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Trail: ArmlessMaiden

ArmlessMaiden

Mythology FataleVrouwen

In the language of folktales, abstract ideas are represented by concrete and emotionally evocative images. Traditional storytellers use terrifying events to create the emotional experience of grief and abandonment, in which a young woman is not only set out on her journey away from home, but assured of the impossibility of ever returning. In the “Armless Maiden” narratives a girl is mutilated by a trusted family member and then thrust like a wounded animal into the forest. There can be no return to a childhood home corrupted by such cruel violence. The girl must move forward in her journey to a new destination where she will reconstruct not only her severed arms but her identity as an adult woman as well.

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