Stories of the Flood

Stories of the Flood by Uma Krishnaswami. Niwot, CO: Roberts Rinehart Publishers, 1994, ISBN 1-57098-007-1 45p. $15.95.

Noah and the ark may be the best. known of the flood stories, but it is by no means the only one. Stories of a catastrophic, world destroying flood exist in so many cultures around the world that. some people feel. they are proof that such an event did occur. This collection includes stories from ancient Greece and Sumeria, .Hawaii, the Maori People, Liberia, North Vietnam, and the Alabama Nation of North America.

There are similarities among some of the stories. The ancient Greek and Sumerian stories, for instance, both have gods warning particular people to build an ark in order to be saved from the punishment to be meted out to the wicked. Others have an animal give the warning, and one says that the flood was caused by natural elements fighting among themselves. Although the flood is the primary theme of each story, there are also other themes which emerge including the origin of various peoples, the origin of the moon, and the need to listen to a higher being whether it be god or nature. The stories end with renewal of the earth and the continuation of life. Perhaps this is something that we can learn from these tales, Krishnaswami suggests, that there is hope, even after disaster.

All of the stories are short enough to be easily learned by tellers or enjoyed by young readers. Storytellers might wish for a bibliography of source material, but this is primarily a book for
young readers so it is not surprising that one was not included. The illustrations by Birgitta Saflund create stunning images, reflecting the cultures from which the stories come.

The Second Story Review, Vol 1, No. 2, Sep 1996
Forgot password?