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Wouldn't Joseph and his son fit the bill.  both could probably be
classified as master carpenters!!

--On Wednesday, June 27, 2001 3:37 PM -0400 Carter T Butts
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Now, _here's_ a question we don't see every day:
>
> On Wed, 27 Jun 2001, Milstein, Bobby (OD) wrote:
>
> > Does anyone know of a character in mythology (of any culture) who might
> > be associated with ties, connections, or interactions among things.
> > Basically I'm curious to know if there are any
> > gods/angels/saints/spirits/heros/etc. who are thought of as patrons for
> > putting things together.  Thanks for any clues.
> >
> > Bobby
>
> If Lee Siegel's account of things is to be believed, Indra might fit your
> requirements: in addition to his other mythic exploits, he was purported
> to wield a magic net (!) which could transform one thing into
> another.  This can be interpreted as a symbolic statement regarding the
> essential unity of all things within (at least some threads of) Indian
> religious philosophy, and in that sense the "net that transforms" could be
> seen as a "net which reveals" if you will.  (Or maybe not.  Not my area of
> expertise.)
>
> Another vaguely "netty" thing which may or may not be close enough for
> your purposes would be the World Tree, Yggdrasil, of Norse mythology.  A
> giant ash, Yggdrasil connects all of the nine worlds of the norse
> pantheon.  (Interestingly, Yggdrasil was said to be watered by the three
> Norns who were - you guessed it - essentially similar to the three Fates
> of Greek mythology.  And, of course, both the Norns and the Fates were
> spinners of thread....)
>
> Aside from the Fates, Greek mythology also gives us the story of
> Arachne...alas, she's not really a heroine so much as the lead player in a
> cautionary tale about getting uppity with the gods.  She was a weaver,
> though (by profession initially, and by biology ultimately).  (Speaking of
> spiders, Old Spider Woman figures in various parts of Native American
> lore, but I can't recall any good stories offhand.)
>
> Oh, and of course one cannot forget Papa Legba, a central figure in Voudou
> (or however it's being spelled these days).  Papa Legba is a loa of some
> importance, since it is believed that he must be invoked before other loas
> can be contacted.  ("Papa Legba, come and open the gate!" goes one chant,
> IIRC.)  The idea of a central intercessory figure who serves as a link
> between worlds shows up in many myth systems, including two
> which are familiar to North Americans: Catholicism (Mary, at least in some
> interpretations), and Christianity generally (Jesus as the Intermediary
> Son, a concept swiped from the Greeks).  There were a number of salvific
> cults with intercessory figures in the Mediterranean area around the start
> of the Common Era (including some versions of Dionysus worship, Mithraism,
> certain Jewish messianic movements, the worship of god/man/heroes such as
> Attis, Adonis and Osiris, etc.); evidently, the memes for belief in
> anthropomorphic world-connectors were in the air at the time....
>
>       So, anyway, it does seem that there have been many mythical figures
> whose roles have involved managing connections between things.  I don't
> know of any religion with a "God of Networks" (though some tech support
> superstitions come close :-)), but perhaps these will be close enough for
> your purposes.
>
>       -Carter



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David J. Tucker
Professor of Social Work, ,Adjunct Professor of Sociology
Director of the Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Social Science
1080 S. University, School of Social Work, Rm. 1696
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1106
Tel. (734) 763-6579  Fax (734) 615-3192
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