations. Folk tradition often frowns on dancing and music, for it seems these two pastimes inevitably led to the unhinging of village youth. Unfortunately in this story the impudent Ursula could not be rescued by St. Vitus. Perhaps his cult had not yet been sufficiently established in Laibach or had already been diminished after the Reformation. Of interest in this saga is the description of a rather romanticized peasant life, with al fresco dancing, eating and celebrating at the height of summer on the village green. Two characteristics described in this tale can still be found today in many towns throughout Europe: the linden (or lime) tree and the fountain on the square.


According to folk tradition it was believed that a Wasserman (or Nix) held fast to the souls of the drowned in his underwater dwelling. Varying accounts describe him as having either a beautiful form or an ugly and terrible countenance. Like dancing, the church uniformly frowned upon these spirits and equated them with the diabolical and dangerous. Folk tradition, however, preserves a certain amount of awe and reverence for them.


Translation: Copyright FairyTaleChannel.org
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Magical Properties of Plants and Herbs

Translation FairyTaleChannel.com
(Please read, enjoy, link to or pass this article on to friends. Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!)

The magical properties of herbs are celebrated in numerous fairy tales, saga and myths. In the sagas of the Brother Grimm, the plants springroot (or springwort), wonderflower, bird’s nest (Vogelnest), alraun/mandrake and thief’s key all have magical properties that often overlap. According to tradition, the wonderflower only blooms on St. John’s Eve (summer solstice) or every hundred years. If a person hesitates and does not pluck the flower immediately, it vanishes under lightning and thunder. Finding one of these flowers often coincides with the appearance of a gnome or woman in white. These flowers are usually blue (sometimes yellow) and when they appear in a grouping of three are associated with redemption and transformation. In conjunction with these magical flowers, the saga often uses the phrase “but don’t forget the best” (meaning don’t forget the flower itself for its magical properties are worth more than all worldly treasures. German: Vergissmannicht). Over time, this name was changed to Vergissmichnicht (or Forget-me-not) now a common name for beautiful blue spring flower. These plants confer the ability to uncover secret treasure, unlock chests or doors and make one invisible. In the case of Vogelnest, the plant was probably associated with a sacred bird and the notion of invisibility might come from the real difficulty in finding or seeing a bird’s nest in a tree. The alraun or mandrake was prized as the most potent of all plants. Folk tradition regarding this plant is simultaneously creepy and alluring (See Saga Nr. 84 below).


Grimm's Saga No. 304 The Gnome and the Wonderflower

A young, poor shepherd from Sittendorf on the southern side of the Harz Mountains in Golden Aue once drove his flock near the foot of the Kyffhaeuser Mountain and climbed the mountain, but with each step he grew sadder. At the top he found a beautiful flower, the likes of which he had never seen before. He picked it and placed it in his cap with the intention of giving it to his bride as a gift. But as he walked on, he found a cavern at the top of the old mountain. The entryway was cluttered and buried under some debris. He entered, saw many glittering stones lying on the ground and filled his pockets with them. As he turned and left the cavern he heard a muffled voice sound: “Do not forget the best!” He didn’t know what had happened and how he had left the cavern but suddenly he found himself squinting at the sun and heard the door slam shut behind him, which he hadn’t even noticed before. When the shepherd touched his hat, he realized the flower had fallen out of his cap when he had stumbled. Immediately a gnome stood before him: “Where is the wonder flower, which you found?” – “Lost,” the shepherd said sadly. “It was intended for you,” the gnome said “and it is worth more than the entire Rothenburg Mountain.” When the shepherd felt his pocket at home, the glistening stones had become splendid gold coins. But the flower had vanished and to this day the mountain folk search for the flower, not only in the caverns of the Kyffhaeuser mountain but also on Questenburg Mountain and even on the north side of the Harz, because it is said that hidden treasures lie buried there.

Grimm’s Saga No. 84: Der Alraun / The Mandrake

The saga tells of congenital thieves to whom stealing comes naturally. This happens when a man has descended from a long line of thieves or when a person has become a thief because his mother stole while she was pregnant. In this instance he has at least an overwhelming desire to steal (according to others, when an innocent man confesses to thievery under torture) and he is a pure youth but is hanged for the crime and waters the ground with his seed (aut sperma in terram effundit), then the mandrake plant or Gallow’s Man grows at that spot. The top of the plant has broad leaves and yellow flowers. When this same plant is dug up there is great danger for when the plant is pulled out it sighs, howels and screams in such a frightful manner that the person who has dug it up soon dies. In order to acquire the plant, the man must approach the plant on a Friday before sunup. After plugging his ears with cotton, wax or pitch, he goes out with a black dog, which must not have spots of any other color on its body. The man makes the sign of the cross three times over the mandrake and carefully digs up a circle around the plant so only a few fibers of the root remain in the earth. Then he must tie it with a string to the dog’s tail, show the dog a piece of bread and run away quickly. The dog, desiring the bread, takes off quickly and pulls out the root. But the dog promptly drops over dead when he hears the groaning scream emanating from the plant. The man must now pick up the plant, wash it until clean with red wine and wrap it in a white and red silk cloth, place it in a small chest, wash it every Friday and give it a new white shirt every new moon. If you ask the mandrake a question, it will respond and reveal your future. It will tell you about concealed things regarding your future welfare and prosperity. From that time forth the owner has no enemies, can never become poor and if he has no children his marriage will soon be blessed. If you place a coin next to the mandrake at night, the next morning you will find twice as much. If you want to enjoy the services of the mandrake plant for a long time and make sure that it does not die, never overtax it. You can easily place a half-taler coin next to it every night, but maximum a ducat. But don’t do this always only very rarely.

When the owner of the Gallow’s Man dies, his youngest son inherits the plant. But he must place a piece of bread and a coin in the coffin and bury these things with his father. If the heir dies before the father, then the oldest son inherits the alraun, but the youngest son must also be buried with bread and money.



To read about the magical power of birds' nests:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/05/magical-power-of-birds-nests-revealed.html

Or toadstools:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/07/fairy-tale-magic-and-mystery-found-in.html

Read more fairy tales by clicking on the link:

FairyTaleChannel.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Strange Power of Bird's Nests, Part II

Translation FairyTaleChannel.com
(Please read, enjoy, link to or pass this story on to friends. Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!)

Grimm's Saga Nr. 9 Die Springwurzel / The Springroot

In ancient times a shepherd tended his flock peacefully on the Koeterberg Mountain. One day he was in the meadow when he turned around and suddenly a magnificent queen stood before him. She spoke: “Take this spring root and follow me.” The spring root is found by following a green woodpecker (magpie or hoopoe) to his nest. Blocking off his nest with a wedge of wood, the bird, when he notices the obstruction, flies away and knows where to find the wonderful root, which men look for in vain. He brings it back in his bill and uses it to open his nest. When he holds the root in his bill above the wooden wedge, it slips out as if driven by a hard knock. If you hide and make a loud noise, the bird is startled and drops the root (but if you place a white or red cloth below the nest, the bird throws the root onto the cloth as soon as he has used it.) The shepherd had such a spring root and so he left his animals to wander freely and followed the woman. She led him into the mountain and then deep inside a cave. As the two approached a door or a closed off passage, each time the shepherd held up his root. Immediately the door opened with a loud groan. They continued on their way until they were almost at the center of the mountain. There sat two maidens who were busily at work spinning. The Evil One was also present, but he was without power and sat bound underneath the table where the two women sat. Around them were baskets of gold and shiny precious gems stacked up and the king’s daughter spoke to the shepherd, who stood and gazed lustfully at the treasures. “Take as much as you want.” Without hesitating, he reached into the baskets and filled his pockets to the brim. And when he turned to depart, richly laden, she spoke: “But don’t forget the best!” He thought she meant nothing else but the treasure and that he had already supplied himself well. But she meant the spring-wort. As he emerged into the daylight without the root, which he had left on the table, the door slammed shut hard on his heels but without injuring him for he could easily have lost his life. He happily brought enormous riches home but he could never again find the entrance to the mountain.


To read about the magical powers of toadstools, click on the link:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/07/fairy-tale-magic-and-mystery-found-in.html

Or about the strange power of birds' nests:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2008/07/strange-powers-of-birds-nests-revealed.html

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Strange Power of Bird's Nests Revealed Here: Grimm's Saga No. 86 Vogelnest

Translation FairyTaleChannel.com
(Please read, enjoy, link to or pass this story on to friends. Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!)


In some areas people still believe that there are certain bird nests (also called Zwissel or Zeissel nests), which make all persons carrying the nest invisible. To find the nest, you must by chance see it in a mirror or in the reflection of a pool of water. The saga is probably a reference to Bifolium, a two-leaf plant genus, which is called birds nest in almost every European language. There seems to be something magical or mandrakelike about it. This is elaborated upon in an account from the 17th century, most certainly originating from a folk tradition:

While I was talking, I saw the reflection of the tree in the water, but there was something lying on the branch, which I could not see in the tree itself and for this reason, I pointed it out to my wife. When she found it and the branch, on which it lay, she climbed up the tree and brought down the object we had seen in the reflection of the water. I watched her and saw her the moment she disappeared. It vanished when she picked up the nest whose shadow (image) we had viewed in the water’s reflection. I still saw my wife in the reflection of the water: how she climbed down from the tree and held the small birds nest in her hands, which she had removed from the branch. I asked her what kind of bird’s nest she carried. In reply she asked me if I could see her. I said “I can’t see you in the tree but I can see your shape in the water’s reflection.” --- “It’s best,” she replied, “if I would come down now. Then you shall see what I have.” It seemed strange to me to hear my wife talking in this manner, because I couldn’t see her and it was even stranger that I should see her shadow movements in the sun but could not see her. And because she could approach me better in the shade (when she didn’t have a shadow because she was outside of the sunlight in the shade) I couldn’t see anything more of her, except I heard the faint sounds she made with her footfalls and her clothing, as if a ghost were passing me by. She sat down next to me and placed the nest in my hand. As soon as I held it, I saw her again, but she in turn no longer saw me. We repeated this several times and each time we found that whoever held the nest in their hand, that person was completely invisible. She finally wrapped the little nest in a handkerchief, so that the stone or herb or root, which was giving the nest these powers, could not fall out and be lost. And after she placed the bundle beside her, we saw each other again, just as before she climbed the tree. We could not see the handkerchief with the nest, but could feel it at the spot where she had laid it.


To read about the strange power of toadstools, click on the link:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/07/fairy-tale-magic-and-mystery-found-in.html

Monday, July 7, 2008

Grimm's Saga No. 181: Saint Wilfried or the Holy Saint Boniface

St. Boniface's Chapel

When Saint Winfried (called Boniface) wanted to convert the Hessians, he came to a mountain where a pagan temple stood. He had the building torn down and built the first Christian church. Since that time the mountain is called Christenberg (four hours distant from Marburg). Two-hundred paces from the church, people still point to a footprint in stone, which is attributed to Boniface when he stamped the ground in holy zeal. He said “As sure as my foot presses into this stone, so surely shall I convert the pagans.” The pagans called the mountain Castorberg. Boniface wanted to retain the C of this word by naming the place Christenberg. In the area around Christenberg people still speak of Boniface’s Way, the path he took through the forest when he came and went. Farmer’s fields abutting against this path are still free from Zent law but all other land is still encumbered. A harsher penalty must be paid for any misdeeds occurring there. When farmers from the surrounding villages die, their bodies are still carried with enormous effort up the steep path and buried in the graveyard enveloping Christenberg Church. When Boniface came to Thuringia, he had a church built at Grossvargula, which he wanted to consecrate himself. He struck his staff into the earth, entered the church and read the mass; after the service was over his staff sprouted green shoots.


Grimm's Saga No. 182 The Huelfenberg of St. Boniface
(Or: The Mountain from Whence Help Comes)

Huelfenberg lies an hour away from Wanfried at the oak-field boundary. St. Boniface ordered a chapel built on this mountain. During construction, a man often came by and asked about the ongoing work. What kind of building was it going to be? The carpenters always answered: “Oh, it will be a barn when we are finished.” The man went on his way. But finally, with the church almost finished and the altar erected, the cross was happily mounted. When the Evil Foe returned and viewed it all, he shuddered in rage and flew out through the gable roof. The hole that he made there can still be seen today and can never be repaired. He also went inside the mountain and tried to destroy the church from there. But it was all in vain. Supposedly an oak tree sacred to the pagan deity was bricked in under the chapel. The hole, into which he vanished, is called the Stuffenlock (as the entire mountain today is also called the Stuffensberg). At times, steam and fog supposedly can be seen rising from the mountain. Another story is told of the chapel, that it was dedicated to a Saint. If a sick person touched the saint’s garment, that person was restored to good health within the very hour. This saint had once been a beautiful princess, but her father had fallen in love with her. In her dire distress she called upon God in heaven. Thereupon she grew a beard and her earthly beauty found an end.

Fairy Tale Factum
When Saint Boniface began his missionary work in Germany (~ 723 A.D.), he struggled to establish a Christianity that was free of pagan custom. According to tradition, he was able to demonstrate to the heathen population how utterly powerless their gods were by felling the the sacred oak of Jupiter (most probably this tree was sacred to Woton), at Geismar, near Fritzlar. From the wood he had a chapel built. When the pagans saw that their god was powerless to avert this assault on their religion, great numbers were allegedly converted. It is interesting to read these accounts of St. Boniface's missionary work in conjunction with Reading the Pied Piper of Hamelin and Tannhauser, where the struggle between pagan and Christian elements is also of central importance for understanding the story. The Huelfenberg saga is another example of a pagan deity being first flummoxed by the rise of Christianity and then being transformed into a demon in the narrative.


To read a fairy tale about another saint, St. Joseph in the forest, click on the link:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/12/nose-is-nose-is-nose-christmas-legend.html

Copyright FairyTaleChannel.com
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Pass on to friends or link to.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reading the Pied Piper of Hamelin

Bone Flutes, Müstair, Switzerland

John and Paul’s Day was celebrated throughout Europe on June 26 but was originally a pagan festival commemorating the summer solstice. On this day it was custom for huge throngs of people to gather and dance around a bonfire, play music, sing, and augur the future. According to Petrarch, it was the custom of women in Cologne to bathe in the Rhine River on the evening before St. John’s Day. The surging waters supposedly washed away all evil and misfortune from the bathers. The custom was apparently practiced throughout Germany in its largest rivers and was considered to be distinctly pagan. Processions and parades, dancing and singing, bathing in the river and jumping through or dancing around bonfires were all part of the revelry. Frowning on the unbridled passion of townspeople engaged in such activities, the early Christian Church appropriated the day. It linked the custom of river bathing to John the Baptist and symbolical purification through water. These summer celebrations coincided with the sun reaching its highest point in the sky and usually lasted several days. The dates given in the Pied Piper of Hamelin are the exact days this celebration would have been held and the saga accurately incorporates elements of this folk tradition.

In the Pied Piper of Hamelin we find the elements of playing music and processing down to a river (and immersing oneself in the water) to eradicate pestilence. The figure charged with the expulsion of rats and mice is distinctly pagan. He uses magic and music to take control of the rats first and children second. He is a wandering rogue of a most peculiar sort. His clothing and visage are described in some detail. His coat of many colors is reminiscent of that other famous wanderer in Germanic mythology, Woton (as called by Southern Germanic tribes) or Odin (as called by Northern Germanic tribes). Woton traditionally wears a blue cloak with golden flecks and broad hat. The Germanic God Woton underwent many transformations at the hands of Christian priests, who attempted to Christianize the deity. Wotan alternately became the Archangel Michael, the Holy St. Martin, the Wild Huntsman and finally the devil. In his role as Wild Huntsman, Wotan was said to lead a fearsome procession that raced through the air and lasted 12 days. Other pagan figures lead similar parades or processions including Frau Holla and True Eckhart, and Tannhäuser and Frau Venus. These duos always have the same destination: the inside of a mountain. In many folk tales and saga, entering a mountain as part of a procession is actually a metaphor for dying (see Gratzug). In fact there were many mountains throughout Europe that were considered sacred to Woton (Othensberg, Odensberg, Godesberg, Gudenesberg and Wodenesberg to name a few).

There are sagas and legends from the Middle Ages which reflect the dismay and even anger of the deposed deities toward the rising power and prestige of Christian intruders. Tannhäuser and Frau Venus are perhaps the most well-known examples. But is it possible to interpret the tantalizing character of the Pied Piper and the disappearance of 130 children within the context of an enraged (and perhaps, dislodged) deity?

This extraordinary tale reads like an historical narrative with eye-witness accounts to bolster its veracity. I am inclined to view the story as a cautionary tale to a population wavering between the older pagan belief and the newer Christian belief systems. Participating in pagan revelry, with its gods, music, dancing and wildness, can have dire consequences. The old deities are no longer mourning their loss of status, but ready to take revenge. At the end of the tale, a ban on music is imposed and presumably the pagan revelry and festivities that accompanied it. But the surface message of the tale is also quite clear. The mendacity of town leaders contradicts the Gospel message that “a laborer is worthy of his hire.”

The mountain where the children disappeared has been renamed Calvary, or the Place of the Skull (Köppen = obsolete German word for head or skull). As Europe became Christianized, it was common to rename pagan sites to give them Christian significance. Calvary or site of the Crucifixion would be a fitting name for a place of great tragedy. After reading this tale it is easy to imagine that the story is based on a folk memory of a tragic event involving the loss of children.

Ancient Bone and Ivory Flutes

The Pied Piper is playing one of the oldest known musical instruments: the flute or pipe. Archaeologists have found numerous flutes fashioned from bone or ivory throughout Germany and Switzerland. At the Cloister in Müstair, Switzerland, archaeologists found two bone flutes which they have dated to the Carolingian period and two from the 11th/12th and 14th centuries. They are made from the tibia bone of a sheep or goat and have three finger holes. These Müstair flutes are capable of producing a five-tone or eight-tone scale respectively.

A flute that is believed to be between 30,000 – 37,000 years old was found in pieces in the Geissenkloesterle Cave in Southern Germany. It was made in the Upper Paleolithic Era, a time when Europe was occupied by the last Neanderthals and the first modern humans. This flute was carved from solid ivory and was capable of playing relatively sophisticated tunes. Based on experiments, it seems the flute followed the pentatonic scale.

The sound of these flutes was shaped by human breath. After singing, playing the flute was the most immediate form of communication. Because of its special sound and shape, the flute was also used in religious and cultic ceremonies. The music of the flute or pipe was said to have magical and healing properties. The shepherd played the pipe to calm his flock and keep them together. And in the saga, the Pied Piper uses the magical tones of the flute to exercise control over both animals and humans. The ancient Greeks mistrusted flute music as being overly powerful and seductive and according to Indian tradition, when Lord Krishna played his flute, listeners forgot their individuality and were drawn irresistibly to the music.


Further Reading: If Stones Could Speak, Searching for the Meaning of Stonehenge, National Geographic: New interpretation of ancient ceremonial processions along routes and rivers.


More fairy tales can be accessed by clicking on link:

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