is a collection of the traditional tales of East Cornwall, found in old collections and retold by local writers and storytellers. The tales have been bought alive again on the streets, in classrooms and by firesides within the transmedia community projects Mazed and Mazed North.
The tales tell of witches and wreckers on the wild north coast, saints and mermaids in sheltered south, giants on the high moor and everywhere piskies playing.
MAZED NORTH focusses on the tales collected by the forgotten female folklorists of North Cornwall, notably Nellie Sloggett of Padstow. Folk from Goss Moor to Tintagel came to her cottage with folk tales which Nellie transcribed and kept in a trunk by her bed. Nellie retold and published these tales 110 years ago under the pen name of Enys Tregarthen.
Mazed North celebrates Nellie with a unique transformational string puppet. One way up she is Nell Sloggett, folklorist, and the other way up she is Enys Tregarthen, writer. This magical puppet helps to show the connection between folklore collecting and the literary retelling of tales. She was used in storytelling sessions in schools and residential homes, and is now on display at Padstow Museum, with occasional sorties with members of North Cornwall's storytelling group Strong Words.
Nellie's tales have been retold for Mazed tales: click on the link below each tale to read her words.
NEW LIFE FOR OLD TALES – PICTURING THE PISKIES
6 tales from North Cornwall, chosen by local people, have been illustrated by local artists to feature on the Mazed Tales website.
6 schools from North Cornwall have illustrated tales from their area with help from an artist, and told the tales to their friends and families at a Cornishibai tea treat.
6 residential homes from North Cornwall have joined in storytelling sessions.
There was a travelling exhibition of the schoolchildrens' tale illustrations at venues in Bude, Liskeard and Plymouth.
Mazed North is making a collection of sound recordings of North Cornish tales told in North Cornish voices.
RE CYCLING THE STORIES ON THE STREETS
The artist's illustrations are used in CORNISHIBAI, a new form of street telling blending Cornish droll telling with the Japanese form of illustrated, bicycle staged storytelling, Kamishibai. Tales of ghosty dogs, mischevious piskies, wicked queens and dissapearing biscuits are shown in a copper box on the back of a tricycle.
The tales have been told at events and on cycle trails around North Cornwall this summer, from Bodmin Riding to the Camel trail and far beyond.
Sets of CORNISHIBAI STORYCARDS, for telling at home and school, featuring artist's illustrations, are for sale at The Bookshop, Liskeard .
A free downloadable Cornishibai resource for telling in schools and at home is available here.
Cornwall is a place rich in myth and legend, and the Cornish people are born storytellers. In the past Cornwall's stories would have been told by wandering droll storytellers, sung in ballad form by balladeers and then told by anyone and everyone round the fire on a cold winter's night. Many of these tales have been collected by folklorists and published in newspapers, journals and books over the past two hundred years. Each decade sees the tales retold in songs, plays, and storybooks.
The tales on the Mazed website are there to be retold - read them or watch the animations a few times and you will be able to tell the tales in your own words.
Creative copyright of each of the unique Mazed tellings belongs to the storyteller.
Mazed story collectors are still searching. If you know a tale please tell us.
Mazed storytellers are still telling, if you would like a visit from Bill Chubb or Nell Sloggett and a storyteller please contact us.
See our facebook page for event updates.
Mazed - confused, bewildered, lost, foolish 'Mazed by the piskies'
Piskies are Cornish fairies - sometimes they are helpfull, sometimes they are full of mischeif.
'Mazed as a coot', 'Mazed as a curlew', 'Mazed as a brush' (old Looe saying found in the Looe Ditty Box booklet, 1924)
If you've lost something; your keys, your pen, or your way on the moor...Or, if you've forgotten what you were going to say or what you went upstairs for... you'll have been MAZED BY THE PISKIES. The only way to cure the piskies' maze is to TURN YOUR POCKETS INSIDE OUT.