Friday, February 15, 2013
Hello folks. Now that Ivan Sanderson's book and notebook and journal collection is in fairly good order, [read: on shelves and pretty accessible], the long task of sifting through the "unorganized boxes of paper" is beginning in earnest. The above pictures show some "once-through" sorted materials at the top, and a partially mined "chaos box" at the bottom. Going through these things is an adventure, but since such a high percentage of it is VERY low-grade ore, it helps to have someone to sit across the table with and share the job. Other than that, believe it or not, I find the task pretty tedious.
But, it has its rewarding moments.
In that box above, completely separate from any similar content, Ivan had a very poor-quality copy of several pages of James Mooney's MYTHS of the CHEROKEE from the Bureau of American Ethnology Annual Report for 1897-8. He had cut up these pages and pasted them onto a few sheets of paper with no attribution whatever --- there could have been other pages somewhere else or lost, but this was just an enigma. I don't know why I even bothered to squint away at the crumby document, but I'm glad that I did. [As you can tell from my lead-in, the title page above, nor the picture pages below, were with the cut up "article"; I found them later when I got interested enough to do the detective work on what this was].
What it was was the field information gathered about a type of paranormal being [society of beings] who resemble old Celtic ideas of the Siddhe --- not the little people of Faerie, but the full-sized entities more like the Tuatha DeDanaan. I was surprised by both the tale told and the fact that Sanderson was even interested, as he shows little interest in such things elsewhere in the collection. Ivan didn't really like the paranormal that much. Maybe he thought that this tale hinted of something more like a "lost tribe".
Then I read the story which had been collected. There it was: the characteristic of a tale about an actual Encounter, rather than a dramatized folkwisdom tale for around-the-campfire.
When he was 10-12 years old he was practicing with bow-and-arrow near the river and got tired of it. He sat on the riverbank building a fish trap, and was piling up some stones to wall in the fish. A normal looking stranger came up to him, remarked that this looked like hard work, and he should take a break. The boy was quite willing to do that, but didn't know if the next offer [to come up the river and have dinner at the stranger's house] was the right thing to do. But customs were different in those days, and the boy went along.
The house was fine and the people very friendly. He had a nice meal, and while doing so, a friend of his family arrived at the stranger's house, and that made him feel at home. He played with the family's children, went to sleep, woke in the morning, had breakfast, and began to get started for home. He and the original gentleman began walking down a path between a cornfield on one side and a peach orchard on the other. Soon the trail connected with another one, and the man said: go by this trail to the ridge ahead and you'll come to the river road. That will take you straight home. And he turned and went back to his house and farm.
And this is the punchline....
The boy walked just a little way towards the river, and, in curiosity, turned and looked back. There was no peach orchard nor cornfield. There was no house nor trail. There was only the mountainside and the trees.
The Irish know all about what happened there. Whether it's called "The Lost Sod" or the "World Alongside", the boy had passed into the parallel world of the Nunne'hi and, just there, passed back out again.
He continued uneventfully back home, where he was greeted by many who had been looking for him. In explanation, he told his story. He saw the family friend who had visited that house also that evening. But the friend said: no, I have been with everyone else looking for you. His family told him that no house was there and that the family friend was an impersonation by the Nunne'hi. They told him that there have sometimes been the sounds of drumming coming from that mountainside, but he had visited no men, but the Nunne'hi.
The more that I find of this stuff [and it has been a walloping great mound of it], the less possible I believe that one can sustain that nothing paranormal is going on in these incidents. How is the "coincidence" of these characteristics across the ocean possible, if not because they both arise from a real underlying shared cause? The Cherokee even have their second and separate group of knee-high little people to go along with the 5+ footers. I will probably go to my grave "All-The-Way-Fool" in my belief in this all-too-infrequently-manifested reality. "They" are one of the few things that I've not experienced and would like to do so. Just for fun.
Of course, if The Trickster is the same sort of entity operating covertly, then maybe I have already had the pleasure. Still, wouldn't mind seeing a little circle of forest-path dancers one day.
Till next time... Peace and hope you had some love on Valentine's Day.
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