Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

E24. Knees and elbows. 12.13.20. (.40.) .59.70.

Human joints appear after the first ancestor (or several ancestors) fell from a height, breaking his arms and legs.

Dogon, Hadza, Bellona, (chugach), trio, curiri.

West Africa. Dogon: Griaule 1938 in Kotlyar 2009, No. 265 [the first of eight ancestors was a blacksmith; when he descended from heaven to earth, he took blacksmith tools with him; he did not have fire, he stole a piece of sun in the form of hot coals and hot white iron from Nommo's forge of heavenly blacksmiths; when he began to descend, Nommo's woman was first thrown at him with a head; these guns became objects female and male cult; during landing, the hammer and anvil held by the blacksmith interrupted his arms and legs; this is how joints appeared; bending his arms could be worked]: 157-158; another retelling in Parrinder 1967 [Amma came to earth, giving birth to heavenly blacksmiths of half-human half-snake nummo twins of different sexes; a man stole a piece of sun from them to make a fire, covered himself from lightning with leather furs , slipped to the ground across the rainbow, breaking his limbs; before that, they were bending like Nummo's, and now they have joints]: 23.

Sudan - East Africa. Haza [the earth was above, the sky was below; the Ishoko Sun rolled the earth, told the Haine month to roll the sky, they swapped them and turned them around; people always stood, walked, could not sit; ate raw meat without fire; H. broke the stick, made Shashayko's woman knees out of pieces, she sat down; married, gave fire, taught me how to cook; S. made knees for all women, X. made knees for men; those who were not relatives Sh., became giraffes]: Col-Larsen 1962:47-49).

Micronesia-Polynesia. Bellona [Mautikitiki came from his father's bowel movements; his limbs didn't bend; his father tells him to jump off a tree, he breaks his arms and legs, and people have had knees and elbows ever since]: Monberg 1966:86 (=Elbert, Monberg 1965, No. 32:113).

(Wed. The Arctic. Chugach [A bear bites off a person's hand, hangs it in a smoke hole at home; a man suffers; a raven steals a hand, brings it back, heals the victim]: Birket-Smith 1953:165-166 [Raven asks the Bear to put a smoky bark into the fire, taking advantage of this, takes his hand; since his arm is bent, people now bend their arms], 170 [(=Johnson 1984:71-73); The Raven teaches the Bears how to bite off a person's hand when people lure bears during the salmon course; tells them to hang them in the chimney to cause more suffering to the wounded; people ask the Raven for help; he tells the Bear what if to tie the hand with grass rather than tree roots, the owner's pain will increase; takes his hand; putting it back, asks people to keep their eyes closed; one person opens their eyes, so people's arms bend; See further motif K52]).

Guiana. Trio: Koelewijn, Riviere 1987, No. 4 [Jaraware takes to the sky on the "nightjar hammock" vine, it has holes like a wicker staircase; tells people not to go after him, in a few days he will give they have a stronger staircase; people climb, the Squirrel cuts off the vine, everyone falls, breaks their legs, since then there are bending joints on their knees and ankles]: 31; Magaña 1987, No. 77 [Star Squirrel descends the vine to earth, says Yalavale (future Orion) that he can go to heaven; he is afraid, offers to others; the vine breaks, people fall, break their limbs, since then people have mobile joints; Squirrel Y. gives seeds, teaches me how to grow corn; J. makes holes too deep, so corn is low; I. goes up to heaven, then descends]: 148; 1988b, No. 5 [=1987]: 580.

Eastern Brazil. Kariri [Tuppart sends the Great Father to live among the cariri; people ask him for pig meat; he turns their children into wild pigs; pigs go up to heaven on a huge tree, people they chase them, kill many; the old man The Great Father sends red ants to gnaw through the trunk; toads try to protect the tree, but ants bite them (the origin of warts on the toads' skin); the tree is fallen down; people started throwing arrows at the tree to pick it up again, but raised the leash to half and then it fell again; they went down the rope, it was too short; people fell and broke their legs; so joints appeared; when they returned home, people ate plenty of their children's meat, who were turned into pigs; they asked the Great Father to return, but he did not want to, gave them Batzé tobacco instead; so where appropriate, they make tobacco offerings]: Martin de Nantes 1671-1688 in Lowie 1946:559; in Wassen 1933:125 to 126.