Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Rostam, the red-haired legendary Persian hero

Another short post, this time to highlight a famous redhead from Persian folklore.

(The reddish hair of Rostam)

Rostam, sometimes spelt Rustam, is a celebrated hero from the Persian epic Shahnameh. In artwork he's often depicted with red hair and beard, as can be seen above, and in the images in the following excellent article.

The article also shares the following quoted written description of Rostam.

The hair on his head all red, his hair like blood,
he emerged like the shining Sun.
Both hands full of blood, he was born of his mother,
No one has ever known of a child like this.

Interestingly, the name Rustam begins with the word rust, which obviously comes with connotations of red. Wikipedia gives the etymology as;

Raodh + Takhma, where Raodh means growth, reaped, developed and Takhma means brave.

Which I'm guessing are words of Persian origin. Raodh sounds like red (or at least looks like red to my untrained eyes). It's reminiscent of the Old High German word hruod, which was said to mean "fame" or "glory", but which I've speculated is another "red" variant.

Also the mother of Rostam was Rudabeh. Wikipedia derives her name as follows;

"Rud" and "āb", "Rud" means child and "āb" means shining, therefore means shining child

So again we have the rud/red beginning. Though obviously I'm hugely speculating here, and it's quite unlikely that any of these words signify redness. Especially as the official etymologies state something quite different. Still though, it's always worth noting these little things. As I've learnt from previous investigations that often there are great overlaps between all languages, cultures and traditions.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Red Hair in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

Just a quick post today. Someone recently left a comment sharing a link to the following video.

New Zealand Skeletons in the Cupboard The Redheads

It's a really great watch and touches upon many points we've touched upon on this blog before with regard to red hair in the Pacific Ocean region. The documentary also shows how beautiful New Zealand and the islands of the Pacific are with some wonderfully shot footage.

Well worth viewing :)

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Red-haired firsts and founders, 4th part (151 - 200)

While working at our partner blog Famous Redheads in History I couldn’t help but notice the great number of “firsts” and “founders” among our famous redheads. Here’s the list from 151 to 200.

First part.
Second part.
Third part.

151) Maud O'Farrell Swartz: in 1931 she became the first woman and the first trade unionist to hold the position of secretary of the New York State Department of Labor.

152) Rose Pastor Stokes: she was a founding member of the Communist Party of America.

153) Bess Furman: first woman to regularly cover the House of Representatives for a news agency.

154) John Wesley Powell: he led the first official U.S. government-sponsored expedition through the Grand Canyon. He also became the first director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution.

155) Allanah Harper: founder of the journal Echanges (Exchanges).

156) Henry Luce: launching several magazines (Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, Life, etc.), he created the first multimedia corporation (counting his radio projects and newsreels as well).

157) Virginia Dox: first white woman to explore the Grand Canyon, and also the first white woman to visit the Havasupai. 

158) Jonathan Gold: in 2007, he became the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. 

159) Fanny Wright: in the late 1820s she was the first woman lecturer to speak publicly before gatherings of men and women in the United States about political and social-reform issues. 

160) Mark Tobey: founder the art department at The Cornish School in Seattle.  

161) Frederick Varley: co-founder of the Group of Seven.


162) J. E. H. MacDonald: co-founder of the Group of Seven. 

163) William Ward: founder of Urbana, Ohio.  

164) Herbert Beerbohm Tree: founder of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  

165) Wil Lou Gray: founder of the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School in South Carolina. 

166) Sir Robert Dudley: he designed and published Dell'Arcano del Mare (1645-1646), the first maritime atlas to cover the whole world. 

167) Giovanni Battista Belzoni: he was the first to penetrate into the second pyramid of Giza and to identify the ruins of Berenice on the Red Sea. 

168) Richard Francis Burton: together with John Hanning Speke, he was the first European to visit the Great Lakes of Africa, in search of the source of the Nile. He was also the first European known to have seen Lake Tanganyika. 

169) Jill Kerr Conway: she was Smith College's first woman president (1975-1985).  

170) Edith Wharton: first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature (1921).  

171) Elizabeth Atkinson Green: author of the first play — When Witches Ride — performed by the Carolina Playmakers (today PlayMakers Repertory Company). 

172) Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor: first king to formally outlaw trial by ordeal, which had come to be viewed as superstitious.