Catrin Arno, Farewell
She was the myth slipped down through dreamtime. The promise of feast we
all knew was coming. The deer who crossed through knots of a curse to find
Frida Kahlo, The Little Deer, 1946
Oleg Dou, Fawn 1, thanks to Designboom
I have chosen the figure of Deer Woman, a shape-shifting female
who is featured in the mythical tales of many Native American cultures.
This being, also known as Deer Lady, is one of the powerful spirits who carry
otherworldy and ancestral knowledge from generation to generation.
Christina Bothwell, Deer Girl
The myth of Deer Woman is related to fertility and marriage rituals.
She is often described as a beautiful girl with deer hooves and doe eyes,
or as a being with a human upper body and the lower body of a deer.
In some versions of the tale, she is the vengeful spirit of a woman who died after
being raped. Men who meet her fall under the spell of her beauty and sexual power
will abandon everything to follow her, but she will steal their spirit and lead
most of them to despair, madness or death. This cautionary tale teaches that
sexual attraction is not a good basis for marriage, and each member of the tribe
should choose their mate wisely and responsibly.
In the rare tales narrating an encounter between Deer Lady and a woman,
the event leads to transformation and the awakening of artistic talent.
Kelly Louise Judd, Perched
Kristin Vestgard, For All My Grandmothers