The Woman in the Woods (REVIEW)
A Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales Book
The Woman in the Woods and other North American stories marks the fifth volume in this compendium of cautionary fables and fairy tales. The traditional North American stories are from the indigenous nations, such as the Tania, Navajo, and Odawa to name a few.
Cover Artist: Alina Pete
The Synopsis OF THE WOMAN IN THE WOoDS:
This volume consists of number of short stories depicted as short form comics. What is interesting to note is that the writers had to request permission from their relevant Elders and/or nations to be able to share these indigenous stories. These stories and legends belong to their respective nations and not to the individual storytellers. Now that is respect! The stories published in this volume include the Woman in the Woods, which is the title of this anthology.
As it was told to Me (by the Odawa)
Written by: Elijah Forbes
Creation is what this story is about. The Creator the most sacred being, being both feminine and masculine. The realization that good cannot exist without the bad, “it was simply the way of things.” A story about identity and completeness, and acceptance.
Written by: Jordaan Arledge and Mekala Nava
Chokfi is a tale of a trickster rabbit. During a time when animals wore physical coats, ones with patterns and colors. This resulted in many becoming vain and resulted in time spent comparing their coats to others. (Sound familiar?) Chokfi, the trickster rabbit is envious of one particular animal’s coat and tries to steal it from him. This results in a lesson learned about the true cost of vanity.
White Horse Plains (Metis/Cree)
Written by: Rhael McGregor
A story of a Beautiful White horse and its rider who roams the prairie. A story of the conflict between tribes, and the residual feelings of hate that have spanned over years, which had ultimately resulted in a tragedy.
The Rougarou (metis)
Written by: Maija Ambrose Plamondon and Milo Applejohn
Rougarou is a story of a Monster. A monster and a young sensitive boy. A boy who trusts his instincts and befriends the monster. A story that brings to the fore, that physical appearances do not speak true to what lies beneath.
Agonjin in The Water (Ojibwe)
Written by: Alice RL
The source of water begins to dissipate and a tribe goes through a drought. A young girl takes matters into her own hands and goes in search of water for her tribe. The source of water being half-day away. She encounters the mythical, Mishipeshu the Great Water Guardian of the lakes and rivers. A story of love and friendships.
The Woman in The Woods (Taino)
Written by: Mercedes Acosta
“Be careful of what you accept from spirits. Accepting their gifts binds you to them.”
A tale of the woman in the forest, the love shared between two women, the love between a mortal and a spirit.
Into the Darkness (Navajo)
Written by: Izzy Roberts and Aubrie Warner
A shapeshifter story. A non-believer and a believer in legends and folklore.
By The Light of The Moon (S’Kallam)
Written by: Jeffery Veregge and Alina Pete
A truly beautiful love story. The Moon fell in love. And every evening he would shine his light on the Puget Sound revealing its depths and the theatre living beneath. The Moon had fallen in love with the Queen of the Salish sea, Octopus Woman. He would shine his light so brightly so that he could see her dance.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS - THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS:
Let’s be honest here. I would not have necessarily picked up this graphic novel willingly. Why may you ask? Well, firstly it is aimed at the middle graders. Secondly, these are North American folklore. I am not North American. However. I did pick up this black and white graphic novel. The stories are short, making for an easy read. The message and similarities between cultures and religions are so similar it just shouldn’t be surprising. Yet, it is. Love knows no bounds. It does not discriminate in terms of race, creed, gender, or where in the world you may be. Understanding and acceptance of yourself and your self-journey creates a better understanding of not just yourself but of others as well.
Introducing these indigenous stories in the short form comics is brilliant. Especially for those of us who would consider this outside the norm. I do have a slight twinge of regret, it is unfortunate that I only touched volume 5 of this anthology. I am going to rectify this, and soon.