The Seven Sisters (Pleiades) in old Greek versions of the …

Comment on The eternal chase: songlines of the Seven Sisters by Craig San Roque.

The Seven Sisters (Pleiades) in old Greek versions of the myth are chased by the handsome hunter, Orion, who falls for Merope, the youngest of the Pleiades. Some say she is granddaughter of Dionysos and Ariadne. Versions change across European tribal countries.
In one version, Merope’s father, Oenopion (the “wine drinker”) agrees that Orion can marry his daughter if he clears the island of wild animals.
This Orion does, but her father goes back on the deal, wanting his daughter for himself. In a drunken rage Orion seizes Merope. Merope’s father blinds Orion while he is asleep in a stupor.
Later Orion joins up with Artemis the huntress, with whom the Pleiades travel. Maybe they have a hunter’s affair, though some say he is still after Merope.
It ends badly for Orion. Artemis’ jealous brother sends a giant scorpion to kill him, or tricks Artemis into shooting him. Artemis, in sorrow, places Orion in the sky as the constellation. He is seen even now being chased by the Scorpion while he follows Merope and the sisters.
Finnane rightly brings out some details of the humour and conflict between men and women in the Songlines tjukurrpa; sexual intrigue, deception, lust for sex and power.
The ungovernable “longfella malpa” is a problem, especially when drunk, yet its not a simple story.
Orion and Merope were a promised marriage. The father’s betrayal set in train tragic events. The myths of our cultures can instruct us all. Some say Merope finally married Sisyphus, the man who pushed a rock up hill.

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