Rags to Riches?

The word "resistance" in the title of Lynda McNeil's upcoming lecture about a Tewa folktale may pique some interest, but upon talking to McNeil about her scholarship (she has a doctorate in comparative literature and, before retiring, taught a class on cross-cultural Cinderella stories for a decade at the University of Colorado, Boulder), the subject of her upcoming lecture reveals itself to be about more than just rebellion.

While she's conducted her own copious research for years, drawing from scholarship on 500-600 Cinderella stories from around the world, she hadn't heard of "Turkey Girl," often referred to as a Tewa Cinderella story, until about two years ago.

She tracked the Cinderella tale's emergence in Spain and the ways in which it was used to reflect the values of the Inquisition; the story then came over to New Spain with Franciscan missionaries. "My theory is that there were a number of different stories that were told at the missions that had a very strong Catholic message," McNeil tells SFR. "This Spanish version of the Cinderella tale … was used to proselytize."

When it comes to "Turkey Girl" and the Spanish Cinderella, McNeil says there is about a 60 percent correspondence in motifs of the two tales—but that, conspicuously, the Pueblo interpretation lacks any Christian references. Additionally, many of the main plot points of the European Cinderella story (monarchy, passive women, inequality between classes and sexes) did not have a direct translation to Pueblo culture.

McNeil is fascinated with the story's migration and change, but she also knows to tread lightly; it's an outsider's job, of course, to interpret Pueblo culture.

"There's probably a lot in the tale that I don't need to know about, or that I shouldn't know about," she says. "So I'm trying to be sensitive to the fact that this may be a tale that Westerners really don't need to know a whole lot about. … We don't have ownership, and it's a fine line we're walking." (Charlotte Jusinski)

Southwest Seminars: Turkey Girl: A Tewa Folktale of Resistance and Becoming
6 pm Monday Feb. 5. $15.
Hotel Santa Fe,
1501 Paseo de Peralta,
982-1200

Vote, Dammit!

Courtesy Public Domain

Oh, League of Women Voters—you're basically the best. When the city finally (and we mean finally) implemented ranked-choice voting a decade after we voted for it, y'all decided to get out and continue your educational efforts across town with educational booths. The nonprofit (and nonpartisan) group hits the Genoveva Chavez Community Center Wednesday afternoon and the DeVargas Center on Friday to help new and returning voters learn about the "new" process, figure out where they're supposed to vote and more. With local elections looming this March, that oughta prove helpful in a pretty major way. USA! USA! USA! (Alex De Vore)

Voter Registration and Education Booths:
4-6 pm Wednesday Jan. 31. Free.
Genoveva Chavez Community Center,
3221 W Rodeo Road,
955-4000;

4-6 pm Friday Feb. 2. Free.
DeVargas Center,
564 N Guadalupe St.,
982-2655.

Carving a Niche

Courtesy Adobe Gallery

Adobe Gallery's Alexander Anthony tells SFR that the pieces on display at the upcoming exhibit Rare and Remarkable Katsina Dolls aren't rare in that they haven't been seen before—they're rare simply by being available. "Most are from the 1930s through the 1960s, and I'd think we have about 75," Anthony says. "Some Katsina dolls were carved by the Hopi men to present as gifts to the females, some were made to sell to collectors, and I'd say we have about half-and-half." The collection is absolutely stunning as well, a fascinating combination of artistry and love with much to say about the rich Hopi culture. "I don't think the general public has seen these," Anthony adds. "At least not as collectors have." (ADV)

Rare and Remarkable Katsina Dolls: 
5 pm Friday Feb. 2. Free.
Adobe Gallery,
221 Canyon Road,
955-0550.

Play, Dammit!

Kathryn Mark

More and more, the power of play and leisure has become paramount to a healthy lifestyle—especially in the dark times—and local performing arts teacher Kathryn Mark is out to help. Through her series, For the Love of Play, which is also part of her masters thesis project for the University of Montana's integrated arts and education program, Mark aims to stimulate creativity and collaboration while aiding the brain and providing a good time for people of all ages. "For kids, [play is] intrinsic to their nature," Marks tells SFR, "but adults kind of get further away from it." She explains that her events are all about art projects, breath work and brain stimulation. "I just want people to come out and give it a try and to keep an open mind," she says. (ADV)

For the Love of Play:
1 pm Sunday Feb. 4. Free.
Railyard Performance Center,
1611 Paseo de Peralta,
982-8309.