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Author Comment
dorisi
Registered User
(8/24/04 5:43 am)
Hair in folklore
Iím trying to find fairytales/folklore in which hair plays a crucial part. I know there are a heap of them but my mind keeps going blank - all I can think of is the Rusalka, whose hair needs to stay wet, if my memory is correct? Although at this time of night I suspect my memory is going the way of my mind...Any thoughts appreciatively accepted.

Doris

Angelsky
Registered User
(8/24/04 5:58 am)
Rupunzel!
Rupunzel, just in case.

Black Sheep
Registered User
(8/24/04 8:47 am)
Re: Hair in folklore
How about the Norse Goddess Sif (Mrs Thor) whose golden hair was stolen by Loki and then restored by the dwarfs, more or less...

For a faithful translation of Snorri's original retelling try:

www.northvegr.org/lore/prose/145148.php

Or a modern retelling by Thorskegga Thorn, with end notes:

loki.ragnarokr.com/pipthsif.htm

Random
Registered User
(8/24/04 12:57 pm)
Re: Hair in folklore
How about Iron Hans, where the prince's hair falls into the well and comes out gold?

I think there was another Grimm one along similar lines, where a princess in disguise would need to distract a boy every day to give her time to comb and braid her (presumably beautiful) hair, but I don't remember the specifics of that one at all.

aka Greensleeves
(8/24/04 1:38 pm)

Re: Hair in folklore
There's the biblical tale of Samson, whose legendary strength was linked to his hair, which could never be cut (lest he lose said strength).

**
In Patrice Kindl's THE GOOSE GIRL, the goose girl winds up with ridiculously long hair that (among other things) keeps her bound in servitude to a family of trolls. I'm not familiar enough with the Goose Girl to know if this is a standard element of the tale or not.

Stephanie in the prairie

janeyolen
Registered User
(8/24/04 2:22 pm)
Re: Hair in folklore
The Devil whose grandmother plucks three hairs from his head. (Can't remember which story this is, though.)

Jane

Heather KT
Registered User
(8/24/04 2:33 pm)
Hair in folklore
I think the story where the heroine makes the boy's cap blow away so he'll chase it, leaving her alone to comb her golden hair is "The Goose-Girl" (there's a version in Lang's _Blue Fairy Book_).

And how about:

"The Three Heads in the Well" (& variations including "The King of Colchester's Daughter"): the heroine has to comb out the hair of the heads in the well.

"The Magician's Cape" (_Great Swedish Fairy Tales_): the heroine mends a tear in the evil magician's cape with her hair, which causes him all kinds of problems.

"Mollie Whuppie": the heroine crosses a bridge of one hair. According to Tatar's _Annotated Classic Fairy Tales_, in a Scottish version, it's her own hair.

Elf locks: Isn't a tangled lock of hair that can't be combed straight the sign of a changeling child?

And there may be a story where someone combs gold out of her hair, but I can't remember more details at the moment.

Heather



Edited by: Heather KT at: 8/24/04 2:39 pm
dorisi
Registered User
(8/24/04 4:30 pm)
Re: Hair in folklore
Thanks so much for all those suggestions! And thanks Jane for bringing up the three hairs story - it was one I'd been particularly trying to remember, I'd forgotten the devil detail and only remembered that three hairs were involved in the story.

Erica Carlson
Registered User
(8/25/04 5:43 pm)
Re: Hair in folklore
Snow White and Rose Red features a bad-tempered dwarf with a long beard. He keeps getting his beard caught on things and the girls keep cutting his beard to set him free, for which he is profoundly ungrateful.
Erica

evil little pixie
Registered User
(10/25/04 9:54 pm)
Re: Hair in folklore
I've read two different modern stories (Mollie Hunter's The Mermaid Summer and a picture book about a Carribean mermaid named Mama Jo) that say a mermaid's magical power is contained in her hair. I don't know if this idea has any basis in traditional legend or not, but it might be something to look into.

Kel
Unregistered User
(10/25/04 10:46 pm)
*subject*
The sisters in The Little Mermaid cut off their hair to get the knife for the mermaid to kill the prince and return to the sea.

...And in Bluebeard, weren't the women scared of him at first because of his hair color?

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