Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 142

frecuentemente representado como el maestro de las armas del líder o guerrero, o como el artesano de los dioses. Una nota final se enfoca en un detalle físico peculiar: El herrero es a menudo representado como inválido o ciego. Palabras clave: arquetipos literarios, arquetipo del herrero, narrativa de búsqueda, alquimia, mitología Introduction In many stories, in particular myths and folk tales, the hero’s occupation places him in certain adventures with predictable action sequences. One of the earliest of these occupational archetypes is the Blacksmith, a figure who appears in mythologies worldwide as both artisan and technician, as both respected culture hero and as feared creator of the weapons that have caused so much misery to humankind. What follows is a brief examination of the Blacksmith’s origins in literature, his ambivalent character, and the primary storylines shaped by his actions. Origins The Blacksmith is identified by the metal with which he works—iron, which in its ferrous form was not widely processed until approximately 1200 bc, the start of the Iron Age. But archaeological evidence of metalworking, at least in Europe, may go as far back as 5000 bc. A clay figurine excavated in Hungary holds a copper sickle over its right shoulder, clear evidence that the craft of smelting already existed (Baring and Cashford 76; Campbell, Goddesses 37). Stories about the Blacksmith may be just as old. According to folklorist Sara Graça da Silva and anthropologist Jamshid Tehrani, who examined the Tales of Magic classified in the Aarne Thompson Uther (ATU) Index, the earliest story in that category is a Proto-Indo-European legend—some 6,000 years old—about a blacksmith (9). However, the Blacksmith 142