Jason's fleece

Encyclopedia Article


In Classical mythology, Jason and his Argonauts are sent by King Pelias to retrieve the Golden Fleece. If Jason successfully obtains the fleece, then he demonstrates his right to ascend to the throne as king. However, the fleece is an object of great power and is protected by a series of trials, incuding bulls who breath fire and a dragon whose teeth, when thrown into the soil, become deathless warriors.

Why would Hillerman name a fictional hippie commune "Jason's Fleece"? As the mythological fleece can symbolize power or wealth, or the desire for power and wealth, perhaps Hillerman is making a comment about the distorted values with which he associated the fictional commune in his 1973 novel Dance Hall of the Dead.

Photo Credit: 

"Jason bringing King Pelias the Golden Fleece" by Marie-Lan Nguyen.

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