#28 “The Singing Bone”

Hartman translation: “Once in a certain country, there was much lamentation over a wild boar which dug up the farmers’ fields, killed the cattle, and tore open people’s bodies with its tusks. The king promised a great reward to anyone who would free the land from this plague, but the animal was so big and strong, that no one dared approach the wood in which it lived. …” Read more

Wilkins analysis and commentary:

Historically, a “Singing Bone” was a flute carved from hollowed out bones.  Along with the drum, these have been determined as the first musical instruments developed and used by humans. The first word in our title to unpack is the word “Singing”.  What is Singing other than vibrations through air with an intentional pattern to communicate a message?  Sometimes the messages in a song are subtle and sometimes there is no escape from their meanings. … Read more

Illustrator note: In this day and age, bones sing all the time. To the trained eye, the right bones can disclosed age, gender, chronic disease, and more. To an archeologist, bones can tell the story of an ancient people. To a paleontologist, their fossils paint a picture of life on Earth millions of years ago. To a forensic anthropologist, bones can give a victim a name, and disclose who dunnit and how. So how apt that the bone of the “innocent and dumb” brother, once carved into a mouth-piece for a shepherd’s horn, literally sings the the tale of his murder in The Singing Bone. … Read more