Friday, July 24, 2009

The Maenad

In Greek mythology, maenads were the female followers of Dionysus, the most significant members of the Thiasus, the retinue of Dionysus. Their name literally translates as "raving ones". Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by him into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and drunken intoxication. In this state, they would lose all self control, begin shouting excitedly, engage in uncontrolled sexual behavior, and ritualistically hunt down and tear animals (and sometimes men and children) to pieces, devouring the raw flesh. During these rites, the maenads would dress in fawn skins and carry a thyrsus, a long stick wrapped in ivy or vine leaves and tipped by a cluster of leaves, weave ivy-wreaths around their heads, and often handle or wear snakes.

In the HBO show True Blood, MaryAnn Forrester is a mysterious stranger that has arrived in Bon Temps, and I really like the character and her story line. So I took this picture from the show, and playing with some things in Photoshop, made this, paying homage to MaryAnn and her mysterious and mystical side.