Friday, June 22, 2012

Little Dead Riding Hood

Another take on LRRH I haven't seen before but which makes a lot of sense: Dia de los Muertos (Mexican Day of the Dead) meets Red Riding Hood. (Not sure why it's cosplay, rather than just a Halloween costume idea.)

And, without too much hunting, I found a Snow White as well. (Gotta love the nod to going organic in this illustration!) But where's Sleeping Beauty?*

FYI a fascination with Dia de los Meurtos make-up is another of those surprising trends I've seen among fairy tale enthusiasts on Pinterest. It's not unusual to find more than a few examples of costume-like Dia de los Muertos make-up on our friend's boards, if they don't happen to have a whole board already dedicated that is. 

Also in this vein (oops, punny!) we find corpse brides (other than, but including, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) as well as death and the maiden posters and illustrations, variations on Ophelia and other "beautiful dead". Even more interesting is that this is all quite separate from any zombie, vampire or gothic trends, though they sometimes overlap.

Fascinating, no?

Marigold by Syvia Ji
When you think about it, it's not that far fetched. Much of the Dia de los Muertos make-up and costumery walks the line between creepy and beautiful just as many fairy tales do. We often talk about the need for fairy tales with teeth but perhaps we should say "teeth and bones". 

I do feel we miss out on a lot when we're not surrounded by culture steeped in old tales and traditions. So many cultures have fairy tales that include the dead (and I mean regarding the heroes and heroines) and I don't think it's a coincidence that many of our better known/most loved tales deal with death in a fashion too. Unfortunately we're way too good at cleaning it up so we forget what we're looking at anymore. 

One of my favorite lesser-known fairy tales is The Singing Bone or The Twa Sisters. I've never read a retelling, though I did briefly sketch out the "bones" of a script a few years ago (sorry - apparently it's a punny day), which perhaps I should unearth again sometime. Now I can envision the whole story with a Dia de los Muertos style to it.

*I found one but it was just lines over a Disney drawing, not really a tale revisiting. Interestingly, the just released photo of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, complete with horns kept surfacing in variations of this search.


  1. I love the Twa Sisters tale/folk song too. Jim Moray does a great cover song as 'Two Sisters' and Juliet Marillier uses the 'bone harp' idea in her books 'Wolfskin and 'foxmask'. Thanks for the interesting post (as always!)