MAID OF THE MIST
The mist of the Niagara Falls in North America is endowed with a particular sujet, when for a moment it conveys the Iroquois virgin Lelwala’s likeness. The legend MAID OF THE MIST recounts her flight from an impending forced marriage in a canoe via the Niagara Falls – leaping to her death. From time to time one might still glimpse her spirit in the thick spray mist of the falls. A legend which allegedly originates from the Iroquois, when in fact it was made up by white settlers in the middle of the 19th century. The legend essentially ignores the reality of the indigenous tribes’ lives, where the tradition of forced marriage never existed. This line between the open river and the opaque “other world”, the riverside, describes a projection surface not only for Western fascination, but also for Western anxiety. In both cases the surface proves problematic for its repressive ascriptions.