Cautionary Tales in Oral Traditions Presentation
The Book Fiends Festival was a celebration of local writers and readers of Steampunk, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novels put on by the Silk City Steampunk group. The event was held at the Bristol Carousel Museum in mid August and it not only had vendors, snacks, and entertainment, but it also had plenty of hands on workshops and panels to attend. The organizer of this event had asked me months ago to create a panel about Oral Traditions because they saw I had degree in it. (Yes fun fact, I have a Masters in Oral Traditions from The Graduate Institute. If you thought I was just naturally good at storytelling, be amazed that I have a Masters degree in it!!)
It took me seemingly forever to narrow down the topic. Oral Traditions are considered a highly dynamic and highly diverse oral-aural medium for evolving, storing and transmitting knowledge, art and ideas. I tried to think of what Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Steampunk stories might have as a common theme. It occurred to me one day (while in a half meditative state) that it might be the idea of the Cautionary Tale. Cautionary Tales are a type of tale built on a prohibition or act that is said to be dangerous with someone performing the forbidden act and coming to an unpleasant fate in grisly detail. For my presentation I went through famous examples for adults (of political and moral nature) that are meant to be performed (like a fable, speech, prose, ballad, poetry and lyrics) in chronological order.
Now one of the most famous Cautionary Tales out there is that of Little Red Riding Hood. I did not highlight this one in my presentation as it is most often introduced to us as children. We all know the story of the young girl going to grandma's house innocently enough and speaking to a wolf (an unsavory character) on the road about her adventure. The wolf runs over to her grandmother's house, eats her up, and poses as the would be grandmother. In most versions, Little Red Riding Hood doesn't make it out alive, either.
However, once I finished the research and power point of the presentation the Alice Girl Gothic Lolita "The Hunter" Jumper Dress Set became available to purchase in my size. I thought, how meta would it be if I was delivering a presentation about Cautionary Tales dressed as an assassin version of Red Riding Hood? In this version of Red Riding Hood, I am a wise adult cautioning you by having you reflect on The Second Coming in the lyrical poetry of W.B. Yeats and the moral implications and consequences of Dr. Frankenstein's actions in Mary Shelley's classic prose.
This set came with the jsk (which is more like a bodice with shoulder straps and a very short flared skirt), matching bloomers, and a hooded bolero. What was extra nice about this set is that it is nearly 100% cotton. Middle of August in Connecticut is not for the faint of heart. It gets very humid and sticky during the day, and this was the perfect coordinate not only in theme, but material. I comfortably wore it all day inside and out.
I paired it with knee high socks that have the matching wine red ribbon sewn to the top of them that you can tie in a bow. These are great because they give the visual affect of a crossed ribbon without the ribbon repeatedly falling down all day like a pair of espadrilles. Lastly, I wore my Modo platform shoes that also have crossing straps. It was my first time wearing these shoes and they were very comfortable all day (even in the humidity).
As I understand it, my panel was one of the most well-attended with 7 or 8 attendees, including my long time friends Melissa and Barbara as well as Pahl. I also made a handful of new friends at this Festival, took a hand sewing class, and picked up my first set of steampunk themed novels from local author Jessica Lucci. I don't know if this particular event will happen again, but it was fun to "use my degree", still dress up in elegant lolita fashion, and get in for free as a Presenter.
I love EGL and alternative fashion and modeling. I am taking two of my favorite hobbies and making them into a story for you to read about.