Eleanor Hannan and Elizabeth Dancoes's 1001 Funny Things you can do with a Skirt
Stories and art on the ancient skirt gesture of Anasyrma

A Few Things You Should Know

A long time ago Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was abducted by Hades (while out picking Myrtle) and taken into the underworld. Demeter, beside herself with grief, went searching for her. Demeter was goddess of the earth and when the earth goddess grieves things get serious; no water, no crops...

Demeter wandered in despair  and she came to the palace of the King and Queen of Eleusis (She was in disguise, of course). Baubo, a servant in the household, felt deep compassion for Demeter and (after having given her a special drink made from barley) danced for her wildly raising her skirt in an abandoned gesture, it was said that the gesture caused Demeter to laugh (uproariously) bringing her out of her grief and renewing her hope.  The gesture became know as "Anasyrma"- to raise the skirts- the gesture is the basis for these stories.   

Note: the “1001 funny things” refers to the “too numerous to count” incidents, stories and myths throughout story telling history that have as their source and meaning this powerful gesture. Eleanor and Elizabeth (early on in our work on these stories) discovered the four on which some of our work is based : Cow Bulls, Still Waves, Blind the Devil, Defy Death