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Author
Comment
ronnerandall
Registered User
(11/20/06 11:09 am)

hair in fairy tales
I'm planning to write a paper on women and hair as a theme in fairy tales -- the obvious one to start with is Rapunzel; I am also planning to discuss Snow White, the fairy tale I know most intimately. Can anyone offer any suggestions of other fairy tales in which a girl or woman's hair is a significant motif? Thanks in advance!

kristiw
Registered User
(11/20/06 12:10 pm)


Re: hair in fairy tales
I feel like there was a thread on this recently but I'm not turning up anything specific on google. Little help?

I'm reminded of the fairy tale about the princess who bald, until her mother wished she had hair that grew twice as long and thick every time it was cut... I can't remember where I read it, likely in Lang somewhere, but I remember she eventually had to be put in a scale and cut from her hair when it weighed precisely the same amount as she did.

Oh-- and I don't know if you're interested in folklore as well as fairy tales, but I remember the article "If It Dries Out, It's No Good: Women, Hair and Rusalki Beliefs" being really interesting.

Edited by: kristiw at: 11/20/06 12:11 pm
AliceCEB
Registered User
(11/20/06 1:18 pm)

Re: hair in fairy tales
You can try these links:

www.surlalunefairytales.com/boardarchives/2004/oct2004/hairfolklore.html

www.surlalunefairytales.com/boardarchives/2005/jan2005/rapunzelshair.html

www.surlalunefairytales.com/boardarchives/2006/jan2006/hair.html

And then there's the Goose Girl. www.surlalunefairytales.com/goosegirl/index.html

Alice

dlee10
Registered User
(11/20/06 2:35 pm)

Re: hair in fairy tales
That is Melisande by E. Nesbit. Great story!

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(11/20/06 3:32 pm)

Clever Gretchen?
Lady Godiva? I've seen illustrations of "Clever Gretchen", the one who dressed in a fishnet, which used her hair for covering also. I don't remember whether it was in the story.

What about stories of a girl disguised as a man. There's a trope about taking off her helmet and her golden hair cascades down, but I'm not sure it came from traditional fairy tales.

There are quite a few Northern European stories where a boy wears a wig that looks mangy to hide his healthy golden hair, then reveals it at a special moment.

Monika
Registered User
(11/20/06 11:06 pm)

Re: Clever Gretchen?
Rosemary - and the similar-but-converse trope where she cuts off her hair in front of the mirror and becomes instantly transformed into a foolproof boy disguise. Probably more hollywood than real fairy tale though.

Kristi, do you have a source/author for the rusalki article you mentioned? Sounds interesting.

ronnerandall
Registered User
(11/21/06 9:04 am)

Re: Clever Gretchen?
Thank you all -- some wonderful leads here. I had forgotten about The Goose Girl, and I am going to search out the Rusalkii. The links to the archive pages are brilliant. Thank you!

AndreMijail
Registered User
(11/21/06 1:01 pm)

Rapunzel
Just to remind you, Did you know that when the witch fairy cuts the hair of Rapunzel, it was considered as a punishment for sexual offense? Since she was pregnant maybe it makes sense.
Good luck in yor paper.

Chris Peltier
Registered User
(11/21/06 5:09 pm)

Re: Rapunzel
A good resource, if you're not aware of it already, is Marina Warner's From the Beast to the Blond: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers. She has an entire chapter devoted to the subject, called "The Language of Hair".

Chandra

LiAnNa Kari
Registered User
(12/5/06 7:03 pm)

Re: hair in fairy tales
cap o' rushes is a story where hair is a significant theme.

kristiw
Registered User
(12/5/06 9:18 pm)
Re: hair in fairy tales
Yes on the citation, here's a link:

www.arts.ualberta.ca/SEEFA/RUSALKA.HTM

Oh, and thanks for the title, dlee10! It would be Nesbit :)

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