What truth myths contain?
Despues de hacer una revision de los fundamentos teoricos, asi como de los objetivos que enmarcan y conducen los actuales trabajos sobre mitologia comparada en America, el presente articulo, dividiendo el continente en 74 areas y basado en la distribucion geografica de 700 mitologemas, expone cartograficamente los distintos grados de afinidades tematicas que muestran las areas establecidas en relacion con relatos y motivos mitologicos.
After a revision of theoretical basis and objectives that lead the actual works about Comparartive American Mythology, this article, dividing the continent in 74 areas and based in the geographic distribution of 700 mythologems, exposes the different levels of thematic afinities by the areas in relation with mythological motifs and stories.
Interest has long since waned in 'diffusionist' anthropology, but recent evidence is very much in accord with its predictions (Gregor 1985: 106).
Debe ponerse en relieve que, en el campo de la etnologia comparativa, la confrontacion de textos y temas mitologicos desempena un importante papel, como lo mostro para America Ehrenreich (1905) en su clasico estudio. Por desgracia, estas investigaciones han sido descuidadas en America, sea por seguir modas mas llamativas, y, ocasionalmente, mas prestigiosas, sea por el afan, perfectamente licito y justificado, de bucear en otros aspectos de la creacion mitica. O, en fin, porque el analisis comparativo requiere, como condicion sine qua non, un manejo de datos en abundancia tal que lo convierten en tarea especialmente trabajosa, aunque su utilidad, para los fines a los que esta destinado, no deba ser puesta en tela de juicio (Blixen 1990:13).
Since the time of France Boas, the American ethnologists are striving to understand every aboriginal culture as a unique entity that has developed its peculiar system of adaptive traits and has found its own way of functioning in a particular environment. The very idea that a living culture can be used as a source of data for some foreign purpose unrelated to its (culture's) present or recent status has become unacceptable. Based on this paradigm, the American ethnology has become closely related to sociology but was rarely directly interested in the reconstruction of the prehistory.
In Russia, the situation was different. Here among both the orthodox marxists and those anthropologists who had distanced themselves from this dogma, the 19th century evolutionism continued to be predominant well into our century. Cultures and cultural elements were evaluated as representatives of a particular evolutionary stage and often looked at as potential keys for reconstruction of the remote past. The very cultural semiotics that had experienced its blossoming period in 60-ies and 70-ies, was oriented more to the reconstruction than to the mere interpretation of facts. The Russian ethnologists had common object of their research with the archaeologists and not with the psychologists and sociologists.
It goes without saying that the lack of interest in the functional studies of cultures or the direct ban on such a research from the part of authorities together with the adherance to some obsolete evolutionary schemes were harmful for Russian humanities. This does not mean, however, that the very idea of using ethnographic data for historical reconstructions is illegal. Much depends on what we are reconstructing, how and why.
The fact that a particular trait of culture is functional does not preclude from the possibility that it has been inherited or borrowed. If so, the ultimate origin of a trait can be very distant from the time when it is recorded. If an areal distribution of certain traits is crosscultural, it is natural to make an attempt to understand what processes in the past had resulted in just such a picture.
The crosscultural distribution of the mythological motifs and tales was well known to the same E Boas who affirmed that "The analysis of one definite mythology of North America shows that in it are embodied elements from all over the continent, the great number belonging to neighbouring districts, while many others belong to distant areas" (Boas 1896: 9). Boas was inclined to ascribe this fact to many different episodes of lending and migration of myths. Much later, Stith Thompson came to another conclusion. "No real case can be made for an actual borrowing or lending of tales by Indians of South America and those North of Mexico. The resemblances are often more apparent than real and even the actual analogies suggest independent development" (Thompson 1970: 287).
During the last half of our century, the American ethnology was not much concerned with either Boas' or Thompson's viewpoints. Any crosscultural study became to be considered as so obsolete and Frazer-like that the very attention to such a subject has been looked askance. More or less standard forms appropriate for ethnological paper and monograph have been elaborated and rather strict rues have become to dictate both the style and the content. The permitted variations mainly come to the relative proportion of functionalism and of structuralism with as few historical reconstructions as possible. The Latin American and the European (especially German and Scandinavian) ethnologists have been less dependent on North American scientific infrastructure and it is not surprising, that just they have preserved in some degree the old interest to "historical anthropology". The series of papers recently published by O. Blixen and by E. Margery Pena provide the contemporary examples of crosscultural mythological research (Blixen 1990, 1991, 1992a, 1992b, 1994; Margery Pena 1994a, 1994b).
Two important North American enterprises in the field of comparative mythology also stand apart from the general functional/structural trend.
J. Bierhorst (1985, 1988, 1990) has provided a systematic description of the mythology of all parts of the New World. Both strengths and weaknesses of his approach arise from his desire to make his work understandable and attractive to the general reader. To structure his material, Bierhorst singles out folklore areas first and only later describes the themes characteristic of each area. He prefers to ignore the well known fact that mapping of themes breaks the provisional limits of the folklore areas. Bierhorst does not give much attention to the fact that mythological traditions do not consist of discrete plots, but are rather variable combinations of episodes. As Weiss (1975: 482) has noted, "the various distinguishable parts of the myth cycle have independent distributions, so that it is not possible to determine whether the full cycle is the original form of the myth or only an accidental conjunction of the several parts".
The picture of the areal distribution of themes inside the Americas that Bierhorst draws is simplified and incomplete to such a degree that a severe critic could consider it definitely wrong. Bierhorst's faults are excusable, however, because he did not intent to concentrate his efforts on exhaustive thematic descriptions of Amerindian mythology (that is our task). Instead, he characterizes many different aspects of mythology as well as of the respective societies in general and has created a really brilliant "introduction to American mythology". His arguments are probably the weakest where he makes attempts to follow the temporal stratification inside the mythological material (e.g. Bierhorst 1985: 8-10).
The second enterprize is the publication of "Folk Literature of South American Indians" by J. Wilbert & K. Simoneau (1992b and previous volumes).
The evidence suggests that it is impossible neither to prove nor to reject claims for independent emergence or for common origins of similar mythologemes in any particular case, and even less to guess the absolute age of the spread of myths on the basis of such claims. First of all, the narratives must be treated as mass material subject to statistical processing. Only then the results can be evaluated in favour of one or another interpretation. It means that we need first of all the exhaustive knowledge of the distribution of our data according to geographical areas and to language groups.
Wilbert and Simoneau have made an important step towards the accomplishment of such a task and provided the 4259 published texts with the lists of motifs according to Aarne-Thompson system. This work has its sense because even the simplest themes, e.g. Star-Husband and Star-Wife (A762.a, A762.2), Eclipse caused by monster devouring Sun or Moon (A737.1), Symplegades (D1552), etc. reveal differences in geographical distribution. To receive historically meaningful results, it would be needed, however, to code the texts belonging not to selected but to all Amerindian tribal and local traditions; such a tremendous project could hardly be finished in nearest decades. This cannot be called the efficient work either because many of Aarne-Thompson's motifs will certainly prove to be distributed universally or chaotically (e.g. $481, Cruelty to animals, or R210, Escapes). Their inclusion gives nothing but makes the data too voluminous to be processed on personal computer.
We believe that we could easier get meaningful results not applying to the material ready made index but creating it ourselves in accordance with the analysis of available texts. The system has to be flexible and subject to permanent change with new themes included and old definitions reformulated as new data continue to be processed. The more our definitions coincide with the Aarne-Thompson motifs the better, but they do not need coincide every time.
But how select themes for comparison? Need they be relatively long narratives or elementary motifs? Or both?
If we are eager to reveal distant connections between the traditions we have to seek for stable units that possibly could survive the millennia. One shortcoming of Bierhorst's research was his operation with complete (though not strictly defined) tales. Such narrative units have practically no chance to preserve the identical form throughout the widespread areas. Hence his correct but euristically not fruitful conclusion that "there are no tale types today with a continuous distribution through the Americas" (Bierhorst 1988: 15). In many respects, the study of the mythology resembles the comparative analysis of petroglyphs and here we can use the experience of C. Dubelaar (1984: 167). "Motifs that are of a very simple character ... are too common ... and do not have an indicative value for a geographical classification based on motif distribution ... On the other hand, very complicated motifs are as a rule restricted to one specific area per motif ... which diminishes their indicative value very much as well".
If so, we have to be in search of some kind of "intermediate" units, not too elementary and not too overcrowded with details. What could they be?
Let us take as an example "The Blood of Opossum", a well known myth of the Yanoama Indians (Sanema, Yanomami and Yanomam language groups of Venezuelan-Brazilian borderland). A lot of Yanoama versions speak about Opossum-man who is eager to marry two girls. Because of his bad smell and other defects, the girls abandon him for Honey. Killing his rival, Opossum escapes to the top of a tree or rock. Other animal-people cut it down but the tree/rock does not fall because of lianas that connect it with the sky. When Opossum is killed at last, the bird-people paint themselves with his body liquids and acquire their present colours (Wilbert and Simoneau 1990: 229-68).
What themes can be selected in this story? Defining them, we have to remember that too specific or too general definitions will make the crosscultural analysis impossible. E.g. motifs "man kills his rival", "people fell giant tree" or "bird or animal acquires its characteristics" would be found practically everywhere. So we suggest to introduce some restrictions and specifications: 1) a girl or girls are in search of the good marriage partner but get the bad one (fig. 5; appendix 1); 2) the cut down tree or rock does not fall being supported from above (fig. 6; appendix 2); 3) many different birds (rare fish) paint themselves with the body liquids when an integrity of this body is ruined (fig. 7; appendix 3). Formulated in such a way, the three themes demonstrate large but not panamerican distribution.
[FIGURAS 5-7 OMITIR]
As about "The Blood of Opossum" taken as a whole, the combination of themes inside it is peculiar just to Yanoama and is not repeated anywhere else. Only in one Wayana (French Guiana) myth two of the three themes are connected: birds fell the tree and paint themselves with the juice of its trunk. The Yanoama myths as well as infinite number of similar cases argue in favour of a viewpoint that long narratives are chance and relatively ephemeral combinations of shorter episodes and cannot be used for comparative research.
The voyaging girls, one of the three principal themes selected in The Blood of Opossum, is somewhat different from the other two. It is distributed more extensively than the birds paint themselves and the sky liana, being known both in South and in North America (fig. 5), and what is especially important, the respective stories are rather long and contain many similar episodes, too specific to suggest their independent emergence. These are 1) the bad smell of the false or unpleasant suitor who is fox, coyote, owl (considered to be malodorous) or a stinking plant (Western Shoshone, Cocopa, Sicuani, Yanomam, Sanema, Yanomami, Wayana, Napo, Shuar, Aguaruna, Desana, Tucano, Barasana, Bare, Tupi of Central Amazon, Shipaya, Juruna, Tenetehara, Urubu, Tupinamba, Chiriguano, Iranxe, Paresi, Tapirape, Chorote, Toba, Nivakle, Chorote, Toba); 2) two (not one or three) girls as the heroins (Creek, Alabama, Koasati, Western Shoshone, Paiute, Mohave, Diegueno, Papago, Guayabero, Sicuani, Sanema, Yanomami, Yanomam, Napo, Canelo, Shuar, Aguaruna, Desana, Witoto, Chiriguano, Iranxe, Nivakle; in Waura, Kalapalo, Kuikuru, Kamaiura, Trumai, Bacairi myths five girls are mentioned but only two of them play an important role); 3) singing or flute-playing as a landmark for the girls (Paiute, Mohave, Diegueno, Papago, Cuna, Chiriguano, Nivakle). In the majority of the myths, the protagonists are birds and/or the bird feathers play an important role in the plot. There are also more rare motifs (see Appendix 1).
Why, unlike the two other themes, the voyaging girls is both relatively complex and stable?
There is an explanation for this. Taken in itself, the motif of girls are in search of a good marriage partner but get to the bad one is just as simple as the birds paints themselves or the sky liana; consequently it is also stable; unlike the others, however, it can be easily "inflated" with many additional episodes and unroll into a full-bodied myth. The mythologemes that are subject to potential "inflation" we suggest to call the shell-motifs. They are "command files" of the oral literature and effectively organize the otherwise amorphous material.
Here is another example. Two motifs, Sun is male and the Sun fights with the Moon, both are quite simple. The first one, however, is really elementary, is not subject to any significant elaboration and can be inserted into any context. The second motif, unlike the first one, can be enriched with explanations why the sky bodies quarrel and what are the episodes of their struggle. Though these additional motifs can be different in any other narrative, the myth will continue to remain recognizable every time thanks to its shell.
To conclude, three kinds of mythologemes can be recommended as objects for the cross-cultural, pancontinental research.
1. All the potential shell-motifs (e.g. The theft of fire; Man revenges his father's death; People fall deep asleep and are injured by monsters).
2. A small group of elementary motifs that are alternative and thus easily identifiable (Sun is male; Sun is female).
3. The elementary motifs that are not alternative but nevertheless permit clear, accurate definition and are not expected to be really universal (Jaguar as the fire owner, Dog helps human souls to cross the body of water in the Beyond, Different crops grow on branches of one tree, etc.). Motifs with elusive or too general content (e.g. A2781, Origin of plant names; B10, Mythical beasts and hybrids; F542.1, Long ears, etc.) do not fit out aim.
As long as our research proceeded, more general motifs were usually substituted for their more specific variations. E.g. teeth in vagina, snakes in vagina, etc. instead of vagina dentata; father-in-law commands to build a house, to carve a bench, etc. instead of the difficult tasks of father-in-law. The choice of more general or more specific definitions depends on how detailed picture we want to receive and on how extensive and culturally heterogeneous areas are compared.
We should repeat that the existence of common motifs and themes does not necessary mean the existence of genetic connections between the traditions in all the cases. We have no way to know for certain, have we deal with borrowings, common heritage of just chance coincidents. It is medium, statistical trends that we are looking for.
The maps in this paper encompass the habitats of those Amerindian nations which mythologies were processed systematically to date. We plan to continue this work and to include inside one descriptive frame the mythologies of all aboriginal people of the New World and Siberia. Up to now, our Analytical Catalogue contains more than 15,000 texts recorded among 350 nations; 700 mythologemes are checked.
The statistical treatment of such an amount of folklore data was rarely realized earlier. The main objective difficulty is the uneven degree of investigation and preservation of the mythologies inside different areas. As it is demonstrated on the fig. 1, some of the areas are known extensively (dark shading) and others not so well; there are also territories with no data at all. The lack of data on the existence of a theme in a particular local mythology often results from our inadequate knowledge of from the impoverishment of culture after Columbus. To reduce a risk of distorting the real picture, we have tried to use different combinations of data and different statistical programs.
[FIGURA 1 OMITIR]
To prepare the database for statistical processing, we have divided the Indian mythologies among 74 areal groups (fig. 2). Putting several mythologies into one cluster, we had an aim to make them more comparable in regard to the amount of available themes. Usually, only the mythologies that clearly demonstrate similar thematic composition were merged but in case of very scarce data some more problematic combinations could not be excluded. The merging of Caingang with Botocudo, of Paez with Bari, of Pipil with Quiche or of Upper Purus Arawaks with Montana Arawaks are the examples. The clustering of mythologies is subject to further elaboration along with the acquisiton of additional materials. In any case, we should notify that all the maps in the paper are simplified schemes created to reveal but the most significant tendencies in geographical distribution of the mythological themes.
[FIGURA 2 OMITIR]
The table of correlation between 74 areas and 700 mythologemes was processed by the methods of Principal Components Analysis (PCA, A. Yastrebov program) and Nonmetrical Multidimentional Scaling (NMS, B. Kozintsev program). The PCA is mainly intended for the investigation of the changing variables while out data have but two meanings (1 or 0, i.e. the mythologeme is either present of absent). However, the PCA is used successfully by the biologists who meet very similar problems when they compare plant and animal areal associations. Fig. 3 demonstrates the correlation of the first and the second components (x and y) and fig. 4 shows the variation of the third (z) component. The results of NMS are presented at fig. 12 a, b, c.
[FIGURAS 3-4, 12 OMITIR]
What sense have these pictures?
It should be underlined first of all, that our results evidence against the chaotic distribution of themes and motifs as well as against their tight connection with climat, landscape and culture areas (the latter would be expected if certain myths were regularly produced in similar conditions). On one side, most of mythologemes are concentrated inside the rather clear cut limited areas (some gaps in continuous distribution may result from incomplete research). On another side, the mythological areas are heterogeneous in relation to their culture and nature.
Here are more examples. The areas of distribution of four mythologemes are shown on figs. 8-11. These are Icarus (failed attempt to fly on artificial wings, fig. 8, appendix 4), One Wife for All and New Women from Flesh of Original One (fig. 9, appendix 5), The Sound Sleep (fig. 10, appendix 6), and The Horned Serpent (fig. 11, appendix 7).
[FIGURAS 8-11 OMITIR]
The Icarus myth is distributed mainly along the eastern Andean slope and in western North America; it is known also to Warao. One Woman for AU is recorded in Guiana, Eastern Brazil and Chaco. The Sound Sleep is more or less circumamazonian with extensions to Lower Central America and coastal Ecuador. The Horned Serpent is a North and Central American motif that is only slightly infiltrated into South America and known there mainly in Peruvian and Guianan iconography.
No one of the four areas corresponds to any meaningful cultural unit, present or recent, and cannot be understood on the basis of ethnographic data. For One for All and The Sound Sleep the respective cultural and ecological differences are not so tremendous as for Icarus and Serpent but these themes also do not cover entirely Amazonian, Chacoan or any other cultural area or areas. Of course, it would be easy for cultural anthropologists to demonstrate how well this or other tale or motif
fits the world-view and life-style of people to whom it is known. But to explain the particular configuration of the whole area of distribution of a given theme is a task that the functionalists never attempt to resolve. The questions why the story describing the origin of the women from the flesh of original one is known to tribes of Eastern Brazil, Guiana and Norther Chaco but not to inhabitants of Western Amazonia or why the Icarus myth is popular among the Shoshone, Pueblo, Jivaro and Toba but not among Navajo or Tupi are completely legitimate, however.
We suggest that different complexes of mythologemes were initially brought during the peopling of the Americas; later the picture of their areal distribution was modified along with the drift of mythologemes during millennia under the influence of many chance factors. The mythology of the first groups of migrants has formed, however, the original substrate that influenced all the later mythologies in the respective areas. We do not exclude other explanations and invite our colleagues to suggest them. At the moment, however, the first migrants legacy hypothesis seems to fit the data reasonably well.
Let us return to fig. 3. It should be reminded that though this scheme reflects some important tendencies, it does not exhaust the data and does not demonstrate the entire set of relations between the mythologies.
Here the mythologies of eastern Colombia and Ecuador are seen to be separated from all the other. The probable reason is that they are thematically the richest and most diversified. Another trend is not so conspicuous but is more meaningful. The mythologies of the Central America and the Andes stand relatively close to the mythologies of the South Cone (Fuegians, Tehuelche, Puelche, Mapuche as well as the non-Tupian groups of South Atlantic Brazil). Though the distance between the Panamian isthmus and Tierra del Fuego is almost twice as big as between Panama and Central Brazil, the mythologies of Central America find more analogies in Patagonia than in Brazilian Highlands and even in Central Amazonia.
This conclusion is confirmed with application of B. Kozintsev programs. Here the areal mythologies were compared pairwise using the Jaccard coefficient. Then the matrixes of dissimilarity coefficients was processed with the non-metrical multidimensional scaling method. As a result, every mythology has found its place in co-ordinates. In this program, not so much the distance between such places but their positions in relation to the center of the co-ordinates (i.e. their vectors) are meaningful. To present the results in an easier understandable graphic form, the vectors of the areal mythologies have been divided into four groups in such a way that each group has included a sector of the circle equal to 90[grados] and each sector has received its special shading or colour. All the mythological areas that have found themselves inside the given sector were shaded accordingly on the map (fig. 12). The borders between the sectors are drawn in equally possible ways beginning from 0[grados], 30[grados] and 60[grados]. So, when we compare the maps on fig. 12 a, band c, we look at this circle of vectors under three different angles. Such a procedure permits us see every time different interareal connections.
Many interesting observations could be made here and I mention only the most obvious.
1. The mythology of the Karijona Caribs demostrates its Guianan origins (fig. 12 b; compare with fig. 4). This is specially significant because few single themes in our catalogue clearly segregate Karijona from its present Northwest Amazonian neighbours; it is just combination of all the themes that creates the picture.
2. The Puebloan mythologies have stricter links with Mesoamerica than the Yuman and the Southern Athapascan ones (fig. 12 b, c).
3. All the Andean and Mesoamerican mythologies have much in common. For Oaxaca, the Andean links are more obvious, however, than for Veracruz (fig. 12a). Unfortunately, we have but very insignificant data on the neighbouring Pacific areas of Coconusco and Jalisco-Michoacan-Guerrero.
4. In the Lowlands to the east of the Andes, the mythologies of the Moseten, Chimane and Yuracare are the nearest to the Central Andean ones; the Oriente Ecuatoriano, Ucayali Pano and Tacana stand more apart from the Andes; the Arawaks of Montana and the Pano of Purus headwaters are futher shifted towards the Eastern South America (fig. 12 a).
5. Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Kogi, Ika) and Guajiro are more closely connected to the mythologies of Central America and the Central Andes than the traditions of other Colombian nations (fig. 12 a, b).
6. Karaja and Tapirape mythologies are somewhat distinct from other Eastern Brazilian ones demonstrating connections to Paraguay and Eastern Bolivia (fig. 12 a).
These and other interareal parallels that have been revealed here were earlier either unnoticed at all or understood on the level of intuition and could not be effectively argued. It must be emphasized again that no one mythologeme taken alone can prove the importance of the connections between the traditions for which it is common because its relative weight remains to certain without statistical evaluation.
Now let us look upon the maps on fig. 12 as a whole. If observed from all the three viewpoints (fig. 12 a, b, c), the mythologies of Central and Eastern Brazil preserve their distinctness. Unlike them, the mythologies of North and Central America and of South American Northwest, West and South stand nearer to each other. This is visually expressed through the fact that the same areas of the Pacific Belt change their shading when we come from one map to another while Eastern South America is not changed.
It can be supposed that the Eastern and the Western parts of South America were first penetrated by different populations, either diverged after crossing the Panamian isthmus, or arriving in succession. We are not going to elaborate here this point which certainly deserves more investigation. What we should emphasize now is the potential relevancy of our data to the problem of the peopling of the Americas.
Let us return to the Principal Components. As it was told already, fig. 4 reflects variations of the third component, z. Darker and lighter areas are seen on the neutral background. The dark areas reveal the maximum concentration of themes typical for Guianan tribes and for Tupi-Guarani. The light areas reveal this parts of Chacoan mythologies that have no counterparts in Eastern South America (compare with fig. 3 where Chaco and Eastern Brazil tend to merge). The data on Guarani ate especially significant because the comparison of figs. 3 and 9, on one part, and fig. 4, on another pan, permits us to separate the Eastern Amazonian component of Guaranian mythology from the local Western substratum and to prove the reality of both.
Along with the elaboration of statistical treatment of data, with the filling of gaps in material and with including other North American and (in a later perspective) Asian mythologies into the system, it would be possible to reveal new connections and tendencies. We see our task in making the comparative mythology as a full-bodied source of information on the remote pastas populational genetics, archaeology and historical linguistics are.
This paper was written two years ago. Since then significant progress has been ahieved concerning bot the methodology of the research and the processing of new materials. Now the distribution of 950 motifs selected from about 25,000 texts has been checked according to 150 areas from Japan till Chukotka and from Alaska till Tierra del Fuego. The Principle Compeonents Analysis program evidences that the major differences are between the North-Central North America (with Sioux and Algonkians at the extreem9 and Amazonia. The mythologies of the South Cone are the most "northern" in South America. This correlates well with the areal distribution of Paleoindin fluted points to the South of Mexico. If the "North American" set of motifs can be provisionally connected with the Clovis episode, the "Amazonian" one is something else (earlier episode?). There is slight but continuous increase of "Amazonia" motifs from Alasca towards Japa and probably furter towards Melanesia. The Inuit Eskimo also demostrate rather numerous "Amazonian" traits in comparison with their Indian neighbours.
Girls Come across Suitors
A girl of two sisters travel(s) in search of her (their) fiance (husband) who lives far away (who has gone away); in search of potential marriage; return(s) home. On her (their) way, she (they) get(s) to some unpleasant suitor(s) to her (their) hand. In Hopi, Chiriguano the unpleasant suitor himself come to the girls.
The Southeast. [Two sisters walk in search of Bead-spitter]. Creek [Rabbit pretends to be Bead-spitter, brings a mouthful of beads from buzzards, sleeps with one of the girls; they leave him, come across Ground-squirrel who eats their food up; they see more and more feathers along the road to Turkey-killer (=Bead-spitter); he tests and rejects the girl who has copulated with Rabbit; another girl gets to bring water with riddle, water turns into beads]: Swanton 1929, no.2: 2-4; Alabama [Owl directs the girls to his own house; tells his sister to guard his wives, goes to dance at Bead-spitter with animal innards tied to his neck; sisters come to Bead-spitter and marry him; Owl kills him at night; the girls' brother kills Owl, bring his sisters back to their home]: Swanton 1929, no.12: 126-128; Koasati [as in Alabama]: Martin 1977: 57-60; Swanton 1929, no.12: 172-175.
Great Basin. [If not otherwise: Owl steps on a sharp bone; dies advicing his wife to marry Hawk (Vulture); woman takes her small son, walks in search of Hawk (Vulture); gets to Skunk's mother, goes away; Skunk overtakes her and kills her; Badger revives her, asks for a pay, they copulate; woman gets to Hawk (Vulture) dwelling place; he spends time on a high cliff; she turns her pubic hairs into a ladder, climbs up, marries him; Wolf (Coyote) would like to marry her himself but is rejected]. Western Shoshone: Smith 1993:94-95 [two sisters walk in search of the Eagle; Coyote says it is he; they leave him for Eagle; he kills Eagle, takes his clothes, game meat, etc.; the younger sister notices he has coyote feet; sisters escape; he follows them, falls from the cliff, eats his own marrow], 119-121 [woman's baby is a girl; while the woman is dead, Badger makes a hole under her, inserts his penis between her breasts]; Gosiute: Smith 1993:11-13 and 41-42 [girl is in search of Wolf; Coyote pretends to be him; accompanies the girl to her mother, marries her], 14-17 [Owl advices to marry Badger and Skunk but woman wants to marry Chicken Hawk; no pay, no pubic hair episodes]; Ute: Lowie 1924, no.36 (Southern Ute) [Owl gives but lean rabbits to his wife; she inserts a sharp bone near their house; Vulture is Owl's brother; Badger ask feathers as a pay that means sex; Wolf is the rival]: 64-67; Smith 1992 (White River Ute) [Coyote is the rival]: 102-106; Paiute [as in Southern Ute, if not otherwise; woman is in search of Hawk]: Lowie 1924, no.12 (Shivwits) [Coyote copulates with his own daughters by mistake], 14 (Moapa) [no payment to Badger, no pubic-hair ladder?], 21 (Moapa) [virgin conceives two sons from the Sun; they play flutes; two sisters walk in search of the players; different (animal?)-people pretend to be the players but play bad; sisters come to the boys, spend night with them, return; boys bring gifts to the sisters; the relatives of the sisters try to kill the boys, take the gifts off the girls; one of the girls bears a son, sends him to his father; he comes back to his mother, kills all her relatives]: 129-133, 179-180, 190.
Great Southwest. Hopi [coyote steals the costume of the Red Cloud, gets a parrot as a desirable present and marries a girl; Red Cloud kills coyote with the lightning, girls remain alone]: Voth 1905, no.48: 157-159; Mohave: Devereux 1948 [relatives scold the Coyote-girl; she goes away; birds are eager to copulate with her; she agrees to do it with oriole; is in love with quail, marries him]: 253-254; Kroeber 1972, no.18 [two sisters walk in search of two brothers whose flute-play they hear; suitors: hawk, earth-squirrel, lizard, woodpecker]: 104; Diegueno [as in Mohave, Kroever 1972; suitors: hawk, owl, some bird, chipmunk, snake, wildcat]: Du Bois 1906: 151-152; Cocopa [Loggerhead Shrike girl wanders in search of the Red-wing Blackbird; Coyote claims to be him, marries her; she sees real Red-wing Blackbird at a feast, abandon Coyote for him]: Crawford 1983, no.4: 125-133; Papago [as in Diegueno; suitors are hawk, owl, small owl]: Densmore 1929: 63-65.
Lower Central America. Cuna [the Moon abandons his sister-lover; woman follows his trail; copulates with different forest animals and birds who promise to show her the right way; comes to an old woman; her sons kill her; twins revenge their mother's death]: Chapin 1989: 34-35; Holmer 1951 [first girl follows sounds of flutes and whistles that accompany her brother but it becomes too weak]: 149; Wassen 1934b: 6.
Llanos. Guayabero [Wamek sends lazy Laman to bring water; Laman discovers two girls at the river bank; they are in search of Wamek but he brings them to himself; they leave him for Wamek; Laman sends a snake to Wamek that kills him; marries his wives; Wamek turns into sky god]: Schindler 1977a: 221-222; Sicuani: Wilbert, Simoneau 1992a, no.108 [opossum was the first flute-player; his mother invites two girls to him; on the following day they spit at him and go away; get to the cannibal who kills one of them], 138 [two sisters travel to house of guinea hen to marry him; get to opossum who has sex with them; arrive to guinea hen; are first rejected, then after turning into one girl, marry him]: 388-389, 468-473.
Southern Venezuela. [Two girls are in search of fiance; Opossum pretends to be a valuable man; girls reject him and go to Honey; Opossum kills him; escapes to the top of a rock or tree; bird-people cut it down; paint themselves with the blood of Opossum (origin of the colour of birds)]. Sanema [quail-girls]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.132: 240-242; Yanomami: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.131 [girl meets the bee-man at the feast; walks to his village; Opossum tries to pull her into his house; she comes to Bee; Opossum kills Bee, escapes into a tree], 133-134 [Opossum spends a night with the girls; one of them is the honey girl]: 235-237, 247-249, 257-259; Yanomam [to lure the dove-girls to himself, Opossum decorates his dwelling with feathers that have been hung at the Honey's dwelling]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990, no.130: 229-231.
Orinoco Delta. Warao [handsome young man is the owner of the sun; father sends his daughter to bring the sun; she takes the wrong fork and is raped by bush spirit; her sister gets to the young man, sleeps with him, brings the sun]: Wilbert 1970, no.147:311-312.
Guiana. Waiwai [man abandons his turtle-wife in a tree; different animal males climb to her and rape her; she descends, wanders in the forest, gets to the jaguars; they devour her; her twin sons survive]: Fock 1963: 38-39; Hixkaryana [as in Waiwai]: Derbyshire 1965: 54; Wayana: Magana 1987, no.53 [pregnant woman is on her way to her jaguar husband but gets to opossum, conceives second son from him], 97 [opossum invites her to him; she walks ahead, is eaten by jaguars]: 44-45, 53.
Western Amazon. [Two sisters come to an old woman who claims her son to be brave and handsome; this is a snake/penis who sits in a clay pot during the daytime; his attempt to copulate with the girls is rejected; they kill him with boiling water; come to a person whose name means a tree with stinking leaves; escape to the swallow-man; they like him but have to flee after killing his mother]. Napo: Foletti Castegnaro 1985: 102-108; Canelo [no details]: Whitten 1985: 9; Shuar: Pelizzaro 1961, no.20: 13; 1993: 129-130; Rueda 1987, no.22: 118-120; Aguaruna: AKG 1977(1): 16-67; CG 1979, no.39: 457-463; Guallart 1958: 93-97.
NW Amazon. [If not otherwise: girl meets her sweetheart at a feast; walks to his place; opossum the rival changes feathers that were used as a sign at the forkroad; girl comes to the rival but escapes and marries her sweetheart; rival attempts to return her; her husband sends him up the tree to get fruits; he falls down, is injured or dies]. Tucano [inambu-girl; opossum's mother asks monkeys and eagle to kill the girl; they do it]: Pereira 1980(1): 225-228; Barasana: S.Hugh-Jones 1979, no.4A [the Moon is the lover of his sister; abandons her; she is pregnant, walks in search of her father; gets to Opossum's Mother whose son is not opossum but a thick worm; he lives in a pot and is this pot; the girl breaks the pot, Opossum's Mother weeps for her son; the girl gets to the sky spirit, then to the jaguars; they devour her; her son survives, revenges his mother's death], 7K [tinamu chief is the sweetheart; girl spends a night with opossum; eagle kills tinamu]: 275, 300; Torres Laborde 1969 [= Hugh-Jones 1979, no.4A, but Opossum's Mother's son is opossum indeed]: 34; Desana [two girls dance with inambu-man at a feast; on the following morning walk to his place; opossum interchanges feathers at the folkroad that indicate the way; sisters come to Opossum, the older one copulates with him; escape to Inambu; Opossum persues them; bird-people kill him, put his skin on the top of a rock; opossum's mother creates two eagles from her son's blood; they kill Inambu]: Kumu, Kenhiri 1980: 161-184; Bare [girl spends a night with Opossum; his men kill her and her husband]: Pereira 1980(1): 232-235; Witoto: Preuss 1921, no.25 [two sisters walk to their uncle but get to different bush spirits; come to an old woman who claims her son to be handsome; it is a thick snake who spends a daytime in a clay pot; he makes an attempt to copulate with them; one sister falls asleep, snake copulates with her (later she perishes); they kill the snake with boiling water]: 95-96; Rodriguez de Montes 1981, no.16 [as in Preuss, no.25, but no copulation with a snake; the girl survives]: 126-132.
Central Amazon. Tupi (precise place unknown) [girl would like to marry Falcon; misinterprets feather-signs on the forkroad; gets to Opossum; rejects him because of his smell; comes to Vulture; rejects him for the same reason; comes to Falcon; Vulture arrives to take her back, Falcon beats him]: Couto de Magallaes 1882: 57-61.
Eastern Amazon. [Pregnant wife of a deity walks in search of him; gets to opossum; conceives another son from him; gets to the jaguars; they devour her; her twin sons survive, revenge their mother's death]. Shipaya: Nimuendaju 1919-1920: 1016; Tenetehara: Nimuendaju 1915, no.1: 282-283; Wagley, Galvao 1949, no.14: 137-140; Urubu: Huxley 1956: 217-220; Tupinamba: Metraux 1932: 132-136.
Eastern Bolivia. Chiriguano [Armadillo plays flute beautifully; two sisters come to its voice; the younger one marries Armadillo; Fox kills him, takes his appearance, comes to the woman; when he is asleep, she grooms him, understands the deceit (at the back of his head the put on Armadillo's skin is sewn together); sisters kill him with a club]: Nordenskiold 1912: 285-286.
South Amazon. [If not otherwise: man makes five wooden girls, sends them to marry the jaguar; three girls perish on their way; two girls get to small forest felines and canines; everyone of them claims to be jaguar; then sisters marry the jaguar; his mother kills one of them; twins revenge their mother's death]. Waura: Schultz 1966: 26-28; Kalapalo: Baldus 1958: 45-61; Kuikuru: Carneiro 1989: 6-10; VB 1973: 72-88; Kamaiura: Agostinho 1974: 163, 172; Munzel 1973: 26; VB 1973: 57-70; Trumai: Murphy, Quain 1955: 72-74; Bacairi: Steinen 1897:317-329; Iranxe [hummingbird asks his pregnant wife come to him after giving birth; owl coruja-do-campo interchanges feathers that indicated the right way at the folkroad; woman, her younger sister and their mother come to the owl; he urinates during copulation; they escape, get to the turtle who copulates with the older sister; women escape again, then perish]: Holanda Pereira 1985, no.2: 37-43; Paresi [girl meets a bird man (Trogonideo) at a feast; in the morning walks to his dwelling place; Owl change feathers used as a sign at the forkroad; she comes to Owl, it is dirty and smelly there; she escapes, gets to Wolf; to Partridge; to Spider; everone of them is eager to copulate with her; she perishes after all]: Holanda Pereira 1986, no.16: 250-256; Bororo [man sends his daughter to marry the jaguar; on her way she gets to small forest predators, feline and canine; everyone of them pretends to be jaguar; marries jaguar; catepillar-woman kills her; her twin sons survive, revenge her death]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1983, no.98, 99: 174-175, 180-182.
Chaco. Mataco [the Sun's daughter marries Woodpecker who is efficient honey-gatherer; when she walks across the forest Takjuaj the trickster makes an attempts to copulate with her; she returns to her Sun; Takjuaj comes to Woodpecker, pretends to be his lost wife]: Barabas, Bartolome 1979a: 128-131; 1979b: 79-80; Wilbert, Simoneau 1982a, no.63-66: 132-141; Toba [Master of the Waters' daughter marries Woodpecker who is efficient honey-gatherer; trickster pretends to be him; then tries to copulate with her; she disappears]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1982b, no.98-99 [disappears into the woods, bears Woodpecker's son], 100 [jumps into the river, turns into capibara; anthropomorphic trickster comes to Woodpecker, pretends to be his lost wife]: 202-210; Chorote [armadillo is the first to have a harvest; king vulture tries to win him as husband for his daughter; fox pretends to be armadillo; girl sleeps with him; leaves him for armadillo]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1985, no.57: 101-102; Nivakle [handsome thrush sings and plays gourd flute well; two parrot sisters hear the music, go to court him; seriema (Chunga burmeisteri) pretends to be the singer; he sings bad, they continue their search, come to the thrush; wrongly believing that he has worms they let him go; remain alone]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1987b, no.196-197 [sisters ask to everyone of the bird men whom they meet on their way], 198, 199 [thrush married the younger sister]: 472-485.
Araguaia. Tapirape [woman with her son the opossum walks in search of her husband; son copulates with her; directs her along the way to the water spirits who kill her; her twin sons survive, revenge their mother's death]: Wagley 1977: 179-180.
Patagonia, Chile. Southern Tehuelche [the bride of snipe walks in search of him; poor and ugly hawk pretends to be snipe; she spends night with him; in the morning sees real snipe among the ball-players; he rejects her, she goes away]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1984b, no.96, 97: 139-141.
A. A girl or two sisters get to an old woman who invites her (them) to marry her son. Really it is a worm, snake or penis whom she keeps in a pot during the daytime. Girl (sisters) do(es) not let him copulate with her (them), escape(s).
Western Amazon. [Old woman claims that her son is handsome and brave; sisters kill him with boiling water]. (Napo; Canelo; Shuar; Aguaruna).
NW Amazon. (Barasana; Witoto [as in Western Amazon]).
B. The good fiance/husband is fragrant Honey or honey-gatherer.
Southern Venezuela. (Sanema; Yanomami; Yanomam). Chaco. (Toba; Mataco).
C. Girl meets her fiance at the dancing party; he leaves party first, she walks to his house alone after some time.
Southern Venezuela. (Yanomami).
NW Amazon. (Desana; Tucano; Barasana; Bare; Witoto).
South Amazon. (Paresi).
D. After the proper fiance marries the girl(s), the undesirable suitor or his relatives kill him.
The Southeast. (Alabama [Owl kills Bead-spitter]).
Llanos. Guayabero [Wamek kills Laman]).
Southern Venezuela. [Opossum kills Honey/Bee]. (Sanema; Yanomami; Yanomam).
NW Amazon. Desana [Opossum's mother creates two eagles, they kill Inambu]; Barasana [Eagle kills Tinamu (as in Desana?]; Bare [Opossum's men kill the girl and her husband]).
The Tree Supported from above
It is difficult to fell the tree because it is supported from above.
Lower Central America. Cuna [top of the tree in the clouds; some animal-people fail, squirrel climbs, cuts the clouds]: Nordenskiold 1938: 177-178.
Northern Colombia. Embera: Arango Bueno 1963 [liana holds the tree from above; tucan, parrot fail, guacamayo cuts the liana]: 185; Isacsson 1993 [Microsciurus sp. cuts through; sloth, another squirrel cannot cut]: 53; Rochereau 1929:88 and Torres de Arauz 1963: 25 [liana connects the tree with clouds; monkeys, squirrels fail, another squirrel cuts the liana]; Kogi [hero escapes in a tree, ogre gnaws the trunk, tree does not fall bacause it is connected with the sky by nine threads]: Preuss 1926, no.9: 199.
Llanos. Yaruro [branches or roots of the tree are in the sky; woodpecker cuts them]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990c, no.40 and 45 [branch], 41 [roots]: 67, 69, 74; Guayabero [liana to the sky, squirrel cuts it]: Schindler 1977a: 228; Cuiva [liana to the sky; many persons fail, squirrel cuts it] Wilbert, Simoneau 1991b, no.113, 114: 167-169, 172-173; Sicuani [liana to the sky; mockingbird, tucan, oropendola fail, squirrel cuts or bites it]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1992a, no.44-48, 49, 51, 52: 196, 210, 214, 217, 223, 228, 230; Yepez 1984: 10.
Southern Venezuela. Piaroa [as long as lianas tie its branches together, the tree cannot be fallen down; un bicho bites the lianas through]: Boglar 1977, no.29: 286; Makiritare [lima is tied to the sky; squirrel cuts it]: Civrieux 1980: 135; Yanomami [liana is tied to another tree, sloth cuts it]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.131: 238; Sanema [liana is tied to the sun]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.132 [different animals fail, squirrel cuts the liana], 135 [sloth fails, ant bites the liana through], 137 [sloths fail, squirrel cuts]: 244-246, 263, 267.
Guiana. [Liana that is tied to the tree does not let it fall]. Karina (Guiana) [monkeys fail, squirrel cuts the liana]: Gillin 1936, no.1: 190; Hixkaryana [squirrel is afraid, hummingbird cuts]: Derbyshire 1965: 15.
Western Amazon. Coreguaje [upper branches in the sky that was low; squirrel cuts them]: Jimenez 1989, no.16: 34; Siona [upper branches in the clouds; squirrel cuts them, remains on the sky]: Chaves 1958: 138-139; Mai Huna [the reason why the tree does not fall is not explained but squirrel climbes up the tree to cut it]: Bellier 1991, no.4C: 196; Napo [liana connects the tree with the sky; squirrel bites it through]: Mercier 1979: 76; Waorani [as in Napo]: Rival 1996:115.
NW Amazon. Ufaina [the daughter of the Sun ties the tree to the sky with lianas; squirrel cuts them]: Hildebrand 1975, no.IX: 344-345; Andoque [tree is tied with lianas (to the sky?); some creatures hold the tree from above; monkey cuts the lianas; horseflies bite the persons, they let the tree fall]: Pineda 1975: 453; Witoto: Rodriguez de Montes 1981, no.19 [cannibal father-in-law holds the tree; son-inlaw sends horsefly to bite him, he lets tree to fall]: 153; Yepez 1982 [lianas tie the tree to the sky; fox cuts them]: 68; Tucuna [giant sloth holds the tree from above, but people think it is a liana; squirrel throws ants or pepper at the sloth]: Nimuendaju 1952 [ants]: 124; Rodriguez de Montes 1981, no.12A [pepper; also ducks support tree]: 114-115; Pereira 1980(2) [liana is tied to the sky; no details]: 470; Yagua [the old man who owns the tree holds the liana that supports the tree from above; scorpion bites him]: Chaumeil 1983: 155; Payne 1992: 208-209; Rodriguez de Montes 1981, no.12B: 116.
Birds Paint Themselves
The integrity of some person's or creature's (rare: plant's) body is ruined; making themselves dirty with the body liquids, the different birds (rare: fish) get their coloured feathers and beaks (or scales).
Northern Colombia. Guajiro: Wilbert, Simoneau 1986(1), no.26 [culture hero wounded], 30 and 34-35 [girl: vaginal teeth removed], 32 [small bird wounded]: 75, 87, 89, 92, 94.
Southern Venezuela. [Opossum killed]. Sanema: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.132, 135-137: 246, 263-267; Yanomam: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.130: 233-234; Yanomami: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.131, 133-134, 138: 238-239, 255-256, 261-262, 268.
Orinoco Delta. Warao [girl: vagina made]: Wilbert 1970, no.120, 172: 247-248, 378.
Guiana. [Bird or animal killed]. (Group unknown) [boa]: Roth 1915, no.162: 225-226; Arekuna [boa]: KG 1924, no.22: 72-75; Akawaio [boa]: Brett in Im Thum 1966: 382; Waiwai [boa]: Fock 1963: 64-65; Hixkaryana [boa]: Derbyshire 1965: 93-94; Kalina, Locono [boa]: Goeje 1943, no.d27: 114; Wayana: Magana 1987, no.76 [boa], 82 [bird-people fell the tree, paint themselves with a juice]: 49, 50; Trio [king-vulture]: KR 1987, no.2: 22-25; Wayapi [boa transformed into rainbow]: Grenand 1982, no.19: 154-163.
Central Amazon. [Turtle killed, if not otherwise]. Lower Rio Negro (Manao?): BR 1890: 171; Maue [birds and fish paint themselves]: Ugge 1991, no.2: 143-146; Parintintin [old man]: Pereira 1980(2): 585; Mundurucu: Kruse 1946-1949, no.26: 633-634; Murphy 1958, no.54: 128-129.
Eastern Amazon. Shipaya [Moon wounded]: Nimuendaju 1919-1920: 1011.
Montana. [Anthropomorphic person killed]. Cashibo: Estrella Odicio 1977:81-83 [Huiracocha] in Blixen 1994: 23; Frank et al. 1990, no.3 [Iracucha]: 65-68; Tessmann 1930 [Inca]: 149; Shipibo [Inca]: Bertrand-Rousseau 1984: 215-222; Roe 1982, no.10: 68-70; Waisbard 1958-1959 [no details]: 65; Amuesha [man]: Santos-Granero 1991, no.16: 218-219; Ashaninca (River Campa) [man changed into Guilielma palm]: Weiss 1975: 328; Machiguenga [man]: Garcia in Weiss 1975: 344 (footnote 10); Cashinahua [old woman]: Ans 1975: 81-82; Tastevin 1926: 164-166.
South Amazon. [Person or animal killed]. Kamaiura [shaman kills the son of the chief of fish; fish pull him into the water, tore into pieces, paint themselves with black and red paints that ha has used for painting his skin]: VB 1973: 200-205; Kayabi [jaguar]: Grunberg 1970: 166; Iranxe [bush spirit]: Holanda Pereira 1985, no.30: 138-142; Rikbaktsa [sloth]: Hahn 1976 in Pressman 1991: 84; Paresi [shaman]: Holanda Pereira 1986, no.3: 110-111.
Chaco. Chamacoco [boy's leg cut off]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1987a, no.75-77: 260-261, 267-268, 271-272; Caduveo [boy's leg cut off]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990a, no.30, 31: 55-58; Nivakle [king vulture]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1987b, no.94, 96, 97, 164-165: 238-241, 246-247, 250-252, 391, 396-397; Chorote [cannibal eagle]: Wilbert, Simoneai 1985, no.100, 101: 194-195, 198; Makka [bird-ogre]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1991a, no.9, 10: 40-41, 45; Mataco [trickster's anus opened]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1982a, no.99-103: 197-205; Toba [fox' anus opened]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1982b, no.129: 349; 1989a, no.210: 293; Mocovi [fox' anus opened]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1988, no.56-63: 77-90; Vilela [rainbow serpent; painting not mentioned directly but sacaron de la vibora los huesos y el lindo cuero]: Lehmann-Nitsche 1924-1925b: 221-227.
Fuegians. Yamana [bird people fight with the rainbow man; smear themselves touching his body paint]: Wilbert 1977, no.4: 21-24.
An animal (rare: a person) flies on artificial wings (stuck with a wax or otherwise) but falls to the ground.
Great Basin. [Geese give feathers to Wolf or Coyote; he falls but survives/revives; after the event, Coyote finds a corpse of a pregnant woman, extracts a baby girl, names her my sister]. Western Shoshone [Coyote falls because..]: Smith 1993:129 [looks down], 159 [flies too long]; Ute: Lowie 1924, no.27 (Southern Ute) [take feathers back because Wolf makes too loud voice]: 53; Smith 1992: 27-28 (Uncompahgre Ute) [because Coyote urinates into every spring], 80-81 and 96-98 (White River Ute) [Coyote looks down and falls]; Paiute [geese take feathers back because..]: Lowie 1924, no. 11 (Shivwits) [Coyote makes too loud voice and looks down], 5 (Moapa) [do not like Coyote's way of flying]: 124-125, 165.
Great Southwest. [Birds give feathers to coyote, then take them back]. Hopi [falls, dies]: Voth 1905, no.68 [blue-jays], 72 [chiro birds]: 196-197, 203-204; Wallis 1936, no.15: 52; Zuni [blackbirds; falls, almost dies]: Cushing 1901: 237-242; Keres [blackbirds of pigeons; he is abandoned on a rock, crashes to the ground, is revived]: Boas 1928: 270.
Orinoco Delta. Warao [turtle]: Wilbert 1970, no. 183 [wax is melted under the Sun], 183, 208: 411, 413-414, 480-481.
Western Amazon. [Wax is melted under the Sun]. Napo [armadillo]: Mercier 1979: 199-200; Shuar [fox]: Pelizzaro 1993 [Sun makes wings for the vulture and for the fox; fox attempts to fly before time; people cannot fly because of it]: 70-71; Rueda 1987, no.7: 62-63; Aguaruna [humans]: CG 1979, no.25: 253-257.
Montana. Shipibo [armadillo; tortoise; wax melted]: Roe 1991a: 26-28.
Eastern Bolivia. Moseten [culture hero/trickster borrows feathers from birds; pulls them off, falls in a tree]: Nordenskiold 1924: 141-142; Chimane [as in Moseten; borrows from parrots; breaks his promise not to imitate their voices; parrots take feathers back]: Daillant 1995: 164; Hissink, Hahn 1989, no.1: 61.
Chaco. Ayoreo [fox]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1989b, no.309: 371; Nivakle [jaguar]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1987a, no.216 [vulture gives his feathers; jaguar tries to eat him; vulture clubs him to death], 217 [Snow-White bird lends his wings; one comes off, jaguar falls and dies]: 524-525; Chorote [fox asks parrots for wings; flies but soon falls in the middle of the dry forest]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1985, no.149: 279; Makka [jaguar; wax melted]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1991a, no.54, 55: 136-138; Toba: Wilbert, Simoneau 1982b, no.111-112 [fox; wax melted]: 228-229; 1989a, no.203-207 [fox; imitates Chauna torquata bird, his feathers fall out], 208-209 [as in Wilbert, Simoneau 1982b], 363 [anthropomorphic hawk; imitates female parrot and courts her; his feathers fall out]: 285-290, 290-291, 485-486.
One for All; Pieces of Flesh
A. The only existing or available woman is used sexually by many men.
Southern Venezuela. Yanomami [first woman is married to four brothers; introduces custom of tying men's penises to their hip strings and two kinds of duels]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, no.17: 50-52.
Guiana. Waiwai [turtle-man abandons his wife in a tree; different animal-people copulate with her there; when she descends, she loses her way, comes to the jaguars]: Fock 1963: 39; Hixkaryana [as in Waiwai]: Derbyshire 1965: 54; Arikena [first women abandon men; men find but a girl hidden under a pot; cut her into pieces; every man leaves his piece in his hammock; coming back from the hunt, men find the new women]: Kruse 1955, no.35: 415.
South Amazon. Rikbaktsa [turtle-man abandons his wife in a tree; monkeys and woodpecker copulate with her there; woman returns to her home, marries a stock-man]: Holanda Pereira 1994, no.23: 168-169; Umutina [all animal-people are married to the only woman; tapir kills her with Iris huge penis; animal-people quarrel, turn into animals]: Schultz 1961-1962: 257-258.
Eastern Brazil. Craho [girl comes upon bird village; hides in a tree near the spring; men rape her using different parts of her body; every one take a piece of her vulva; tied with embira, every piece turns into a woman]: Wilbert 1978, no.154: 376-377; Wilbert, Simoneau 1984a, no.142: 434; Apanyekra [as in Craho in A; girl dies; no origin of women]: Wilbert 1978, no.153: 368-370; Sherente [men have no women; looking into the spring, see a reflection of a woman who sits in a tree; cut her into pieces; every man leaves his piece in his hut wrapped in a leaf; coming back from the hunt, men send messenger ahead; he reports that the pieces of flesh had all turned into women]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1984a, no.21: 52-53; Shavante [original women turn into animals; men mark an old woman in a tree; cut her into pieces; every man ties his piece with embira, leaves it in his bed; coming back from the hunt, men send two scouts ahead; they report that new women prepare food in every hut; lying that one hut is empty]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1984a, no.162: 476-487; Cariri [people have but one woman; god kills her, cuts into pieces, every man leaves his piece in his hut wrapped in cotton; when men come back from the hunt, women are cooking]: Lowie 1946: 559.
Chaco. Chamacoco [men kill the first women; one hides in a tree; men rape her there, cut into pieces; every man leaves his piece in his hut; coming back from the fishing, men send a messenger; he falsely reports that flesh is rotten; arriving into the village, men find the new wives]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1987a, no.80, 84, 85, 87: 290-295, 320-337, 348-349; Ayoreo [vixen-woman hides in a tree; animal-people discover her there and copulate; it was the first sexual act]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1989b, no.313: 376.
B. The body of a live creature is cut into pieces. To beget the new generation, men (man) get(s) them for wives.
Guiana. [Woman's body]. See A (Arikena); Emerillon [one man survives flood; God cuts a snake into pieces, puts them into hammocks; the man copulates with them and begets people (Emerillon emerge from the breast, Caribs and Blacks from the tail, Europeans from the head)]: Perret 1933: 84.
Eastern Brazil. [Woman's body]. See A (Craho; Sherente; Shavante; Cariri).
Chaco. [Woman's body]. See A (Chamacoco).
The Sound Sleep
A group of humans in the forest fall deep asleep (usually, after breaking some tabu) and are injured or killed during the night.
A. People do not feel when spirits come at night and gouge their eyes out.
Llanos. Sicuani [during hunting or fishing party, man sees how bush spirit gouge out the eyes of dead monkeys or fish; other do not believe him, eat monkeys' meat or fish, spirit gouge men when they are deep asleep; the blinds turn into partiridges]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1992a, no.111-113: 396-402; Cuiva [jurijuri monsters join the dancers; extract their eyes at night when people are asleep]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1991b, no.133, 134: 199-200.
Orinoco Delta. Warao [hunters or honey-gatherers find meat or pot with bananas in woods; all eat besides one or two; bush spirit sucks their eyes off, the blinds jump into the water, are eaten by piranhas]: Wilbert 1970, no.20, 21 [eaten up men's genitals turn into water plants that fish prefer], 22, 23 [eaten up men turn into fish]: 66-75.
Guiana. Locono [man meets a bush spirit who makes the eye-basket and warn the other; they do not believe him; fall deep asleep; bush spirit extracts their eyes; one man (who tried to warn others) escapes, the blind turns into fish]: Roth 1915, no.115: 185; Macushi: Soares Diniz 1971. no.10 [hunters, besides the shaman, eat deer entrails they find in the wood; deer comes and extracts their eyes; the blinds turn into thunders]: 85; Kalina [all men besides one eat fish caught in pond in the woods; fall deep asleep; bush spirit takes off their eyes, men to wild pigs]: Goeje 1943, no.d35: 126; Jara 1986: 171-173; Magana 1988, no.121: 216-217.
Ecuador. Colorado [in the forest, men find eggs, all eat besides one, when men are deep asleep, condor pecks off their eyes, the blinds turn into birds]: Mix 1982: 77-79.
Western Amazon. Coreguaje [in the forest, shaman hears suspicious sounds, makes his dwelling on a high pole; when people are deep asleep bush spirits come and gouge their eyes; they cannot get the shaman]: Jimenez 1989, no.36: 78-80; Siona [men, besides shaman, fish and eat the catch, fall deep asleep, felines gouge their eyes, the blinds fall to water, turn into frogs]: Chaves 1958: 141-142; Secoya [all people beside shaman and his sister fish in a forest pond (not in a river), eat the catch; shaman sees bush spirits who make baskets for fruits (=human eyes); bush spirits gouge peoples' eyes, the blinds turn into wild pigs]: Cipolletti 1988, no.14: 104-105; Napo: Davila 1920 [hunters besides one laugh at killed monkey, bush spirits gouge them when they are deep asleep, the blinds fall to ditch and turn into frogs]: 463-464; Mercier 1979 [adults eat the fruits, does not give to the orphan boy, owl deoculate the adults when they are deep asleep, the blinds jump into water and turn into porpoises]: 197-198.
NW Amazon. Karijona [curare gatherers find tapir's entrails, all eat besides the cook (he is Witoto), bush spirits gouge people when they are deep asleep, the blinds turn into peccaries]: Schindler 1979, no.4: 71-77; Yucuna [brothers open package with night, fall deep asleep, bat gouges their eye off, one puts bags on his eyes beforehand and preserves sight]: Folklor 1974: 308; Letuama [as in Yucuna; not bags but mask]: Palma 1984: 68-70; Ufaina [as in Yucuna; the smarter brother sees a bush spirit who makes basket for eyes, others do not believe him]: Hildebrand 1975, no.II: 334-335; Bara [shaman sees the bush spirit who eats human eyes, hunters do not believe, spirit gouges hunters when they are deep asleep, the blinds turn into monkeys]: Jackson 1983: 113; Tucano [Tuyuca men gather fruits, all besides one fall deep asleep; bush spirit gouges them; the surviver puts them false eyes of pepper, they turn into monkeys]: Bruzzi 1994: 82-83; Yagua [men, besides two, club the toad-demon, when they are deep asleep he extracts their eyes, men turn into monkeys, wild pigs, peccaries]: Payne 1992: 188-192; Powlison 1959: 11-12.
Eastern Bolivia. Tacana (Cavina) [hunters kill monkeys; monkey eats up the eyes of nine men out of ten; blind men drown]: Nordenskiold 1924: 288; Chimane [men find and eat unknown eggs; fall asleep; boa comes, eats their eyes up; at morning men masturbate, tore their penises off; wind carries the blinds to the sky]: Hissink, Hahn 1989, no.18: 69.
South Amazon. Waura [every time when men fall asleep after fishing, owls peck their eyes off]: Schultz 1966: 130-131; Bororo [men catch a fish with tobacco inside, nobody smokes sigar in honor of water spirit, he comes as a bat when men are deep asleep and makes them blind, the blinds rush into water and turn into otters]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1983, no.26: 64.
B. = A. People are injured, killed or transformed otherwise.
Lower Central America. Rama [hunters find bush spirit's pot, all eat from it besides one woman; when people are deep asleep, spirits eat their souls up]: Loveland 1982: 129-131; 1990: 45-46.
Northern Colombia. Nonama [one of the hunters sees the bush spirit, other do not believe him, when men are deep asleep, the spirit extracts their hearts, men die]: Wassen 1935, no.9: 137-139.
Guiana. Karina [hunter eats animals killed by the jaguar; falls asleep at home; his wife does not eat the meat; jaguar comes, wife cannot awake her husband; jaguar eats up every night one of the man's limbs]: Roth 1915, no.136: 205; Macushi [all men besides shaman fish in pond, fall deep asleep, bush spirits kill them]: Soares Diniz 1971, no.22: 97-98; Waiwai [men eat harpy eagle, fall asleep, bush spirit comes shouting You ate eagle's liver, some awake, other turn into kibihee (wild pigs?)]: Fock 1963: 62; Wayapi [girl sees the bush spirits who recognize their relatives in monkeys killed by her brothers, girl tries in vain to wake brothers up, spirits carry them to their den]: Grenand 1982, no.65: 380-385.
Ecuador. Colorado [son-in-law fries and eats bats, falls deep asleep, bat cuts his head off]: Mix 1982: 61-64.
Western Amazon. Napo [master of animals resuscitates game, asks one hunter to hide himself, bush spirits eat other hunters up when they are deep asleep]: Foletti Castegnaro 1985: 91-92; Shuar [hunters taunt monkey, bush spirit asks a woman to hide herself, when hunters are deep asleep spirits eat them up]: Pelizzaro 1980: 102-116; 1993: 248-249.
NW Amazon, Karijona [curare gatherers find peach palm in the woods, all eat besides one, at night the bush spirits eat up their entrails]: Schindler 1979, no.5: 77-80; Tucuna: Nimuendaju 1952: 80-81 [people, besides woman who had recently given birth, kill and eat giant paca; bush spirit tells her to hide herself, when people are deep asleep spirits carry them off, woman escapes with her husband and child], 146-147 [one brother finds and eats cooked tubers, when he is deep asleep, bush spirit takes his leg off, he turns into hawk or to Orion]; RM 1981, no.14 [one brother finds liver and eats it, another tries in vain to wake him up, animals take his leg off, he transforms into eagle]: 119-120.
Eastern Amazon. Tenetehara [hunters, besides one, kill too much game, Master of animals tells to the proper hunters's wife or son to escape with her husband (his father), owls and bats kill the hunters when they are deep asleep]: Nimuendaju 1915, no.5: 291; Wagley, Galvao 1949: 145.
Montana. Shipibo [Mestizos rubber-gatherers have an Indian cook; bush spirit comes to taste all the food; cook warns in vain not to eat the polluted food; jaguar comes and kills men when they are deep asleep, Indian escapes]: Roe 1982, no.9: 66-67.
Eastern Bolivia. Tacana (Tumupasa) [four men find an egg, three of them eat it; flying jaguar (it was its egg) comes and eats up the three men when they me deep asleep; the fourth man escapes]: Hissink, Hahn 1961, no.212: 336.
South Amazon. Kayabi [fishermen kill a child of the water jaguar; all besides one fall asleep; this man cannot awake them, sees how the water jaguar carries them into the river]: Holanda Pereira 1995, no.33: 92-93.
C. = A. but though people awake blind, it is not known how it has become.
Chaco. Nivakle [all men besides one laugh at shaman (woodpecker) and awake blind in the morning]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1987b, no.141, 142, 144: 315-322, 330-331; Angaite [men violate a girl in the forest, then fish and fry their catch; in the morning discover that they are blind]: Cordeu 1973, no.8: 205-206.
The Horned and Hairy Serpent
Serpent has traits of a mammal.
A. Antlers or horns.
The Southeast. Natchez: Swanton 1929, no.3 [at night man escapes in a tree; it prooves to be horn of a giant snake], 9 [horned serpent ferries the man across the ocean; man saws one horn off]: 318, 239; Creek: Swanton 1929, no.24 [man turns into boa with elk antlers on his head], 25 [water snakes has horns of different colours], 26 [has blue horns]: 32-34; Alabama [horned serpent ferries the man across the ocean]: Swanton 1929, no.12: 128; Koasati: Swanton 1929, no.12 [as in Alabama], 13 [as in Natchez], 14 [wicked mother-in-law sends the man to a place where horned snake tries to kill him; he cuts it to pieces]: 175-176.
Great Basin. White River Ute [two men shoot and kill a horned snake that has lived in a cave]: Smith 1992: 72.
Great Southwest. Hopi [water serpent]: Stephens 1929 [teaches people how to dig for water], no.20: 55; Wallis 1936 [emerges from under the earth; turns the earth with the people on it upside down], no.2: 18; Keres [lives in a waterhole, bestows the gift of producing valuable stones upon a girl]: Gunn in Boas 1928: 269.
NW Mexico. Tarahumara: Lumholtz 1902(1) [live in rivers, have horns and big eyes]: 310; Yaqui, Mayo: Toor 1952 [black water serpent with horns of the mountain goat]: 507-508.
Mesoamerica. Sierra Popoluca: Foster 1945, no.28: 216; Zapotec: Parsons 1936: 223, 332-334 [bull horns; becomes to live in a pool, is going to produce flood; thunder kills him]; Mixe [lives in spring, falls out of the sky, causes floods; deer antlers]: Beals in Parsons 1936: 332-334; Toor 1952 (Zempaltepec): 508; Kekchi [underground, produces earthquakes]: Gordon 1915: 124, 131; Tzotzil: Guiteras-Holmes 1961: 268; Laughlin 1977, no.38: 155; Laughlin, Karasik 1988: 208-209; Chorti: Fought 1972: 83-85; Wisdom [as in Kekchi] 1940: 393; 1961: 444.
Lower Central America. Jicaque [produces lunar eclipses]: Chapman 1982: 115; Sumu: Conzemius 1932: 164.
Northern Colombia. Nonama: Torres de Arauz 1963 [a cow lives in a river]: 39; Wassen 1935, nv.5 [water serpent with strait horns]: 128; Guajiro [similar to a bull, but has no feet]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1986(2), no.43: 597.
Orinoco Delta. Warao: Wilbert 1975" 164-165 [underworld four-headed serpent], 175 and Wilbert 1976:338 [two-headed (?) rainbow (?) serpent].
Central Andes. North Coast of Peru (Mochica vessels): Kutscher 1954, fig.42 [deer antlers and (two of the four cases) bodies]; Lehmann, Ubbelohde-Doering 1924, pl.62 bottom [horns, jaguar pelt marks]; South (?) Coast of Peru (Huari feathered cloth) [red and black two-headed homed snakes]: Lapiner 1976, fig.589.
B. Serpent with mammal's traits but without horns.
Northern Colombia. Antioqia [ears and legs]: Robledo 1938: 75.
Guiana. [Representations, if not marked otherwise: two-headed serpent with mammal's legs]. Waiwai [oral text: jaguar's hair and legs; live in the rivers]: Fock 1963: 91-92; Wayana: Darbois 1956, pl.12 [wooden disk under the roof], 60 [ritual basketwork]; Hartmann 1972, Abb.3 [wooden disk under the roof]; Aparai: Schultz-Kampfhenkel 1938: 146 [petroglyphs], 168 [wooden disk under the roof].
Western Amazon. Shuar [monkey's hair and legs]: Pelizzaro in Fomo 1969-1970: 48.
Central Andes. Pashash [Recuay ceramics in form of serpents with feline heads and usually forelegs]: Grieder 1978, fig.54-60; Incas [one serpent with ears and beard emerges from Pachatusan mountain, disappears into Quibipay lake; two fire serpents emerge from Ausangati
On its different stages, this research was supported by IREX (International Research & Exchange Board, Washinton), by James Soros Fund and by Russian Humanitarian Scientific Fund. Most crucial for my work was the access to publications, a large majority of which was got thanks to the generous help of friends and colleagues in the United States, Latin America and Europe. They are too many to name here everybody but I am enormously thankful for every paper and for every page that has been xeroxed for me. To seven persons I am, probably, especially deeply in debt, and these are Jan-Ake Alvarsson (Uppsala, Sweden), Monica Barnes (New York), Elizabeth Benson (Washington), Duccio Bonavia (Lima), the late Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff (Bogota), Karen Olsen Bruhns and James Vanstone (Chicago). I am very grateful to Enrique Margery Pena for his interest and help and for his kind suggestion to publish this paper.
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Yuri E. Berezkin
Academia Rusa de Ciencias San Petersburgo, Rusia
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|Title Annotation:||Mitologia Comparada indoamericana|
|Author:||Berezkin, Yuri E.|
|Publication:||Revista de Filologia y Linguistica de la Universidad de Costa Rica|
|Date:||Jun 15, 1999|
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