the lady of stavoren

A collection of no fewer/less than 17,000 Frisian folk stories is stored in the archive of the Meertens Institute. In 1997, story teller Mindert Wijnstra published a selection of 60 stories, of which paintings have been made. The work displayed here belongs to the well-known legend of the Lady of Stavoren. You can listen to it being read in Frisian via the headphone.

For those who do not understand Frisian, here’s a synopsis of the story:

Once upon a time in the city of Stavoren there was a rich merchant’s widow who, although she possessed everything she could wish for, kept longing for more. She sent out a skipper to find her the most precious thing on earth and bring it to her. The man returned with a shipload of grain. Turning up her nose for something so common as grain, she had it thrown into the sea. Soon after that, fate turned against her and she lost everything she had. She died penniless.