Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Moss Gown

This week we are sharing a fairy tale out of the Eastern part of North Carolina. This story seems to have so many different parts of other stories from all over the world. It amazes me how many seemed to come up in the story and remind me of the other Cinderella tales.
Map of the United States with North Carolina highlighted

First a little bit about North Carolina. North Carolina is in the Southeastern part of the United States. It is known as the Tar Heel State and the Old North State. The capital is Raleigh and is named after Sir Walter Raleigh. North Carolina is the 28th most extensive state and the tenth most populous.

In 1584, Elizabeth I granted Sir Walter Raleigh a charter for the present day North Carolina (then part of Virginia). He tried to establish two colonies, but both failed. However on August 18, 1857, the first English child, Virginia Dare, born on American soil was born on Roanoke Island (one of Raleigh's colonies). Dare County is named after her.
Sir Walter Ralegh by 'H' monogrammist.jpg
Sir Walter Raleigh (Source)

In 1663 King Charles II granted a charter to settle a colony and named it Carolina in honor of his father King Charles I. In 1710 the Carolina Colony split into North Carolina and South Carolina due to disputes in governance.

Some other interesting facts about North Carolina:
  • In 1795 North Carolina opened the first public university in the United States, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill
  • Krispy Kreme donuts was started in North Carolina
  • Pepsi Cola was first developed in North Carolina
  • North Carolina's largest two metropolitan areas are among the top ten fastest growing in the US (Source)
Now onto our book. This week we are looking at Moss Gown by William H. Hooks. In his Author's Note, Hooks discusses some of the history of North Carolina. He discusses the tradition of storytelling perserving the Elizabethan culture as well as Virginia Dare's birth. He uses both of these to tie in the elements of King Lear as well as Cinderella to this story. There is apparently a similar story in the Western part of North Carolina called Rush Cape where the dress is made of something else since there was not Spanish moss in the Appalachia. He also discusses the term gris-gris being French and known in the Carolinas as a kind of spell that often, but not always is evil. These are the words the magic cat woman uses to help Moss Gown.

Now the story. A wealthy man lived in a large Southern mansion with his three daughters. He was growing old and no longer enjoyed riding his horse around his land or hunting in the swamp. He tended to sit on the porch and stare out. One stormy day his youngest daughter, Candace, ran out to get him out of the rain, but he said to call her sisters because he had gifts for them. The older daughters who had been watching it all came right out when hearing the word gifts.

The man told his daughters to tell him how much they loved him and based on their answers he would divide the land. The oldest two told him they loved him more than jewels and riches. While Candace thought about her answer and wanted something truly from her heart. She replied that she loved him more than meat loves salt. Now if you have been following this series for awhile you may remember this storyline from a Jewish Cinderella that takes place in Poland. The older sisters laughed at her answer and Candace could not find the words to explain what she meant. The father gave the oldest daughters all of his land. That night they chased Candace out into the storm since they now owned the land.

Candace wandered in the storm. Strangely she was not afraid even when the wind picked her up and flew her over the cypress treetops in the swamp. The wind put her down on a soft bed of Spanish moss. There she fell asleep. She was awoken by someone singing. When she opened her eyes she saw a black woman with green eyes who she felt looked like a cat. She was singing a song with the words, "Gris-gris" in it. As stated above this was known in the Carolinas to be a magic term that usually caused evil. The woman was holding a beautiful gossamer dress. Candace hid from the woman, but the woman left the dress with her and told her if she ever needed her to say the rhyme. After she left, Candace put on the dress and her feet seemed to know the way she should go. At sunlight her dress turned to rags made from moss. (Now this part of the story reminded me of the Alaskan Cinderella where the dress changed in sunlight.)
Her feet brought her to a house that looked very much like her father's. She knocked and the mistress of the house took pity on the girl dressed in rags and moss and sent her to do chores in the kitchen. Not wanting to reveal her real name, she told the first cook that her name was Moss Gown (like the cat woman called her in the swamp). The kitchen staff gave her the worst jobs, but she did them. She always dreamed of returning to her father's home, but after six months she realized she never would since she was not wanted there. 

One day the First Cook announced that the young master of the house was going to host a three-day frolic with a ball each night and all of the household staff could go to the balls if they had a ball dress. Since Moss Gown did not have a ball gown and only had her moss rags and borrowed clothes she was the only one not to go. While trying to fall asleep the first night she could not due to the noise. She remembered her moss dress that was under her bed and the cat woman. She pulled out the dress and called the cat woman with the line she had been told. The cat woman appeared and touched the dress. It became the beautiful gossamer gown again. She warned Moss Gown that it would be rags again as the morning star disappeared. 

Moss Gown made quite the entrance. The young master danced the night away with her. He asked her name, but she played coy with him. Then as the sun was rising he asked to walk her home. She slipped away. She repeated this the next two nights. 

After the frolic the young master went off to find the mystery woman he fell in love with. He rode the countryside searching. Eventually he sadly returned home and refused to eat. The First Cook was saying how he was wasting away and needed to eat. Moss Gown asked to serve his dinner that evening. She ran to her room and called the Cat Woman. The Cat Woman told her not to run in the morning this time. Moss Gown appeared with his food and when he realized it was her, he was so happy and ate. They spent the evening together talking and when the sun rose she did not run. Afraid he would no longer love her in rags, she asked him how he felt about her. He said rags could not hide her beauty. They were married the next week. 

At the wedding there were two unknown guests, a black cat-like woman and an old man. The black cat-like woman disappeared shortly after the wedding festivities, but the old man was confused and stayed. The kitchen staff took pity on him and let him warm himself by the fire and fed him. He told them a story of two daughters who spent all his money and kicked him out to beg for his food.

 The next morning Moss Gown saw him and asked him if he knew who she was. He did not. She told him he was always welcome at her table and went in and told the first cook to plan a dinner with no salt. The old man pushed away the plate. Moss Gown handed him the saltcellar and said to him, "I love you the way meat loves salt." At that moment he knew it was his long-lost favorite daughter, Candace. The husband invited the father to stay with them as long as he wished. They all lived happily together with much celebration.

As you can see I saw so many connections to other Cinderella versions. I found this one to be so interesting and since it probably morphed from tales brought to America with the colonists, it seems like the perfect American version.

Let's Talk about Race

There has been a lot of talk about race in the news and all over the place lately. With the Trayvon Martin shooting and his killer's trial and of course with the not guilty verdict, it seems everyone has an opinion about it. I've heard on some stations that this whole case has nothing to do with race whereas others say it has everything to do with race. Either way, let us remember that a 17-year-old walking home from a quick trip to a convenience store. His home was in a gated community that had several break-ins and other issues recently, so they started a neighborhood watch led by George Zimmerman, the shooter. Zimmerman had a gun because of a lose pit bull in the neighborhood. Zimmerman called the police to report a suspicious looking male in the neighborhood. The police dispatcher told him he did not have to chase him, but he did. After getting off the phone, Martin had been shot by Zimmerman 70 yards from the townhouse he was staying at. Now this happened in Florida and the state of Florida has a Stand Your Ground Law. This law is what got Zimmerman acquitted. (Source)

Listening to all the different points of view and trying to make sense of it is hard and confusing. Even President Obama has given his opinion on it all. The truth of it is we as a society/country and world need to find a way to co-exist. We need to realize we are all creatures of Earth and have all been created by God (at least in my beliefs). We need to remember that each of us no matter what we have done are loved by God. We need to get rid of our institutionalized racism (as well as the other -isms) and learn to accept our differences. We need people to have a sense of responsibility for themselves again and not to blame the other guy (whether a person or a business). But most of all we need to teach our children by example to love one another and to end the violence in our world. 

I am going to share a true story with you. This story breaks my heart and I think it is a perfect example of how much our media has influenced our youth. I was Christmas shopping with a good friend one year at a mall. My friend was making a purchase in Macy's Children's Department. While waiting for her (she was in line) I was just looking at the nearby displays. One display was of Holiday Barbie dolls. A young black girl came over and saw the display. The first doll she saw was the Black Barbie doll. Her response was, "Oooh, pretty."
Then she came around the display to the white Barbie dolls. Her response was, "Ooooh, prettier."
Now it broke my heart. As a teacher and an adviser to a multicultural club at the high school I was teaching, I felt like I needed to do something, but I also assumed the adults who were with the child (but not in hearing distance) would question me, a stranger, talking to their young child (she was probably six or seven). At this point my friend was finished and the girl's mother called her over, so I had done nothing, but the incident has always remained with me.

I have gone through many years of diversity training and have also chaperoned many student trips to diversity trainings. I have even spent a week as an adviser for a session of the National Conference For Community and Justice's (NCCJ) Anytown .  I have to say I had my most interesting night there before the kids arrived spending most of a night talking to my two roommates about how we knew whether we were heterosexual or homosexual. They were both lesbians. I know about affinity groups and have heard many stories from them after being broken into them. I know how much prejudice there still is in our country. I also know it is wrong. I understand people are upset about how messed up our welfare system is and I agree it is. I also think our entire society needs a responsibility check. When someone can sue a company for giving them a hot coffee that burns them when they spill and win the case, we have problems and this to me is where the welfare issues stem from. We all seem to feel entitled to something even if it is not ours, and we have not worked for it and it does not seem to matter the color of your skin.

The United States use to be a country where people came and worked hard and had a good life getting ahead. Now if we are born here we feel entitled to that good life and if people come here legally or not, they feel entitled. We seem to be missing the working hard. Some may say there are no jobs, we have a bad economy, but these entitlements go back much too far for those to be our reasons. 

But I have digressed onto another topic than the one I wanted to discuss. We all need to think before we act or say something. We need to be responsible for our own actions and not judged by those of someone like us. We need to step out of our comfort zones sometimes to meet others part way. We need to learn more about other cultures so we can find some similarities. And we need to remember there are bad and good in every culture, race, group and the bad does not define the whole. As a Christian I know the Bible tells me that Jesus taught us to love everyone as we love ourselves for this is how God loves us. I know I strive to do this. I am human so I know it is probably not completely possible for me, but I can still strive for it. Since I have been focusing on this, I know I feel much happier and more satisfied with my life. Will you join in me in striving to make the world a more loved place by trying to love others how God loves us? Remember God gave us freewill, but with freewill comes responsibility.

Sharing Saturday 13-29

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Wow, we had another inspiring week of posts shared. If you have not had a chance to check them out, please do so and thank you to all of you who shared last week and to those who visited and commented!

This week we had a most clicked and I picked six of my favorites to feature. I hope you will check them all out. My six favorites have a bit of a summer theme. I know I am enjoying my summer and hope you are as well.
Isn't this watercolor painting done by her son beautiful? Click on picture to see the post.

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here , please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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From Your Hostess:
On Thursday it was my turn in the Multicultural Kids Blog Pinterest Scavenger Hunt. I hope you are joining us in the hunt!!
Multicultural Kid Blogs Pinterest Scavenger Hunt

This week we shared our prayer beads and The Jesus Prayer book, an Islamic Cinderella (in honor of Ramadan), our exploration of the butterfly life cycle with live caterpillars to butterflies as well as crafts and activities, Hazel's first attempt at weaving, our clue in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Pinterest Scavenger Hunt, and a new series Flamingo Friday.

Now for This Week's Party 
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2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

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4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook and Google+
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Flamingo Friday

Today I am going to start a new series on flamingos. Now Hazel has loved flamingos from a young age. They were one of her favorite animals at the zoo from the first time we went there. Since she has shown an interest in them we tend to focus on them a bit. So each Friday we will share a book, movie, craft, activity about flamingos. I love this picture of Hazel at Sea World this June with one of the flamingos who was being taken back to his cage with a couple of his friends. You can see how big they actually are.
However today we are going to share a wonderful book we found at the library. It is wordless. The book is Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle.

Flora is a young girl who dresses in her pink bathing suit and swimming gear to try to act like the flamingo. She tries to copy the flamingos poses.
We went through and tried some of the poses too. However a bathing suit would have made it easier to see the poses. Sorry!
The flamingo keeps checking out what Flora is doing, but Flora pretends she is not copying the bird when it looks.

Hazel and Flora did well until the sleeping pose came. Then they both ended in a bit of a somersault. 
At this point the flamingo invites Flora to dance with it teaching her the poses. They dance as a couple for some of it. We did this, but could not get pictures. I did take this last picture of her though.
We truly enjoyed Flora and the Flamingo and trying to copy the movements in it. I hope you will check it out and have enjoyed our first flamingo post.

Multicultural Kid Blogs Pinterest Scavenger Hunt

Get ready to start exploring!

The Pinterest Scavenger Hunt has officially begun!
This contest is sponsored by Multicultural Kid Blogs to celebrate the official launch of our website.
The Scavenger Hunt will run from July 15 to July 28. Participants have until July 31 to submit their entries, and the drawing will take place on August 1.
You could win one of four fabulous prize packages!
Details about the Scavenger Hunt can be found below.

Today's Clue 

Travel the world to stretch the week.

 Now take a look around on this site and try to find the post that fits the clue. Once you think you've found it, pin it to the Pinterest Board you've created just for this contest.
Be sure to pop over to The Art of Home Education for the other clue for today. A full schedule and rules of the game can be found below. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom for more chances to win!

How to Play:

Create a Pinterest board specifically for the contest and name the board "Multicultural Kid Blogs Pinterest Scavenger Hunt." Each day a new clue (or two!) will be revealed. Follow the clue to the blog of the day and pin the post described in the clue. (Any image from the post is fine). In the Rafflecopter below, enter the link to the Pinterest board you created for this contest. The Rafflecopter will also have lots of other ways to earn extra entries. The only required entry is the link to your Pinterest board. Please note: You can enter the Rafflecopter at any point during the contest. Obviously your board won't be complete until the end of the contest, but you can enter the link in the Rafflecopter before then. If your name is drawn at the end of the contest, we will check your board at that time. The final clue will be given July 28. Participants will have until midnight Pacific time on July 31 to finalize their boards. The drawing will take place on August 1. Winners must have pinned all of the correct posts to their board. Winners will be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours or another name will be drawn. Good luck, explorers!

Our Fabulous Prizes

GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE (Total Value $128.74)
Language Learning Box Set (3 DVDs) from Little Pim ($49.95): The Little Pim Box Set Volume I is a great way to introduce young learners to over 180 words and phrases in the language of your choice related to daily routines, food, and playtime! Winner can choose the language of the prize from among those available from Little Pim. (US Shipping Only. If the grand prize winner is located outside the US, the Language Learning Box Set will become part of the 1st prize package).
Little Pim Spanish Box Set Vol. I3 Month Subscription from Little Passports ($41.85): Little Passports is a unique subscription based service that can take your family on an adventure to learn about culture and history from all 50 states and across the world. With this educational, monthly package, kids will become excited about geography, history, and culture by following the world travels of characters Sam and Sofia on their magic scooter! Winner chooses between World and USA editions.
LP World Explorer Kit Luke's Beach Day storybook from Kids Yoga Stories ($15.95): Yoga-inspired story set on an Australian beach
The Skin You Live In book from Squishable Baby ($16): A book that celebrates the beauty in all of us.
The Skin You Live In_Large
One copy of Be Bilingual: Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families (eBook) from Be Bilingual ($4.99): A well-researched yet highly readable book on raising bilingual children.

1st PRIZE PACKAGE (Total Value: $104.88) US shipping only

Two books from Lee & Low ($29.90):
Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell: Released in May 2013, Rainbow Stew follows three African American children and their grandfather as they pick fresh vegetables in his garden to cook up a lunch on a rainy afternoon.
Rainbow Stew Cover
How Far Do You Love Me? by Lulu Delacre: From the Swiss Alps Mountain Range to the Great Barrier Reef, How Far Do You Love Me? takes readers across the seven continents in a new take on the "I love you" game.
How Far Do You Love Me? Cover
Educational toy from Plushkies ($24.99): Plushkies are educational toys in the shape of countries to awaken a curiosity in kids about the world, travel, & culture.
Spanish language bundle from Spanish Playground ($20): traditional wooden toys and digital downloads. Wooden chicken paddle toy and wooden top (una pirinola) to play "toma todo." Digital downloads of Spanish language story-coloring book Los pollitos and animal activity cards.Los Pollitos - Spanish Playground
One copy of the Bamboo Dance and one passport ($14.99) from Hartlyn Kids: An illustrated children's book about the day in the life of a child in the Philippines. The book contains a mock passport sticker. Also included is an accompanying mock passport.Phillipines Story - Hartlyn Kids
Caxixi Woven Rattle From Africa from World Music with Daria ($10): Awesome fair trade woven rattle from Ghana
Caxixi Rattle
One copy of Be Bilingual: Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families (eBook) from Be Bilingual ($4.99) See details above
2nd PRIZE PACKAGE (Total Value: $36.99)
Fire and Gold digital download from Nightingale Creations ($10): A CD on the theme of tests and difficulties
2 sets of postcards and a notepad from Paper Papel Papier ($22): eco & multilingual-friendly paper goods
Paper Papel PapierOne copy of Be Bilingual: Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families (eBook) from Be Bilingual ($4.99) See details above

3rd PRIZE PACKAGE (Total Value: $29.95)

One copy of Ramadan Cookbook and Meal Plan (eBooks) from MarocMama ($18): Two ebooks featuring traditional (and some less traditional!) Ramadan recipes and meal ideas
Ramadan Nights
One copy of Coconut Oil For Your Skin (eBook) from Hybrid Rasta Mama ($11.95): an eBook filled with nourishing and simple recipes for skin care and hair care products featuring coconut oil as the main ingredient.
Cooking Oil For Your Skin_Ecover1000px

Scavenger Hunt Schedule

(Visit the Scavenger Hunt main page for a full list of clues as they are revealed).
July 15
July 16
July 17
July 18
July 19
July 20
July 21
July 22
July 23
July 24
July 25
July 26
July 27
July 28
Final day to enter the contest is July 31, 2013, at midnight PDT. Drawing will take place on August 1, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway