Stories With Female Heroes

by Bija Children's Choir

One of the very few TV series programs I've taken time to watch lately has been "Vikings".  Other than being interested in the historical elements, I've been inspired by the fact that the Vikings had fierce shield maidens, trained warriors who fought in battles, who were also good mothers and wives.  This was a first for my eyes!  Finally a TV feature that included women who were strong and courageous, wildly brutish and fearsome, as well as caring and feminine-- they were so different from the weak and vulnerable damsels in distress so normally portrayed in historical stories and in traditional lore.  No,  I much prefer the strong shield maiden prototypes.   I had been so asleep to this matter until now, I hadn't even realized that most all of the folktales I've read-- and created cultural story concerts around-- have featured male heroes and protagonists.  The relatively few stories that featured a woman in power portrayed her as a crone or an old witch, or else deceptive and manipulative, but never physically strong and capable and nurturing.

Well, we're about to change that.  I woke up -- literally and figuratively-- early one morning and transformed the upcoming  Hawaiian Story Concert tale from the usual boy-hero, weak-princess story into a brave chiefess story.  After all, 95% of my choir students are girls!  They deserve a strong heroine to model after, and as Creative Director and mother of two young women of my own, it is my artistic right and moral responsibility to create this story concert for them.   In myth and reality alike, may our choir students and audiences behold the power of the female...