Irish Central: Tales of ancient Irish heroes become more accessible in new online database. “The recently-launched Fionn Folklore Database aims to connect people around the world with approximately 3,500 orally-collected stories and songs about the greatest heroes of the Gaelic world, Fionn mac Cumhaill and his legendary warrior band, the Fianna.”
Japanese Toy Designs from the Late 19th & Early 20th Century: Explore an Online Archive (Open Culture)
New-to-Me, from Open Culture: Japanese Toy Designs from the Late 19th & Early 20th Century: Explore an Online Archive. “These masks, dolls, tops, and other fanciful works of the toymaker’s craft may not immediately appeal to a generation raised with smartphones. But their designs, rooted in Japanese mythology and regional cultures, nevertheless exude both a still-uncommon artistry and a still-fascinating ‘otherness.’”
Greek Reporter: Entirety of Parthenon Frieze Featured on New Website. “The upgraded website enables art lovers from around the world to analyze and marvel at the incredible frieze, which portrays a procession for the ancient festival called the Panathenaia. A stunning array of nearly 400 human figures, including charioteers and people on horseback, as well as hundreds of animals and countless offerings to the goddess Athena is emblazoned on the frieze.”
New-to-me, from 9 News Australia: Inside the lives of Australia’s ‘Yowie Hunters’. “Dean Harrison packs his camping gear, binoculars and thermal imagery camera, about to lead a multi-day expedition through south-east Queensland’s rainforests in search of the Australian Yowie. He’s known as the country’s leading Yowie expert among cryptozoology circles, and has been tracking the elusive and controversial creature for over 24 years. Now 52, Mr Harrison describes the encounter he believes changed his life, inspiring him to create the world’s first and most comprehensive online database, dedicated to finding the Yowie, known as Australia’s ‘Big Foot.’”
China Daily: Online art exhibition presents Chinese mythologies. “An online art exhibition titled The New Classic of Mountains and Seas shows 124 contemporary works based on original Chinese myths and legends.” I took a quick look. In English and Chinese with quite a nice design. There’s a bit of load time but I thought it was worth it.
Getty Iris: Zoom with Odysseus, Zeus and Other Mythological Stars. “Stay-at-home orders or not, nothing can stop the Troubies from giving us some much-needed comedy. The Getty Villa will premiere its first virtual theater presentation of The ODDyssey on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 3:00 PM PDT on the Getty Museum YouTube channel. Co-produced by the Getty Museum and the Troubadour Theater Company (aka The Troubies), The ODDyssey recounts Homer’s 24 books in five webisodes of about 15-20 minutes each, in a whimsical retelling of Odysseus’s adventure for audiences of all ages.”
The Conversation: Science needs myths to thrive. “What helped me develop as a researcher was reading stories about those who came before me. For scientific research to be successful in the long term, I think researchers need a strong set of values, including an unwavering commitment to the truth, and a drive to test any idea to destruction. Though they may seem opposed to the ideals of the rigorous scientific method, the best way of instilling these values is, as ever, through the stories and myths that we tell ourselves.”
New York Review of Books: ‘Oceania,’ Art of the Islands. “‘Oceania’ is not the historical, ethnographic show that Western museum-goers might expect. At the entrance a shimmering wave of blue material cascades from the ceiling. Titled Kiko Moana, this flowing wave uses ancient techniques of weaving, embroidery, layering, and cutting, but it’s a contemporary work in polyethylene and cotton, created by four Maori women from the Mata Aho Collective in New Zealand who have also compiled an online archive of stories about the supernatural spirits of the waters. Old and new technologies meet.”
Arizona State University: Zombie narratives can chew through complex topics. “Four-day conference bridging science and the arts explores zombification to engage in potentially frightening aspects of the future.” Weird headline, fascinating article.
This is from last month but I missed it and I must include it here because it’s AMAZING. From the Irish Times: Ireland’s darkest, oddest and weirdest secrets uncovered. “A worldwide crowdsourcing movement is currently unearthing Ireland’s deepest fairy secrets and darkest myths. A voluntary collective online is working its way through transcribing 700,000 pages of folklore that were collected throughout Ireland between 1937 and 1939. This mass of previously inaccessible material was gathered by more than 100,000 children who were sent to seek out the oldest person in their community just before second World War to root out the darkest, oddest and weirdest traditional beliefs, secrets and customs, which were then logged into 1,128 volumes, titled the Schools’ Manuscripts Collection.”
Not new, but certainly new-to-me: an online database of Japanese ghosts and monsters!. “Within these pages you’ll find an ever-growing collection of yokai and yokai legends from all parts of Japan and all periods of Japanese history. Some of them have never appeared in English before, while others will be intimately familiar to fans of Japanese folklore. They have been collected from books, from the internet, and by word of mouth from yokai lovers who remember the tales from their childhoods. The illustrations accompanying each yokai are based on written descriptions or on Edo-period illustrations painted on scrolls hundreds of years ago.” In English. I looked up the first Japanese mythical creature I could think of (Kirin) and it was there with a thorough description and a few illustrations.