Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Deer Ladies

Catrin ArnoFarewell

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
us. She was no slouch, and neither were we, watchingJoy Harjo

Frida Kahlo, The Little Deer, 1946

Oleg Dou, Fawn 1, thanks to Designboom

For this Autumnal installment of Animalarium's "beastly women" series
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 BothwellDeer Girl

Sörine AndersonTravelling Through the Dark

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 VestgardFor All My Grandmothers

 Catrin ArnoSummer

Many thanks to Carolyn Dunn for her beautiful article on Deer Woman.


  1. Thanks for sharing the work of all these amazing artists.

  2. You've shown several lovely interpretations of the Deer Woman story/myth. Thank you for putting together this and your other photographic collections for all of us to enjoy.



Related Posts with Thumbnails