The first time I heard of one I had an immediate visual image of a creature causing catastrophes in the kitchen, trouble around the oven, and ruin in the refrigerator.
It conjured up visions of a catastrophe causing creature, a troublemaking tyrant or a botched up being with supernatural powers. These creatures are known to stir cauldrons of trouble
and mend mistakes together into a quilt of coercion. I did not want any part of one of them, and couldn’t understand why anyone would invite one into his or her home, kitchen, or universe.
I speak of the “Kitchen Witch,” a fable in several cultures. The Kitchen Witch is supposed to protect the kitchen and whoever works therein. Helpers are included, so those inclined to lend a hand scraping,
washing or drying fall under her protection too. (It’s a good selling point for encouraging help in the kitchen.)
This version of the “Kitchen Witch” is Norwegian. The housewives of Norway believe that having this spirit in their homes will keep away the burning, scorching and spilling that homes without her protection will suffer.
In the Amish country of Pennsylvania I came across this version of the “Kitchen Witch.” It is prevalent in many gift shops and is a top seller. She has captured many hearts and great desires to be free of kitchen chores. Here is a typical version of how she is portrayed.
She doesn’t look very comforting to me, and I hope I never have to call upon her help to neutralize, sanitize or otherwise clear my kitchen of tomfoolery, even though she may mean well.
I don’t have a kitchen witch, but I do have something special in my kitchen. It is a Shona statue sculpted by Kenya’s foremost woman sculptor, Colleen Madamombe. Here is a picture of the statue I call “Colleen,” after
the artist who created her. The Shona Tribe lives in Zimbabwe, where they originated the sculptured work from natural indigenous stone. Each piece is carved and polished by hand.The Shona people have three themes they portray in stone: Family, Animals and Spirits.
Colleen is aways smiling, is smooth to the touch, and invites being touched. Her expression is so joyful that she inspires me to smile whenever I glance her way.