Myths, Sagas and Fairy Tales
This part of the No Trace site is mainly filled with stories. These are stories that can be used as inspiration or as further explanation for topics on this site. They are also a nice addition to the campfire, for example.
These stories can mainly be classified as myths, sagas and fairy tales. I have roughly used the following definitions for this.
Myths are stories in which gods, demigods, heroes and / or mythical creatures play a role. The exact time and place are not always clear.
Myths were believed. They can be part of religion and rituals. They also often “explain” existing social phenomena and “justify” them. Myths were thus part of a living part of a society.
A saga is a traditional folk tale. Often the stories take place in a known place and at a known moment in time. The saga is usually a shorter story than a fairytale. It deals with a certain form of folk belief. Sagas contain many terrifying, supernatural elements. With subjects such as witchcraft, sorcery, haunting, werewolvery. But also about giants, gnomes, nightmares (the creature, not the dream), Banshees, devils and the like. Legends can also tell of brave and strong heroes, fearsome robbers, underground passages, hidden treasures and bottomless wells. In principle, the sagas were once told as truth. They were perceived as non-fiction for storytellers and audience.
The fairy tale
A fairy tale is more often a literary invention. In essence, it is a committed genre that contains the necessary satire and socio-cultural rebellion. The stories take place in an indefinite place in an indefinite period of time. A fairy tale therefore often opens with the words “Once upon a time …” We often return in a fairytale to an indefinable feudal past.
In the beginning of the story, the hero is faced with a problem that must be solved. The hero then goes on an adventure. Without the hero being much surprised about this, he is opposed by evil creatures, but also helped by good people and animal helpers. The hero, thanks to his courage, wisdom, honesty, goodness or luck, manages to bring the adventure to a successful conclusion. The fairy tale, as a rule, ends optimistically (unlike the saga!). Hence, the closing formula often reads: “And they lived happily ever after”.
I leave it to you, the reader, what category the story ultimately belongs under. I don’t think that’s important either. It’s about the story itself, about the lesson that can possibly be learned from it. But also for the pleasure of telling and listening. For example, by a campfire.
Sources for these stories can often be found in the book reviews where for example Coyote Wisdom and By The Fire : Sami folktales and legends are covered. It’s never 1op1 copies of these stories. I always try to write them down the way I remember them. As is the case with a tradition. 😉