Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

B15. A river from a woman's body.


The river flows out of the female body.

Bantu-speaking Africa. Ganda [the Mayanja River originated from birth blood and birth waters where the princess gave birth to a child]: Kotlyar 2009, No. 315:174.

The Balkans. Greeks (19th century, Serifos Island) [it is believed that the hot springs near the chapel of St. Isidore flows out of Nereid breasts]: Croon 1955:9.

Caucasus — Asia Minor. The Avars [seven brothers and sister lived in the Hazel Valley; the Month fell in love with her sister, met her; the brothers found her husband, returned with him, saw her sister nea grief; saw that her sister was giving birth, the amniotic fluid flowed down the mountain in a stream; the brothers rushed to kill her, but became small and went underground {turned into stones?} ; my sister got up by the Month and is alive there, and that stream continues to flow from the mountain]: Khalidova 2012, No. 182:209-210.

Western Siberia. Nganasana [Nguo-nyama (i.e. Syrada, an underground permafrost woman, the antipode of Mou Nyama Land) is a huge naked woman seen only by a shaman; she sits with her knees spread and urinates; a river flows from her genitals; knees apart from the water like stones; the water is divided into three streams: between her legs and on either side of each; these are the three rivers of life of all peoples; they all cross them, when after death they go to Syrad in the lower world; between the genitals and knees there is a backwater where the water always spins; there they swim in boats Diaybanguo (son of Chattaseime “four-eyed” son Kouyama — Suns) and Fotare-nguo; a loon with a mammoth nose swims there; F. is a weak little man; Syrada-nyama laughs when a loon tries to have sex with her relationship]: Simchenko 1996 (2): 10-11.

Guiana. Caribbean Dominica [girl copulates with a snake man; gives birth to a snake with a human head; a shaman explains to her how to escape from her son; she sends her son to get fruit from a tree, leaves saliva be responsible for her; her urine turns into a big river, carries a snake into the sea]: Taylor 1952:269-270.

The Central Andes. Rimac Valley (dep. Lima) [two rivers merge near the village of Mama; they flow out of Pachacamac's wife's breasts]: Dávila Brizeño 1881:75; Sonko (dep. Cusco) [greedy people drive a beggar from the wedding; only one woman invites him to eat; this beggar is God; he sends a woman, sinks the village to the bottom of the lake; the woman stops to urinate, looks around; turns into a rock with a stream flowing from under]: Allen 1995:90; prov. Chumbivilkas (upper reaches of Apurimac), dep. Cuzco [landscape elements are metaphorically equated to parts of the human body; Maria Fortaleza (Conquista Ancocagua sanctuary, Aymara name) is the center of a woman's body, i.e. her navel; her head is a river Colomani, right hand — Llaxa River, left — hand of Totorani; right leg — Inti Pucara ruins, left hand — Teracara Pucara, first on the left, second on the right bank of Apurimac; head to the south (source Apurimaca), legs downstream to the north; the name is from the Virgin Mary, who turned into stone; the urine of the woman who called her became the source of Apurimac from the confluence with Totorani]: Reinhard 1998:96-97.

Montagna — Jurua. Amuesha [a jaguariha kills the mother of the Sun and Moon; a river flows from the womb, babies swim away and hide]: Tello 1923a: 129.

Bolivia — Guaporé. Chacobo [a jaguariha kills a woman; finds four eggs in the uterus; two boys and two girls are born; the hero kills one of the sisters, makes rivers out of her blood; turns the other into a frog]: Balzano 1984:31.

Southern Amazon. Paresi [Maisö's stone woman made the ground and several rivers that flowed from her vagina; gave birth to the first Uazale paresi; he was hairy, with a tail and membranes between her arms and legs ; wanted to kill their children, they ran into the forest, accidentally set it on fire and burned; two boys' penises gave rise to red and black corn, from the girl's vulva and ribs - julías, from her navel - sweet potato, from anus - cacahuates]: Metraux 1942:169; mind [fishermen eat all the catch themselves; one girl hides in the tree where her father is fishing; men invite her to go down and eat fish; she jumps through their heads, runs to the village, tells the women; they kill their husbands with clubs; one is pregnant, gives birth to a boy; bandages him like a girl and runs away with him; blood drips from her vagina, so Rivers have appeared; women chase them but cannot cross the big river, come back; the boy grows up, marries a jaguariha, a turtle, a blue and yellow arara; children from these marriages are half a bird or animals; when they marry the daughter of a snake and a jaguar, people are born; father-in-law, wife and mother-in-law kill]: Schultz 1962, no. i: 239-242.

The Southern Cone. South Tehuelches [an ogre kills his pregnant wife to eat a child; a mouse hides a child; a river begins to speak from the womb of a murdered woman]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1984b, No. 26:39.