The Forest in Folklore and Mythology

The Forest in Folklore and Mythology

Alexander Porteous

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0486420108

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Forest in Folklore and Mythology

Alexander Porteous

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0486420108

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"If you have a feeling for the mystery and enchantment of the woods, you will want to own this book." — Outlook.
Assembled from an enormous range of sources, this fascinating book is a mind-expanding compendium of facts, folklore, superstitions, myths, and anecdotes about trees and the forest. Included are descriptions of old forests; forest customs, temples and sacred groves; mythical forest creatures such as witches, fairies, demons, wood spirits, the "wild huntsman," and wood nymphs.
The author also recounts facts and fables about individual trees, including famous trees throughout the world, unusual trees, tree worship, people's transformation into trees, and disposal of the dead in trees — as well as folklore about fossil trees, tree bark, leaves, thorns, diving rods, and Yule logs.
This long-unavailable treasury of legend and lore will be welcomed by naturalists, anthropologists, students of folklore, and general readers alike. "A work which the curious will love to consult … a book which should be in every upper school library, and at the hand of every one to whom reference to such things is important." — Saturday Review.

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of one Motoro. Mr. Gill relates that Motoro was the fourth son of Tangiia, the great Raratongan chief, who had been sent to Mangaia to be a god. He was killed by his brothers, but afterwards one of them, actuated by remorse, planted a grove and erected a maræ to him, and in the grove his spirit was supposed to reside. In 1824 the worship of idols here ceased, and a plantation of Plantains took the place of the sacred grove.85 CHAPTER V MYTHICAL DENIZENS OF THE FORESTS AND WOODS Spirit of the

fluttered a snow-white swan which alighted on his breast. Clasping it to his heart, it changed into a lovely maiden, to whom he was united in marriage soon after.112 Storms in the forest were once attributed to the furious career of the Wild Huntsman, of whom many tales are told under various aspects in different lands. In Germany the legend is very widely spread and seems to have descended from the highest antiquity. The most popular form of the legend is as follows : In Lower Saxony it is told

name. This change unknown, astonished at the sight, My trembling sister strove to urge her flight ; Yet first the pardon of the nymph implored, And those offended sylvan powers adored : But when she backward would have fled, she found Her stiffening feet were rooted to the ground.” R. Rapin, in his poem entitled De Hortorum Cultura, gives the following to account for the origin of the Alder along with that of the Willow, both preferring to grow in most situations : “Of watery race Alders

Earth-god Obassi Nsi and clamour for vengeance on his slayers.339 In other parts of Africa, as well as in many other parts of the world, similar practices are prevalent, and travellers in remote regions often come across heaps of leaves or branches which have accumulated by every passing native adding his quota. THORNS, SPINES, PRICKLES, ETC. Thorns, spines, prickles, et hoc genus omne are the natural defences of plants—against mankind, who wishes to pluck their flowers or fruit, or against

heard of no more.353 A somewhat similar tale is told in Sweden of a water-spirit known as the Neck, who appeared either as a, young or an old man. A Swedish tradition tells that a priest once saw the Neck as a young man playing on the harp. He said to him : “ Why dost thou so joyously strike thy harp ? Sooner shall this dried cane that I hold in my hand grow green and flower than that thou shalt obtain salvation.” The young man was very sorrowful and wept bitterly. The priest continued on his

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