Starbucks Selkie presents a modern recontextualization of the selkie myths found in the folklore of the Orkney Islands. Selkies or selkie folk are mythological beings that, whilst predominantly dwelling as seals in the sea, can shed their seal skins to take on human form. If a selkie’s skin is stolen, they are forced to remain on land in their human form until such a time as they can reclaim their skins and return to the sea. Since its inception in the early 1970s, Starbucks have featured a selkie woman on their logo. Yielding to conservative outrage at her fishy parts, her image has undergone a gradual cropping until, as is the case today, just her human face remains. In Starbucks Selkie, the Orkney storyteller Lynn Barbour performs a classic selkie myth ‘The Good Man o’ Wastness’. Meanwhile, a rogue Starbucks employee attempts to retrieve and return the skin of the selkie trapped inside the Starbucks logo. With thanks to Lynn Barbour at the Orkney FolkLore and Storytelling Centre.

Starbucks Selkie

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