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Myth Madness: Dames Blanches

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And no, I’m not talking about the yummy French dessert.

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t find anything on French gods or goddesses, so this week I’ll be featuring some French fae folklore. Yaayy!!

At least pretend to be happy.

On to the mythology. Dames Blanches (which translates into White Ladies) were pretty girls who lurked around rivers, creeks, and bridges waiting in anticipation for men to walk by and…ask them to dance?

dance fool

No really. That’s all these ladies did. They waited and waited til someone came along and then asked them to dance with them. Sometimes it was just to help them across the bridge, but it seems more common for them to want to tango for a couple of rounds.

So what’s so bad about them? They seem like a bunch of weirdos but there has to be some downside if I’m covering them.

And you are totally right!

If you accept the Dames Blanches offer, you’ll dance a couple of times, she’ll curtsy to you a bunch and then you’ll be on your way as she vanishes. BUT, if you refuse sometimes the girls will toss you over the bridge, have goblins, owls, or cats torture you, or thrown into a thistle bush.

Some people just can’t take rejection well…

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Dames Blanches are thought to have originated from the pre-christian characterzations of goddesses. Their name possibly came from the ancient guardian goddess Matres, the Dominae. (How they got “Dames” from “Dominae”, I don’t know.)

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Dames Blanches have foreign counterparts. In Germany they are called “Weisse Frauen” and in Dutch low countries they are known as “Witte Wieven”

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This entry was posted on 11/06/2014 by in Myth Madness and tagged , .
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