Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella

Since May is Asian-Pacific American Month, I thought I would feature some of the Asian fairy tales I have done and then I realized that almost all the Cinderella tales I haven't done yet are from Asia, so we are back to having Fairy Tales in Different Cultures. (I should add that we are behind in our cooking for Around the World in 12 Dishes, but that will be coming as soon as I get Hazel to cook with me.) We have already shared Cinderella tales from China, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and India and a Snow White tale from Armenia. We have also shared Islamic versions of both Cinderella and Snow White. Our tale today is The Golden Sandal by Rebecca Hickox. It is a Middle Eastern Cinderella tale. So first a bit about the Middle East. 
The Middle East is Western Asia. It is also called the Near East. The people of the Middle East come from long established ethnic groups including Arabs, Turks, Persians, Balochs, Pashtuns, Lurs, Mandeans, Tats, Jews, Kurds, Somalis, Assyrians, Egyptian Copts, Armenians, Azeris, Maltese, Circassians, Greeks, Turcomans, Shabaks, Yazidis, Mandeans, Georgians, Roma, Gagauz, Mhallami and Samaritans. Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The majority of the area is dry and hot with a few rivers to provide irrigation for crops. The countries that border the Persian Gulf generally have vast reserves of crude oil. (Source)

In The Golden Sandal, a fisherman is left with his small daughter, Maha, after his wife drowns. A neighbor who is a widow with a small daughter of her own comes to take care of Maha every day. Maha begs his father to marry the widow. He tells her he will never remarry since a stepmother can be jealous of a stepdaughter. Maha continues to beg and eventually her father marries the widow. At first everyone is very happy, but the widow gets jealous of how much the fisherman loves his daughter and of her grace and beauty whereas her own daughter is clumsy and pale in comparison. The stepmother begins having Maha do all the work and feeds her only a few dried dates while the fisherman is away during the day. 

One day Maha is to bring fish back from her father's boat. On her way home, the red fish begins to talk to her and asks her to spare his life. Maha releases it in the river and the fish tells her Allah will reward her and to ask him at any time for whatever she needs. That night the father asks what happened to the red fish and the stepmother is furious that Maha did not bring all the fish back. Maha runs to the river crying and calls for the fish. The fish gives her a coin to give her stepmother and tells her to say she sold the fish. The stepmother is happy with the coin, but still not happy with Maha. 

Over the years both girls grow into young women. Maha works all day and the stepsister becomes lazy and mean to Maha. Maha goes to the fish whenever she feels overwhelmed and the fish does something to help her. One day, a merchant's daughter is to be married. It is the custom for all the unmarried girls to go to the women's celebration before the wedding where the bride has her arms and feet painted with red henna. The mothers of the unmarried men are present and see the girls who are available for marriage.  The stepmother scrubs her daughter and dresses her in the finest clothes they own and leaves Maha home to carry heavy water jugs and sweep the floor. When they leave she goes crying to the fish. The fish provides her a beautiful gown, pearl comb and golden sandals. Maha quickly cleans herself and dresses. When she enters the women assume she must be from an important family dressed as she is and the bride has her sit next to her. Her stepmother and stepsister joke about how she looks a bit like Maha but they could never imagine her in such fine clothes. Maha has such a good time she forgets to keep a close eye on her stepmother and leave before she does. She rushes out after her stepmother and loses one of her sandals in the river. She makes it home and is able to change before her stepmother and stepsister return. 

The next day the bride's brother, Tariq, stops by the river to let his horse get a drink, but the horse refuses to drink. Tariq finds the golden sandal and thinks it is so beautiful. He imagines the woman who wore it and takes it home to his mother. He tells her he wants to marry the girl who lost the sandal. The mother takes the sandal house to house starting with the wealthy families to have the unmarried girls try it on. Eventually she arrives at Maha's home. The stepmother sees her coming and locks Maha in the bread oven with a large rock in front of it. The sandal does not fit the stepsister. A rooster flies to the top of the bread oven and begins crowing with all his might and tells Tariq's mother that the one she is looking for is in the oven. She has her servant open the oven and Maha crawls out. Of course the sandal fits her. Tariq's mother gives the stepmother a purse of gold and tells her that Maha is betrothed to Tariq and they will be married in two days time. The bitter stepmother goes to the perfumer and asks him to make an oil that smells so foul  as rotting fish and that will make hair fall out. She combs this oil into Maha's hair the night before the wedding. The next day the procession comes for Maha and when she arrives and Tariq lifts her veil, the room fills with the scent of roses and her hair is even more beautiful than before. Tariq and Maha live in happiness.

When Tariq's brother sees how happy Tariq is, he tells his mother he wants to marry Maha's sister. The mother goes to the stepmother and gives her a purse of gold and tells her to prepare for the wedding. Since the oil worked so positively for Maha, she uses in her own daughter's hair. When the groom is able to lift the veil he finds a woman with a smell that almost chokes him and all her hair is replaced with red blisters. She is returned to her mother in shame. Tariq and Maha have seven children and live happily.

Like so many of the Asian Cinderella tales, a fish plays an important role in the story. Since the fish is a red fish, I used a red paper plate and made a simple red fish. I did it rather quickly and would have used googly eyes, but I didn't take the time to find them. Hazel wants to make one so our next one will have googly eyes.

For more Cinderella tales check out:

Sharing Saturday 14-20

What a busy and beautiful week it has been here! Last week's Sharing Saturday had so many wonderful ideas!! If you have not had a chance to check them out yet, you should!! They are so inspiring!! Thank you to everyone who shared and to all who visited and left comments!! We had a two-way tie for most clicked. I am not sure what to think since one was clearly a spring craft and the other was a summer round-up. For the other features I chose some of my favorites and broke them into two displays so the pictures will be bigger.

An Easy Paper Plate Sea Gull Craft

Today I am sharing a quick craft we did at our local library. Every Thursday they have a free craft and Hazel loves to go and do it. This week's craft was a simple paper plate sea gull craft. To make the sea gull you need to cut the head and neck by making a somewhat squiggly line on each side of the middle. Draw it on first to get the shape you want. I also rounded the head on mine a bit. Then you fold the wings down and add eyes (either googly or drawn), beak (red or orange paper or draw it on) and feet (yellow paper). Then if you want you can add decorations like eye lashes or color to the wings and body.

Hazel's Sea Gull
I helped Hazel with the cutting since she is not confident at cutting yet. I also cut out the feet and beaks for her. She did the rest. 

My Sea Gull
I used the markers that were out to decorate a bit more. It seemed like the perfect craft since we had been taking a closer look at sea creatures and lately we have been reading about birds.

For more ideas on Ocean Life and Birds check out:

Color Explorations: Color Wheel, Color Mixing & More!

Our color explorations have continued. This time we used a wonderful DVD, Drawing for All: Volume 5: Exploring Colors by Tina Cintron , a great book of experiments, Color by Ellen Lawerence, and a fun musical CD, Color Wheel Cartwheel by Laura Freeman.
The DVD first begins with drawing a color wheel. Tina Cintron gives simple steps to make your own.You start with a circle (we traced ours) and then number the circle like a clock. Then you connect the numbers 12 and 6, 2 and 8, and 4 and 10. Then you start making the first wedge yellow, skip one and make it red and then skip one and make it blue. She explains these are the primary colors.

Next she adds the secondary colors. She does an excellent job explaining secondary as well as intermediate or tertiary colors.

Hazel and I each made one and then I made a second one to discuss the warm and cool colors only because we had previewed the DVD earlier and I knew it was coming up.

Hazel's Color Wheel
My Color Wheel
In the second color wheel, she discusses complementary colors and what makes them complementary and what it means. Then she goes into warm and cool colors. I did the writing on all the color wheels since Hazel is still learning to write and read.  She also talked about the colors mixing together to make what is called neutral grey, but what she refers to as icky brown.

She also discusses the difference between photography and light colors versus paint, pencil or crayon colors. The primary colors in lights and photography being magenta, cyan and yellow (think of your printer). If these three lights combine they make white. She also talked about a prism and the spectrum (rainbow).  Next she drew pictures with warm colors only. We attempted this picture as well. Our leaves did not look nearly as good.
Hazel's Warm Color Drawing
My Warm Color Drawing
Next she made a picture of mountains and water with only cool colors. We tried this as well.

The next day we looked at the experiments in Color by Ellen Lawrence. The first one we did was to make a rainbow by shining a flashlight through a glass of water. I did not get any pictures of this since we had trouble getting the rainbow. The next experiment was about mixing colors and I have seen it on-line recently including being shared by From ABCs to ACTs: Preschool Science: A Color Mixing Experiment at a recent Sharing Saturday.

The book said to watch closely, but Hazel did not have the patience for this. It takes quite awhile for it to happen, so we let it sit and did some more experiments. The next one involved paper towels as well. You cut a paper towel so it will fit in a baking sheet and then draw dots of color on one end. Tape the paper towel to pan and then slowly add water so it just touches the bottom of the paper towel.

The colors spread out and the ones that have multiple colors in them separate, so you can see some of the colors that make them up.

Our final experiment involved a walk outside. We had to gather leaves of different shades of green. Then we looked at the shades and tried to mix green paint with white and black to make the shade. We found we had to add yellow for some.

Then Hazel wanted to paint the leaves that we tried to match with the color we made. Finally she wanted to make a shades of green painting. We have a few more experiments from this book to try still, but we have been loving it. Plus we have more books with color experiments. Stay tuned!!

We have also been loving the music on Laura Freeman's Color Wheel Cartwheel CD. It includes ways to say rainbow and the colors in many different languages and then a song about each color and finally a song about the rainbow of colors. It is very fun!!

For more on color explorations, check out:

Color Explorations: Painting

A few things happened in my life recently to bring me to start exploring color again with Hazel. The first is I went to see the Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts with my mom. The exhibit really focused on how the colors played with one another and I thought it would be neat to take Hazel to see it. It will still be there when she is out of school, so we will be going. I found it so interesting to see the movement in some of them. Here are a few of my favorites.

Then last week I went to a paint party. Have you been to one of them yet? I had actually planned this one as a fundraiser for my church. We met at a local restaurant and had dinner first and then joined the instructor in the back room of the restaurant for our paint lesson.We chose to use an instructor from North Shore Paint Party and I picked the sunset from her gallery. She gave us only five colors of paints to make our sunset paintings--red, blue, yellow, white and black. Hazel was rather jealous that I was going to this and when I saw all the paint mixing to get the colors you want, I knew I would have to try it with her. Since I was not completely happy with the colors in my painting, I decided to try again with Hazel. I learned when you are happy with the color or pretty happy with it to stop. If you keep painting it will eventually get muddy and dark. It was amazing to see all the different versions of the painting at the party.

My Paint Party Painting
Since I had some acrylics, brushes and canvases, we tried it the next day. Since the weather was gorgeous we painted outside. I however did not have the correct acrylics and should have bought artist acrylics and not the little bottles I had. Oh, well. We had fun and love our new paintings. For supplies you need red, yellow, blue, black and white paint, three brushes (large, medium and small), a canvas (we used 16" x 20"), a cup of water, a paper plate for your palette, and paper towels. Oh, and an easel.

You give each painter a paper plate with a spot of each color on it and three brushes. They can mix colors on their plate. We started in the upper left corner with blue for the sky. Then we mixed other colors. In the class the instructions were to mix green, but I tried purple at home instead.

I made the mistake of not showing Hazel how to do the strokes to fill in the area, so hers was blotchy at first. I painted a yellow horizon line on hers so she would know where the sunset ended and we talked about the colors to use for the sunset.

When we both had finished our skies we stopped and looked at each others. At this point Hazel had a bit of a meltdown since she liked mine better than hers and she decided she would never be able to paint well. I showed her the stroke and helped her achieve more of a sky like mine.

My Sky

Then we started on the water. The water is a bit easier since it is mostly blue. I helped her a bit more than I normally would have but that was because of her mood. I also did her trees for her since she was sure she would not be able to do them.

Hazel's Sunset Painting

My Sunset Painting

I added a lighthouse to mine for Steve. He loves lighthouses. We have both paintings hanging up now. Hazel has hers in her room. She still wanted to paint so we grabbed more canvases. She really wanted to make grey paint. Our paper plates looked like this in the end. You can also use the water to help mix the colors a bit on the canvas, but this worked better with the other acrylics.

Hazel's Second Painting

I did not help at all with her second painting. While she did this I painted her a flower for her room.

We have been reading books on color as well. Our favorite has been A Color Sampler by Kathleen Westray. Hazel is really enjoying learning more about colors. She already knew her primary and secondary colors. Now we have been exploring with other things like tints and shades.

I will share more of our color explorations soon. For more experiments with color check out: