Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

C31b. Wise owl. .


owl is smarter and wiser than other living beings.

Somrai, Arabs of Morocco, Algeria, Palestinians, Bosnians (and Muslim Montenegrins), Macedonians, Albanians, Bulgarians, Kalmyks, Balkarians, Adygs, Abkhazians, Abazins, Nogais, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Talysh, Kazan (?) Tatars, Tuvans, Buryats, Mongols of Ordos, Mansi.

West Africa. Somrai [The sun turns to God to allow him to have children; God gathers all animals to find out their opinion; everyone agrees; the owl comes last; says that if the sun has child, the world is going to burn; since then, the sun hates owls and they hide from it]: Jungraithmayr 1981, No. 2:11-12.

North Africa. Arabs of Morocco: Bushnaq 1987 [Suleiman's wife asked for a carpet and a bed made of bird feathers; S. told all the birds to come; the little owl was late: I lingered, comparing night and day, stone and clay, men and women; S.: and who is more? If you count moonlit nights as days, there are more days; if you count lumps of clay as stones, there are more stones; if you count men who obey women, then there are more women; S.: I mean a woman? Owl: yes; you can ask your wife for advice, but it's up to the man to decide; S. birds: fly safely wherever you want; wife: I'd rather let you pluck my beard than let you say another word]: 244-245; Thay Thay 2001, No. 66 (Taroudant, southern Morocco) [Solomon's wife asks to make a carpet out of bird feathers; the bat came first, gave all the feathers and fluff, and left; the owl was the last to come; explained that she believed who more; more days than nights if moonlit nights are days; if you count burnt clods of earth as bricks, there are more bricks than stones; if you count men listening to women for women, then women more; S. placed an owl among the wise men; and the bat has no feathers left, it only goes out at night]: 78-79; Algerian Arabs: Aceval 2005, No. 145 (Tiaret Plateau) [Suleiman's wife asked him make her a cloak from the feathers of birds of all kinds; S. called birds; feeling sorry for them, took fluff from the lower parts of her legs, and some from the neck (now these parts are devoid of feathers); the owl appeared only three days later; explained that days more nights than nights when moonlit nights are counted as days; more rocks than earth when lumps of earth count as rocks; more women than men if men who fulfill women's whims are also counted as women; S. understood everything, allowed Owl to leave, keeping all his feathers]: 182-164; Hilton-Simpson 1924, No. 2 (perhaps the influence of the Berbers Shawía, with whom there are many marriages) [Solomon's lover asks him to do it for her a house of eggs; he told all birds and fish to bring eggs; Sparrow and Hoopoe did not appear; S. called them to account; Sparrow explained that he did not dare to bring such a small egg to such a great king; Hoopoe said what I thought was longer day or night (day, because the moonlight prolongs it); more living or dead (alive, for the recently deceased and the great ones are talked about as if they were still alive); men or women (women, for a fool demanding to build a house out of eggs is not a man); S. punished Hoopoe by making him smelly]: 84-85; Moroccan Berbers (Western 1950) [Solomon's wife demanded a carpet of bird feathers from him; he objected - it was now cold and the birds would freeze; but his wife was adamant; all the birds appeared except the owl; and when she came, she explained that I tried to find out what and who is more: days or nights, men or women; if moonlit nights are counted as days, then there are more days {nights is a mistake}, and if men who obey women are women, then women more; S. thanked the owl and let the birds go]: Leguil 1988, No. 23:151-155.

Western Asia. The Palestinians [Solomon has a beloved wife; others bribed the old woman to quarrel with her S.; the old woman persuaded the favorite to ask S. for a love palace made of bird feathers floating in the air; S. told all the birds to come; the owl did not come; S. wanted to execute her, forgave her, but told her to answer questions; 1) which bird is the most beautiful? - My son; 2) Who is more alive or dead? - If sleepers are included as dead, then dead. 3) More than a day or night? - Days, because when the moon is shining, night becomes daytime. 4) More men or women? - Women, if you include men who indulge wives; S. laughed and let go of the owl]: Hanauer 2009:229-230.

The Balkans. The Bosnians [Solomon's wife demanded that a tower be built for her out of bird bones; Solomon called the birds; they all showed up, and the owl came very late; explained that she thought there were more mountains or valleys, men or women; it turned out that if the low hills are counted as valleys, then there are more valleys, and if men commanded by women are counted as women, then there are more women; Solomon decided not to build bird bone tower]: seb-hor.blogspot.ru; Muslim Montenegrins (heaps) [wife asks Suleiman to make her a home out of birds; S. called all the birds, no Owl; only the fourth time Falcon brings him; The owl says that he believed who was more men or women; one more women, this is the one on whose whim all the birds should be strangled; S. admitted his sin, promised Owl that he would have a bird for dinner , which will fly to him to eat herself]: Gura 1997:576; Macedonians [same, short version; Owl, by God's command, regularly receives one sparrow each]: Gura 1997:576; Macedonian Sephardi [King Solomon met a beautiful woman; she agrees to marry him if he brings the pen from each bird to the palace; the mountain cockerel is told to call birds; there is no nightingale and owl; the owl explains that concerned about the bitterness of the world, tells a story; the husband is dead, the wife is crying inconsolably; another man is about to be hanged; the woman agrees to dig her dead husband out of the grave and hang instead, becomes the wife of the one he was led to hang; the owl gives his pen; the nightingale: I laughed at the joy that exists in the world; (long story); the nightingale put down his pen, the girl married S.]: Cohen et al. 1932:216- 225; Albanians [the queen hung up to dry her clothes, the magpies that flew by stained him; the queen demanded that her husband order the extermination of all birds; all the birds were ordered to gather, the owl appeared later than anyone else; said that he was solving two questions: why were they ordered to gather and who were more men or women; if men who obey women were considered women, then there were more women; and the king was also a woman; the grateful king praises the owl for saving the birds; for this, let the owl receive two chickens a day; once he ate both at breakfast, believing that there will be more in the evening, but no more chickens appeared themselves ]: Lambertz 1952:185-189; Bulgarians [tsar (prince) marries a Jewish woman (beauty); she demands that he build a palace from the bones of birds (animals); the king demands that the king of birds (animals) build a palace from the bones of birds (animals) summoned subjects; owl (owl) arrives late and explains that she thought who was more men or women; there were more women; that it was foolish to kill all birds (animals) for one woman; king of birds rewards an owl with the right to eat a sparrow every day]: Daskalova-Perkovska et al. 1994, no.*983*: 367.

Caucasus - Asia Minor. Kalmyks: Dzhimbinov 1959 [Owl, the wife of Eagle, the king of birds, says he will give birth on the backs of birds, for this purpose they must all be tied by the nose; the Eagle drills the nostrils of the birds; the owl came later than anyone else ; said that she found out who was more alive or dead; if there were more sleepers as dead, more dead; if rotten trees were lying, there were more of them than standing ones; if men were in the power of women, for women, there are more of them than men; the tsar understood, let the birds go; the Owl still has no nostrils]: 72-73 (=1962:131-132; =Basayev 2004, No. 161:262-263; =Basangova 2002:214-216; first published. Folk art of Kalmykia 1940:162-163); Popov, Basangov 1936:45-46; Basangova 2017, No. 27 [the king of birds Khan Garudi has an owl queen; when it was time to raise the chicks, asked her husband to collect birds, tie them from by the beaks and noses, she will lead the chicks on their backs; the birds appeared, Khan Garudi tied them by their beaks, but not the owl; when she appeared, she began to explain: on her wings, with her eyes, she couldn't be faster; she spent the night where I found her day, watched; if you count sleepers as dead, then there are more dead; if rotten trees are counted as fallen, then more fell than growing ones; if cloudy days are counted as nights, then nights more than days; if a man who obeys a woman is considered a woman, then there are more women; Khan Garudi understood everything, freed the birds, and drove the owl's wife away; since then, the owl has made nests in coastal thickets]: 75-77; Balkarians [Prophet Noch's wife fell in love with his young disciple; he was afraid that some bird would carry them; his wife persuaded N. to collect all the birds and destroy them; N. sounded the trumpet, all the birds flocked, except for the owl (bikeush); he said that he counted the living and the dead, and there were more dead, because he counted them stupid husbands listening to his wives' advice; N. let go birds]: Baranov 1897, No. 5:27-28 (=Dzhurtubayev 1991:50, =2007:26-27); Adygs [husband understands the language of birds and animals; wife demands that he build her a house from bird bones covered with feathers; deciding on this, he summons all the birds; the owl appears later than anyone else and reports that she was late because she counted how many men and women there were more women in the world, because men who listen to their wives, ranked among women; husband abandons his intention]: Tkhamokova 2014, No. 983:193; Abkhazians [the wife of the lord of animals and birds Ajveipshaa asks him to make a house out of their bones; A. convened everyone, Owl she was late; said she counted the living and the dead, adding to the dead those who listened to her wife's stupid advice; there were one more dead; A. dissolves the meeting, saying that every day one bird Owl will go to heaven; when they see the Owl, the birds bite it, each demanding that the Owl eat it]: Khashba, Kukba 1935:101-102 (=Bgazhba 1983:24, =2002:28); Abaza [wife of the prince host birds want a palace of bird bones; the prince summons all the birds, the Owl appeared only for the fourth time; explained that the first time she counted whether there was more land or water (water), the second time she counted whether there was more plains or mountains (mountains), the third is alive or dead; there are more living, but if we consider those who have stupid wives dead, then there are more dead; the prince let people go, drove his wife away]: Tugov 1985, No. 95:283-284; Nogais: Aliyeva 2013, No. 57 [as in Ganiyeva 2011a; one of Suleiman's four wives fell ill and asks to build a palace from the bones of all birds; The owl comes only for the fourth time]: 256-257; Ganiyeva 2011a, No. 71 [same in Kapayev 2012:288-289; the wife of the khan of birds gave birth to a son, ordered him to be made a cradle of bird bones; the khan called the birds, the Owl was not there, ordered him to be brought in by force; he replied that he heard loud screams and left; khan tells you what is more; 1) days or nights; if foggy days are equated to night, then nights; 2) living or dead; if slaves, slaves, blind people are equated to dead, then dead; 3) men or women; If whimsical wives are equated with women, then women; Khan let Owl go, put his son in a wooden cradle]: 191-192; Armenians [Solomon, at the whim of his wife, tells the birds to throw off their feathers to build a palace out of them; the Owl was the last; explains that she argued whether more people were alive or dead; if those deceived by their wives are considered dead, then there are one more dead; S. let the birds go, but The Bat has already shed its feathers, now naked]: 116-117; Azerbaijanis [people asked the owl what is more in the world - ruins or entire houses; owl: ruins, for all buildings will become in ruins; men or women? - Women, because men who listen to women are women]: Ganalanyan 1979, No. 297: Yemelyanov 1896 (Ganja): 193; Aisory [Solomon has a pagan wife; asked her husband to make a cradle for her son from bird bones; S. told all the birds to bring them rib by side; the owl refused; S. sent a hoopoe; the owl told him a story; the husband and wife promised to be faithful to each other if one of them died; the husband died ; an unfamiliar young man offered the widow a marriage on the condition that she would take out her husband's corpse and cut off his head; the widow agreed; the young man said that she would cheat on him too, left; the hoopoe said in response another story; kings Mireille invited the merchant to play chess if a cat with a candle in its paws sat with them until morning; the cat sat, M. threw the merchant in prison, took away his wealth; the merchant's wife came to play, bringing mice; the cat rushed after them; the wife released all prisoners; the owl came to S.; he asked questions; more ruins or houses (ruins - housing will also turn into ruins); more dead or alive (the living will also die); men or women (women themselves who listen to their wives); S. awarded the owl three sparrows that come to her every day to feed her; the hoopoe awarded the crown; He returned the ribs to the rest of the birds]: Eyvazov 1894, No. 6:68-71; Talyshi [the girl agreed to marry Solomon if he built a house for her out of bird bones; S. called the birds, but the owl did not come; S. sent a vulture to bring her; asks her questions; 1) there is more destruction or creation in the world (destruction if S. is ready to destroy many houses to build one); 2) living or dead (dead, once for one S. donates thousands); 3) women or men (women, because those who indulge in women's whims are like women); S. awarded an owl: three chicks will fly to her every day to eat; she eats two, and He lets go of one as an offering to God]: Asatryan 2005:12-13.

Volga - Perm. Tatars (western in Taishet District, Irkutsk Oblast, 1971) [The padishah of birds gathers subjects to find out if there are more dry or green trees in the forest, men or women; no one knows; there are no owls, they are sent for her; the owl explains what should have eaten, what is dry There are more trees if we consider dry those whose at least one branch has dried up; there are more women if we count men on his wife's lead; for wisdom, Padishah made an Owl a vizier]: Zamaletdinov 1992:57 (=2008a, No. 35:96-97).

Southern Siberia - Mongolia. The Tuvans [khansha wants to taste all kinds of poultry meat; it is the Owl's turn; then they send the Hawk, the Owl appears only at the end of the third night; explains that the first night he came to meeting, they argued, after the storm there were more fallen trees or standing ones; if we count the fallen ones, then there were more fallen ones; on the second night, more days or nights; if we count cloudy days as nights, more nights; third, more men or women; if you count men who obey women for women, there are more women; the khan forbade his wife to destroy birds, the birds thanked the owl]: Hadahane 1984:95-97 (=Paderina, Plitchenko 1986:136-138); Buryats: Barannikova et al. 2000, No. 23 (Irkutsk Region) [Owl, the wife of the bird Khan Khurdug, asks her husband to gather his subjects, unite them by their beaks, let them fan her wings in the summer; the owl arrives last, says she listened to arguing people; they discussed more standing trees or fallen (those who bent down counted as fallen, there are more of them); alive or dead (old ones were considered dead); nights or days (cloudy days were counted as nights); men or women (caught under the influence of wives, they considered women); decided: a man who obeyed a woman was a motley beetle, and a khan who obeyed hansha was a black beetle; they began to choose a new khan, decided Crane; Chekan asks Listen to the Crane's day or night cry; the Crane broke his back; decided that the Crane could not be a khan, they left the same; the Crane would transport Chekan]: 89-91; Eliasov 1973, No. 104 [ after the death of the bird king Garudi, the Eagle was chosen as king, he married the Owl; the wife asks to gather all the birds, thread a cord into her nostrils, put them in a circle, she will hatch eggs in the middle; the owl said he was ready gather birds, but he was the last one himself; explained that he counted how many standing and lying trees (more lying if you count dry ones); women or men (there are more women if you add men with an Indian mind); the king drove his wife away]: 370-371; the Mongols (Ordos) [the wife of the khan of birds Khan Garidi complains to her husband that she needs a soft bed; to do this, collect all the birds, take their fluff; the king gathered the birds and pierced them noses to keep them leashed; Yabylyk bird (yabalak - Turkic. "owl"); is the last; (hereinafter referred to as the untranslated phrase); Y. replies that there is more night than day, because if you press cloudy days by night and effeminate men on wives, then there are more women and nights; (more it is not entirely clear whether the Yabylyk bird has departed)]: Potanin 1893, No. 3:343-344.

Western Siberia. Mansi [the wife of the Upper Spirit says he must live in a house made of the bones of all animals and birds; he gathers animals and birds to kill them; the owl asks who is more men or women; she replies that women, for a man living in a woman's mind is a woman himself; the Upper Spirit spreads animals, throws his wife from heaven to earth; the sister of the Upper Spirit (Kaltas-ekva) finds her inside the mountain where she gave birth to Ekva-Pyris; his aunt takes him to her bank of the Ob River, he grows up; the boy's mother remains in the mountain, she is Sakvtalyah-ner-Ekva - Upper Lyapin Gornaya River Woman]: Lukina 1990, No. 133:342-346.