Star Bears: Arira

From: Andrew Behan (ajbehan@maedhbh.maths.tcd.ie)
Date: Fri 09 Jan 1998 - 22:48:03 EET


(More wild speculation.)

Arira: Arira (Gods Wall II-2, and I don't have IP so if I'm wrong I
can't help it) has plaits, which are remarkably similar to those of
the perhaps, bear connected, Iberian Dama of Elche which I saw in Carlo
Ginzburg's "Ecstacies". A bust of Arira would almost definitely resemble the

good lady. I'm convinced that her story explains the relationship of the Ariran
hunters to Arakang.

In Kamchatka and Hokkaido the natives regarded the omnivorous bear as the
Lord of the Forest and as a kind of big brother. Hunters captured bears,
which were then reared in captivity by the women, before being sacraficed
and eaten in a winter festival. Not only a valuable source of protein at
the leanest time of the year, they also acted as divine messengers.
Needless to say the women who nurtured the cub mourned violently, both
from sincere emotion and in order to pacify its spirit.

Essentially her story would be the myth of this ritual, and as long as
the merciless flamers of the Digest don't scare me off :-) I'll finish it
and post it sometime soon.

A Second Age version of the story of Arira and Arakang shows her two bad
sisters (the lascivious one and the ugly one, of course) going off with
farmers and suffering miserably under the Carmanian yoke. Farmer stories
either depict the kenestratae (hunters) as fickle magical people or cannibals
and perverts.

I am certain that Arira played the virgins role in luring a mighty bear,
like a unicorn, to the hunters and regretted this violently afterwards.
Anadiki and Ariran girls are called bears, whereas Oria put bears inside men.

I don't argue the Orogeria connection, it's there in black green in Entek
after all, I just think there's more to it than that.
- -------
Andrew

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