Thursday, 26 January 2012

Totem Research

'A totem is a stipulated ancestor of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage or tribe' (Wikipedia)

'Each person has nine animal essences or totems that walk through life with them, teaching and guiding them and in some cases, protecting them' (

The totem that I propose to make would be a family or group of temptation elements found within the Grimm's fairy-tales. If I could find nine elements to utilise this will fit nicely with the second piece of research I found from The preliminary totem I have produced so far has six elements and so a further three elements would need to be found and produced.

I have found in other research that many of the fairy-tales do have a teaching and guiding theme as well as protection. For example the apple in Snow White teaches children to do as they are told and listen to worthy advice but she is protected by the seven dwarves, the wolf in Little Red Cap teaches children to stay away from potential danger and the radish in Rapunzel teaches children the consequences of stealing.

The temptation elements I have used so far are; the Apple from Snow White, the Spindle from Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty), the Dove from Hansel and Grethel, the Radish from Rapunzel, the Frog from the Frog Prince and the Wolf from Little Red Cap. I have found further temptation elements in the Key from the Woodcutter's Child and the Mouse from Cat and Mouse in Partnership. I still need then a further temptation element to secure my nine elements to produce a totem.

The black and white drawing above is my preliminary totem made out of my original six elements, the further two will need to be added to make it more representative and a further elements will need to be found and added.

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