“The Future of Storytelling” MOOC through Iversity.com
Creative Task for week 1 is:
Please think about which story you have read, seen, listened to, played or experienced has impressed you most in your life. … Which story can you still very well remember? Write down both, the summary of this story (what you remember of the story, not what Wikipedia says.. 🙂 and – on the other hand: – what made it so special to you that you can still remember it.
One of the stories that I remember most from my childhood is an old Northern Eskimo story about girl named Sedna.
Summary: Sedna lived at the edge of the world with her father and he fished and caught them food. One day, a handsome stranger came and told Sedna and her father that he was from the land of birds and, if she would come with him and be his bridge, he would catch her meat, keep her warm, and make her very happy. Sedna agreed. She said goodbye to her father and climbed into the stranger’s kyak. Her father was sad to see her go. When they were beyond sight of land, the stranger suddenly transformed! He was really a giant bird spirit. He carried Sedna to the land of birds where he kept his word. He brought her meat and lined her nest with down to keep her nice and warm. But Sedna was lonely. She missed her father. He missed her, too, and so he traveled to the land of birds to find her. Sedna was so happy to see him. “Father, take me home! I am sad and lonely,” she cried. So they got into her father’s kyak and he began paddling away as fast as he could. The bird spirit flew after them calling, “Come back, Sedna! I love you!” But they would not stop. Angered, the bird spirit turned into a giant storm that overcame Sedna’s kyak. Fearing for his own life, Sedna’s father threw her overboard. When she clung to the kyak, he took his hatchet and chopped off her fingers, throwing her down into the deep.
But Sedna did not die. Instead, out of her fingers came seals, hundreds of seals that could feed a village of a year. Then, giant walruses came from her fingers. And whales, enormous whales!
Meanwhile, Sedna’s father arrived home but his heart hurt for what he had done. Underneaeth the ice, an army of Sedna’s animals gathered. They began to churn the waters underneath until the ice broke and her father fell through into the water. But he didn’t not drown; instead, the animals took him to Sedna, who had become an ocean spirit, the guardian of the Eskimo. She forgave him and he remained there with her and they were both very happy.
And to this day, when the Eskimo are hungry, they pray to Sedna, and she gives them one of her animals to hunt.
Reflection: What makes this story special to me is that it was part of a fairy tale video that my father bought me. I watched it so often that I had all the stories memorized. Years later, in college, I took a cultural anthropology course and the focus people were the Netsilik, a Southern Eskimo group. They have a similar story and my professor was stunned to realize that I knew the story, albeit the Northern Eskimo version. He was very impressed and I have remembered that story ever since.