Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

A16. Dangers in the sun's path.


Every night, the sun passes by creatures or objects trying to swallow and destroy it.

Nharo Bushmen, Tswana, Chagga, Rundi, Ancient Egypt, Palau, Society Islands, Karen, Semangi, Mentawai, Toraja, Bagobo, Eastern Ukrainians, Ancient China, Lucky, Armenians, Ainu, Alabama, Coasati, Yuchi, Cochiti, Western Mexican Nahuatl, Huichol, Aztecs, Popoloka, Lacandons, Nonama, Colorado, Kayapo, Apinaye.

SW Africa. Nharo Bushmen [cannibal giants live on the side where the sun goes down; when the sun goes down, it turns into a rhino (var: elephant, gembok antelope, etc.), giants kill and eat it; In the morning, with the first cry of a rooster, they throw a rhino's shoulder blade into the sky to the east, which turns into the sun; everything repeats itself]: Guenther 1989:55, Schmidt 2001:11 in Kotlyar 2009, No. 90a: 95; Bushmen! ko (western Botswana) [Banamate and his wife eat the sun every night, give their children what's stuck between their teeth; Sun meat is like an antelope; they throw their shoulder blade east and come out in the morning what has arisen it's a new sun; same about the moon; the Sun is an evil man trying to kill people with heat]: Heinz 1975:25; tswana [at sunset, the sun swallows a crocodile, spewing it out of its ass in the east in the morning]: Clegg 1986:34.

Bantu-speaking Africa. Chagga [at sunset, the Sun gives its shield to Gene-Moon, just like a tired warrior does in the evening; at noon, the Sun goes to rest like a tired porter; people live far east unaware of sleep; at sunrise, when the Sun is small, it is attacked by birds that may mistake it for grain, and humans protect the Sun from it]: Gutmann, p. 177-178 in Millroth 1965:25-26; rundi [ the sun rose as a "young man", at its zenith it was gaining full strength, aging, falling in the west, people ran to it, dismembering and dividing his body; only a certain "bone" was preserved the sun, which traveled east at night, grasping the moon along the way and triumphing this battle; when it reached the east, the sun came into contact with the ground there and was reborn as a "young man"]: Kagame, Alexis. 1976. La philosophie bantu comparée. P.: Présence Africaine. P. 190-191 in Jordanian 1982:110.

North Africa. Ancient Egypt [Shu-Onuris, the eldest son of Ra, accompanies his father while sailing along the heavenly Nile, protects Ra from crocodile attack; Gor Bekhdetsky flies in front of Ra's boat, defeating crocodiles and hippos]: Mathieu 1956:32 {There is still a lot there, we need to look for adequate sources}.

Micronesia-Polynesia. Palau: Krämer 1929:188 in Wassen 1940 [four people sailed west to find out where the Sun sets; see the Sun throw fruit to distract sharks and then dive; people did the same got into the Sun's house; there were lots of bananas and other fruits]: 72; Kubary 1873 [the Sun's house is under water in the west; there's a Rhizophora macrorhiza tree growing on the edge of the mangrove forest; the Sun throws it fruits to sharks and while they grab them, dives; (quoted in Frazer 1924:262)]: 220; Society Islands [night comes because a demon in the west swallows the sun; a demon in the east swallows the moon; later both open and release swallowed]: Westerwelt 1910:41 in Williamson 1933 (1): 114.

Burma - Indochina. Karen [in the west, two layers of rocks converge and diverge continuously; at sunset, the sun slips between them]: Mason 1865:234.

Malaysia-Indonesia. Semangs [a huge bird swallows the sun every night; in the morning The sun rises from the other end]: Ewans 1937 (Kintak Bong): 164; Schebesta 1931 (Kěnta): 237; semangs (Jahai, Sabubn) [a frog swallows the sun every evening]: Schebesta 1931:195 (quoted in Evans 1937:166); mentawai [when the Sun and Moon descend west across the sky, their crocodile living in the sea swallows, but they soon reappear; then red people living on the western edge of the world throw tarot dumplings into the crocodile's open mouth; the Sun and Moon return to heaven]: Schefold 1988: 71; Western Toraja [people living in the east are burned to black by the heat of the sun when it enters the world through the east door; they use the sun's heat to bake bananas; if the sun When sunrise is delayed, it is the people who delay it before they have time to bake the fruits; they eat them all day; the sun guards make sure that fish do not swallow it, so they feed them grasshoppers; the sun tries swallow a shark, it can be seen as the Shark constellation; to avoid falling into its mouth, the Sun deviates north and south]: Kruyt 1938, No. 21:368-369.

Taiwan - Philippines. Bagobo [a minokawa bird with steel claws and a beak grabs the moon; people scream, the Minokawa looks at what is going on, releases the moon; if the Minokawa swallows the moon and the sun, it will also eat people; minokawa waiting for the moon (and the sun?) on the eastern horizon, when the moon reaches it by traveling underground; the moon has 8 holes in the east and 8 in the west, and the bird does not know which one the moon will pass through; during eclipses, people make noise, Minokawa turns to see what's going on, opens his mouth, the star slips out]: Eugenio 1994, No. 156:268-269 (translated to Rybkin 1975, No. 3:30).

China - Korea. Ancient China [the hymn to the Sun describes his daily journey; the Sun shoots a bow at the Sky Wolf; one star is the Sky Wolf, the other two are the Bow and the Arrow ]: Yanshina 1984:111-111.

Central Europe. Eastern Ukrainians (Zaporozhye, Vasilyevsky District, Tsaritsynkut) [People do not go to Lysa Gora near Vasilyevka (regional center of Zaporozhye region), because there is a bottomless abyss in the middle of the mountain, which nests evil spirits. The devil lures people, but to no avail. Then he decides to steal the sun so that eternal night falls on earth and people will go blind. As soon as the sun sets, he takes him to his lair. People are waiting for the sun, but it's an impenetrable night. A light comes on on Bald Mountain. Old people say that Satan attracts this, you can't go there, especially sinners, or it will be a disaster. Children don't listen to this advice because there's no sin on them. A dozen boys go secretly to the mountain to steal the fire from the unclean and spread the fire all over the world. But as soon as they get closer, the light goes away. Wandering through dark holes, they discover daylight and see the sun behind bars. They break castles with stones and let the sun out of captivity. While the devil beckons people with a lamp, the sun rises above the world, and people, birds and animals rejoice at him. Evil spirits fall into the black hole forever from evil]: Chabanenko 1990:14-15.

Caucasus - Asia Minor. Lucky: Gamzatov, Dalgat 1991 [Kurtm's monster (Kumyk. hortma - whale) swallows the sun every day; in the fight against it, the Sun is weakening; people lit fires to keep it hot]: 304 (=Khalidova 2012, No. 11:39); Khalidova 2012, No. 11 [The sun comes out of the seas, Kurtma pulls him towards him; because he grabbed the Sun with his mouth every day and tried to swallow it, the Sun's strength weakened, the cold of the north came; people lit fires and because of their warmth the Sun getting stronger]: 39; Armenians [Gisheramairér ("mothers of the night") have been chasing the sun with snakes in their hands since the creation of the world; in the evening they rise from the mountains up to the ground to catch the sun, but it is already setting; then they begin to blow, the world becomes dark; groups look for the sun in the forest, in the mountains, in the villages; not finding it, they descend underground through destroyed mills and dried springs and continue the search is there; as soon as they go down, the sun rises in the east; if G. could see the sun, all people would die, the earth would be covered with snakes (darkness)]: Harutyunyan 1980d: 306.

Japan. Ainu: Nevsky 1972 [when the Sun god rises, a huge evil spirit opens its mouth; to prevent it from being swallowed, the Sun throws a fox at it; and when entering the west, a crow throws; Therefore, crows and foxes are allowed to steal fish]: 107-108; Nobukatsu 2010 [the spirit of darkness waited in the east to swallow the Sun; to save the Sun, the creator sent a flock of crows that flew into their mouths in the spirit of darkness; while he spit them out, the Sun rose; so crows can steal fish]: 18; Batchelor 1907, No. 1z [When God created the world, Evil decided to swallow the rising sun; but the crow flew down his throat and the sun saved; therefore, crows believe that for such merit they can treat people as they want, eat any food, and people should not say that crows are useless crows boldly eat what they want people]: 21 (=1927:259-260); Kindaichi 1923 [when the god of daylight Tokapchup kamui was about to ascend, the evil god arwen kamui tried to swallow him; two foxes (chironnup kamui) were thrown down his throat and the god of light was able to be in heaven; when going over the mountain in the west, the evil god opened his mouth again, two crows (paskur kamui) were thrown at it; one day an evil god swallowed the god of light at sunrise; hero Ainurakkur began to fight him, freed the god of light]: 99-150 in Mashiko 2002.

Southeast USA. Alabama, koasati [people are burned and bald at sunrise and sunset; they throw rocks into the sun that passes by; to avoid rocks, it moves fast at sunrise and sunset]: Martin 1977:4; yuchi [every morning a sorcerer tries to kill the rising Sun; two men knock his head down with clubs; hang him on various trees; each time his head falls, keeps moving; they they hang it on the cedar; the head dies, the cedar wood turns red]: Speck 1909, No. 13:149-150.

The Great Southwest. Oriental ceres (Cochiti): Benedict 1931:24-25 [The sun married a girl, brought her home; his parents gave her a turquoise chair; he brought her back; she had two sons, the eldest Bluebird and the younger Turquoise; they ask who their father is, the mother says that the Sun tells us to go look for him; the Sun tests them; they are safe in the room with snakes; with deer; under obsidian knives; The sun teaches the elder to put a fluff on his head at dawn, then a feather from the parrot's tail, stop halfway through noon and wait for someone to give sacred food, pollen; the same stops at noon and halfway to sunset; at sunset, you will see two monsters lying on the horizon, feel free to go down; Bluebird was scared, the sun did not go down that night; then the younger brother pushed the elder in the jaw monsters, the sun has gone down; Turquoise boldly passed by the monster; returned to his father; parents Sun recognize Turquoise as the son of the Sun], 26-31 [Yellow Woman lay down to rest in the sun, became pregnant by the Sun; he asks to send him a son; old Spider turns him and herself into eagles, she returns, he enters the house of the Sun; the Sun explains how to go his way; when water snakes attack in the west, don't afraid; but the son was frightened; the father came up, plunged into the water with him; the Sun tells the son to kill the deer, take it to his mother, then return; he now lives with his father].

NW Mexico. Nahuatl Zap. Mexico [The sun wears a crown of flowers and a bow and arrows; the light of the crown illuminates the world, dispels demons; the Morning Star is ahead; on the path of the Sun there is a snake, wolf, bear, jaguar; he fought off the Jaguar with an arrow]: Preuss 1925, No. 2:466 (=1968, No. 18:151-154); Huichol [Tatu Ipou snake with heads on both ends of its body rings around the world; it is the sea itself; the sun goes down every evening between her mouths and throws a person at each]: Lumholtz 1900:80; 1986:120-121.

Mesoamerica The Aztecs ["Sun Stone"; the round face in the center depicts the Tonatiu Sun; it faces west, where the jaws of two snakes are located, framing the disc around the perimeter; the Sun must pass between these mouths; a human face protrudes from each mouth (possibly figures of swallowed victims)]: Robert Hall, presentation at Cosmology Workshop, Santa Fe, Oct. 28-31, 2007; shelf [every morning Si Gu (Shih Gu, "born in the forest") kills an eagle sitting in front of the sun and plunging the earth into darkness with an arrow; an arrow, an eagle, eggs from the nest fall to the ground; to get to the sun, SG builds through the sea is a road of ant excrement; SHG himself identifies with the sun and Jesus]: Jäcklein 1974:275; lacandons [the Sun has a bow against jaguars, his wife Moon has a spindle; Sukuyum The Sun leads from the place of sunset to its home and then to the place of sunrise]: Cline 1944:112.

The Northern Andes. Nonama [two brothers were born from a foot; when asked, the old men replied that the Month had killed their father; after tying the vines, they went up to the Month, slapped him in the face, the trail remained; a woodpecker flew in, cut off with a rope beak, one brother falls at sunset, the other at sunrise; the one who falls at sunset goes to the beach, where the boy, the son of the Sun, plays, the man feeds the hungry caimito fruit; the Sun itself comes; distracting sharks, the boy throws fruits at them, after which the Sun dives; when the Sun returns, puts a person on its back, again distracts the attention of fish with fruits, and dives into the underworld with humans; both brothers return to our world; they stick to the girls' feet and suck their blood; the elder ordered him to pour boiling water on it, turned into stone; people began to beat the stone, the fragments turned into mosquitoes, ants and other insects]: Wassen 1963:71-72.

Ecuador. Colorado [the ancient sun ate a heavenly jaguar; he went down to eat people, their knees were chewing on rats; shamans dressed the son of a single woman in the best clothes; he cries with shining tears that everyone would die, and he will be the same; took to the sky on a mule; it was cloudy for three days, then too hot; shamans left only one eye to the Sun to reduce the heat; the Sun throws a jaguar waiting for him with his mouth open partridges, which he takes out of 12 snares; if he reaches the last one, he does not find partridges in it, cries]: Calazacon, Orazona 1982:14-26.

Eastern Brazil. People suffer from the heat at sunrise, shooting arrows into the passing sun. Kayapo [(Banner 1957:48); The Sun is ferocious, the Month is timid; complains that the Sun has taken all the fat; the Sun throws hot food into the belly of the Month, the spots are still visible; The Month is running away to heaven, the Sun is not can catch up with him and then begins to haunt the inhabitants of the earth, especially in the east; the heat of the sun has made their hair the color of fire; in revenge, they shoot arrows at him, these are rays at sunrise and sunset]: Wilbert 1978, No. 10:66; apinaye [(Nimuendaju 1939:180-181); red-haired people in the east suffer from the heat of the nearby Sun; they shoot at it every morning but cannot hit because they must turn your face away, otherwise it will burn; then they decided to cut the sky support so that the Sun could not pass its own way; while they rest, felling overgrows every time]: Wilbert 1978, No. 3:31-32.