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Silk Road Folktales

Folktales along the Silk Road are explored. English-6th Period Mrs. Brannon 12.10.2010
by

Dane Block

on 14 December 2010

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Transcript of Silk Road Folktales

The Silk Road The Silk Road was a trading route that linked China to the Mediterranian area. Many things were traded, but one thing that was priceless were traditions and folktales. A Folktale... folktale(n)- traditional narrative, usually anonymous, circulated by word of mouth The folktales we chose originated in countries along the Silk Road.
The stories we chose are the following: Penny Wise Monkey, from India The Silver on the Hearth, from Afghanistan Tuan and the Giant Snail, from China The Magic of Mushkil Gusha, from Iran "Penny Wise Monkey"
"Tuan and the Giant Snail" "The Silver on the Hearth" .
Tuan and the Giant Snail Silver on the Hearth Metamorphoses: the
magical fairy transforms
from a snail General Setting:
small village, field Common People:
clerk, poor farmer Fairy tale/fiction:
magic fairy,
magical jar Moral: be hardworking
and you will be rewarded;
to accept you gifts, not be
selfish, and have patience Flat Characters:
clerk and the poor farmer are not described Penny Wise Monkey Tuan and the Giant Snail Talking Animals: Monkey Magic: Fairy grants Tuan with a shell that will automaticly fill with rice Common People:
Tuan is a clerk General Setting:
village, jungle Morals: be honest,
polite, and hardworking
and it will result in great fortune; value what you have Flat Characters:
the king or the
clerk's qualities are not expressed in detail. The “Silver on the Hearth’s” characters consist of a poor farmer, his wife, and their neighbor. The setting of the story takes place along time ago on a farm. The major conflicts in there story are the disagreement among his wife and himself about the money found in the ground and the poor farmer struggling to “get ahead in the world,” He had a conflict with his wife, which was sparked by finding silver coins in the ground. She then sent out their neighbor to retrieve the silver coins in the jar and found that the coins were replaced with poisonous snakes. Finding this, he took theses snakes and poured them down the poor farmer’s chimney and by morning they were silver. Then, the farmer found the silver coins on his hearth as promised. The moral of the story is to not take what is not yours and to be patient.

The story can relate some traditions of Afghanistan by using snakes in the story. A long time ago and still today, many people play flutes or a musical instrument to “hypnotize” a snake also known as “snake charming”. It is said that the snakes can be controlled when charmed. The characters in “Penny Wise Monkey” are the king and his soldiers, their horses, and the protagonist, the monkey. The setting of this folktale is a jungle located in India. Nightfall is approaching and the king and his men are settling down for the night. The main conflict in this story is the internal conflict the monkey has with himself; whether to risk all his stolen peas for one he dropped on his get-a-way, or “play it safe.” The monkey decides to risk everything for the one pea. The monkey’s choice leads to great loss, and more importantly, an empty belly. The moral of the story is to value and respect the things you have instead of letting greed take over.

This story can be related to India’s culture and religion. The use of animals in “Penny Wise Monkey” relates to the religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. They believed that all life forms are manifestations of God as limitless beings and consist of a soul. The use of peas can be related to India’s culture. Peas were a valued food on the Silk Road and emerged as one of the top trading goods.
The main characters that appear in “Tuan and the Giant Snail” are Hsieh Tuan, a handsome man of 18 who is honest, and trust-worthy, and the giant snail, who transforms into White Wave, a magic fairy sent to look out for Tuan. The setting of the folktale is on a farm in a rural area located in China. The external conflict in this story is the troubles Hsieh Tuan has with finding a wife. Tuan then discovers a giant snail that turns out to be a magic fairy named White Wave. When Hsieh leaves for work she transforms from the snail to a woman who cooks and cleans for Hsieh. When she is discovered she has to leave Hsieh. Out of gratitude, she leaves the shell she hid in, to Hsieh for when the times got rough. In the end, Hsieh found a wife but never became wealthy but always had ample food supply.The moral of this story is to be honest, polite, and hardworking, which will result in good fortune.

This story can relate to China’s culture and philosophies with many examples from the story. When Hsieh states that he cannot marry a woman because she was born in the year of the Cat, he is referring to the Chinese Zodiac. Next, within the story, many different foods and products are brought to the surface. Among these is rice. Rice is very important to the Chinese culture and economy. Also, silk is used in the story. This played a very important role in the Silk Road.
The Magic of Mushkil Gusha Tuan an the Giant Snail Metamorphoses: the
snail turns into a fairy Moral: be honest,
polite, and hardworking;
find someone in need and
share what you have Fairy Tale:
magic fairy, magic
snail Motifs(things of 3):
The three nights when the woodcutter gets locked
out of his house Common people:
farmer, woodcutter Flat characters: characters are not expressed in story "The Magic of Mushkil Gusha" Folktales Along the Silk Road Luke Beasley, Eli Reynolds, Jackson Harbarger, and Dane Block The Silk Road A folktale... “The Magic of the Mushkil Gusha” consists of 2 groups of people, the common people and the royal people. The common people are the woodcutter and his daughter; both are poor and make enough money just to get by. The royal group consists of the princess and the king. The setting in the story is a “royal city of Isfahan.” A conflict in “The Magic of Mushkil Gusha” is when the woodcutter and his daughter wanted date cakes because they did not eat the dessert often. The woodcutter, leaving earlier in the morning, would walk farther to gather more wood so he can make more profit and buy date cakes. Returning late from gathering wood, the woodcutter is locked outside of his own home three nights in a row. The last conflict in the folktale is when the princess accuses the handmaiden, the daughter, of stealing a valuable necklace while swimming. The woodcutter was then arrested and chained in public to be humiliated. When he realized that he had not done what he was told by the Muskil Gusha, he fulfilled the duty by helping a needy person and sharing his story. The following day, the princess finds the necklace she accused the daughter of stealing she reinstates her as her personal handmaiden. The moral of the story is to find someone in need and share what you have.

The story relates to Iran’s culture and traditions by the use of date cakes, camel thorn bushes, and the magic of Mushkil Gusha. The date cakes and camel thorn bushes are important to Iran’s culture because to this day, the date cakes are eating for special occasions. Also, the camel thorn bushes are used to make a profit for a lot of poor famers and their family.
Cultural Similarities The use of foods in "The Magic of Mushkil Gusha," "Penny Wise Monkey," and "Tuan and the Giant Snail" are all similar in that it represents their culture and tradition. "The Magic of Mushkil Gusha" "Penny Wise Monkey" "Tuan and the Giant Snail" Foods mentioned:
Date Cakes Foods mentioned: Peas Foods mentioned: rice and beans The End Metamorphoses: The
snail turns into a fairy Common People:
Tuan is a clerk Magic: Fairy grants Tuan with a shell that will automaticly fill with rice Magic: snail shell that supplies endless food; snakes change to silver coins in a jar Supernatural Events Lesson to be learned Fairy Tale: involves magical creature; the snail Fable: contains a moral Happy ending Problem to be Resolved:
fun, amusement Problem to be resolved: love, belonging Problem to be resolved: power, inner control Problem to be resolved: love, belonging

Happy Ending Problem to be resolved: love, belonging
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