Devised work by Sita Mani

SCARAB TALE

SCARAB TALE

​A Production of

The First National Asian American Theater Festival

 

 Artist Note

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Watchimg "Microcosmos" I became fascinated by scarabs and started reading about them.Learning about them inspired in me the possibility of making an objective personal truth in one's existence into a journey with purpose.It inspired in me the possibility of making that journey creatively rather tha reactively,with strength, courage,imperturbable patience,good humor and absolute committment. 

Scarabs or "dung Beetles" feast on dung. With geometrc artistry they fashion freshly laid dung into huge circular or pear-shaped structures with their legs and mouthparts.They then stand on their front feet and with their back legs push the ball of dung into an under-ground nest.They have the ability to roll balls of dung that weigh up to 50 times their own weight! The female then lays a single egg into the top of each ball of dung and covers the nest with more dung or soil.

They are ecological treaures, nature's septic machine,without which the earth would be piled high with manure. Not only do they help clean the earth, but the ground is also fertilized by the scarabs burying the dung.

It is no surprise that these creatures have been mythically revered in many cultures.In the Taoist tradition, a dung beetle called "Aksak" was supposed to have made the first woman and man on earth from clay. A Taoist text quotes "The scarab rolls its pellet, and life is born in it as an effect of non-dispersed work and spiritual concentration. Now if even in manure an embryo can develop and cast his 'terrestrial' skins, why should the dwelling of celestial hearts not be able to generate a body, too, if we put our spirit on it?"

The Egyptians immortalized the scarab as sacred. They believed that the scarab beetle represented their sun god Ra. Ra was the God who rolled the sun across the sky and buried it each night. Dung beetles symbolized immortality. The scarab's persistence in rolling the dung ball and its re-emergence from the ground, coming back out as if resurrected or reborn, made the scarab a symbol of spontaneous generation, new life, and resurrection.

In South America, Indian Tribes also viewed the scarab beetle as a religious symbol. Revolving the ball of dung was thought to represent the rotation of the earth, rotated by the celestial scarab.

Inspired by this dark shiny creature,"Scarab Tale" explores aspects of my own personal journey through relationships from childhood to adulthood using the mythic images of regeneration and the practical metaphor of persistence and creativity in clearing and transforming our own inner landscapes.

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© 2016 by Sita Mani, Machig Lab.