Sunday, August 24, 2008


Kuuipo, Sketch, 6" x 9"
© 2008 Fannie Narte


This is my Polynesian girl, named after one of my daughters. When Ku'uipo was younger, she had long, naturally wavy hair.

My drawing has changed and my confidence has grown since I took Paulette Insall's "All About Faces" mixed media online class. The techniques she taught and the exercises she asked us to do helped me to "find" my drawing style. Drawing "my girls" and furry friends, which are posted to my other blog, Artistic Expressions, is a hobby I enjoy while watching TV.


Ku'uipo has a plumeria in her hair on the "left" side. That means she's married or taken. If she wore the flower on the right side, that would mean she's available or looking. I wonder what it would mean if she wore it in the middle? What's your guess? One could pose a few satirical assumptions with this idea.

Legends, Myths, Folk Tales

My mother taught me that it was bad luck to open an umbrella in the house, and if one must sweep the floors at night, the collection should not be swept outside the door because one would be sweeping away good fortune.


Did you grow up learning folk tales? My childhood is full of memories of such stories. Some of them were scary. Like the one about toads . . . if one touches a toad, a wart will emerge from that area in a few days. I had a wart near the thumb of my right hand once. Not only was it unsightly and the cause of much embarrassment, but I was the forced recipient of a sing-song tune from my school "friends" who daily chanted "Fannie touched a toad; if you touch her, you'll turn into a witch!"


My mother tried every folk remedy to remove "my" wart. One of her friends told her to tie a "white" thread around the wart before bedtime and chant a few words, and by the next morning, the wart would have fallen off or would have disappeared.

The next morning, I was greeted by my wart. Good Morning, Sunshine! The only thing that disappeared was the white thread that was wrapped around it. Hah!


Or how about the one about seeds? Eating "cracked seed" was a favorite snack among the children in my neighborhood. These were candied plums, prunes or other fruit. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that if one swallowed a seed, a tree would grow inside that person. I wouldn't want a tree growing inside of me. Why would anyone want to swallow a seed, I thought. As a child with an inquisitive and active imagination, but also one who possesses a serious and fearful mind, I often wondered . . . Would a tree grow inside a person if that person swallowed a seed . . . "accidentally"? Is a tree growing inside of me?!?!


What gave birth to folk tales? Was it a form of parenting started by one clever mom or dad or grandmother, which rippled into a "myth"?


Why do we believe in folk tales? Is it because of naivete or obedience or ???


Why have these tales been recited over generations? Is it because of belief or tradition?


Within a few months, my wart eventually dried up and disappeared. Was it because of my mother's chanting and the white thread? Could my prayers have helped? Was it due to the cycle of natural science or disease or luck? Whatever made my wart disappear, that was a miserable episode in my life.


What legacy are you leaving for future generations? Do you live your life according to a belief system that was passed down through generations? Are you a traditionalist? Are you inquisitive and ask why, or why not?


I don't remember ever touching a toad! Yuk! I didn't like toads then; I still don't. Now . . . frogs . . . that's a different tune. Frogs turn into princes. Ribbit!

All of this from a girl with a flower in her hair. Thanks for stopping by. Sa-yo-na-ra! ;-D


Lisa M Griffin said...

what a lovely read Fannie! I love the info on the flower in the girls hair... I guess if you wear a flower in the middle you are engaged to be married. ;)
I remember all sorts of tales about stepping on cracks in the sidewalk and toads/warts... I would try to side step cracks but I have always loved toads and frogs and (luckily) never encountered a wart.
What an enjoyable post this is... thanks for the walk down memory lane.

morningDove said...

I remember a work for warts - cut an apple in half; rub one half on the wart, dig a hole put the whole apple (halves facing each other) in the ground and bury it. When it rots the wart will disappear. It did work!! thanks for a childhood memory.

Your Polynesian girl is so sweet. I'll go check your other blog.

laughingwolf said...

great, fannie...

do you have a link to that drawing class you took?


Fannie said...

Thanks, Lisa and Dove! Always appreciate your visits.

Paulette's link is:

Thanks for your visit!

laughingwolf said...

thank you, fannie :)

Regina said...

your drawing is really sweet.

I have wondered about the commonality of children's fears and the stories they tell to "torture" each other.
How is it that so many of us had monsters - or some other ferocious creatures- living under our beds.
In our case, it was alligators. Once the light went out, the alligators would come out. OH MY! It was a fearsome job to be the one who had to turn out the light, because the switch was across the room for the bed. I wonder what my parents (in the room below) thought when they heard steps race across the room and the big leap onto the bed.