Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

E25. Arachne (spider weaver) . (.56.) .59.63. (.64.) .66.67.72.

People learn the art of weaving from a spider or from a person who later becomes a spider; a spider makes tissues for humans.

Ashanti, Kachin, Chuan Miao, Ancient Greece, (Gagauz, Western Ukrainians), Northern Selkups, Nivkhs, Navajo, Kogi, Guahiro, (Kuiva), Aparai, Surui, (Juruna), Kashinahua, Ashaninka, takana, eseeha, ayoreo, chamakoko, maka, toba, matako.

West Africa. Ashanti [going to trade to the coast, Ananse (trickster spider) takes tobacco, and Opuro (lives in trees) salt; salt brings more income; A. says salt was his; going to the king's judgment , rubs salt into the top of his head (as if he were carrying a bundle); in order to take revenge, O. pulls out a means to dance in the air; after receiving it, A. takes off, but cannot fall; he is taken to England, from him Europeans have learned to weave]: Herskovits, Herskovits 1937, No. 7:66.

Tibet is the Northeast of India. Kachin [the daughter of the Raja of Heaven married the son of the Raja of Earth; the Raja of Heaven cut off a piece of his navel, put it in a box, gave her daughter a pumpkin seed; on the ground she opened a box with a spider in it, She learned how to weave from it; two pumpkins grew from the seed - one seed of all types of cultivated plants (grains), the other - all wild animals and pets]: Elwin 1958a, No. 6:198.

China - Korea. Chuan Miao [mother and daughter see a spider weaving a net; mother suggests that they learn how to weave themselves; they make fabrics, nets; teach others]: Graham 1954:129.

The Balkans. Ancient Greece. Arachna (daughter of Edmon, a fabric dyer from Colophon) was proud of her skills as an embroiderer and weaver, and called Athena to the competition. She first appeared as an old woman, warning her of the need for humility before the gods. Then in my own guise. Athena weaved 12 Olympic deities on purple, and on the four corners of the fabric, surrounded by an olive branch, the punishments suffered in Aida by mortals who tried to compete with the gods. Arachne weaved the love affairs of Zeus, Poseidon, and Dionysus. Athena tore her cloth and hit her with a shuttle. Arachne hanged herself. Athena turned her into a spider]; (cf. Gagauz people [whoever kills a spider is 40 days old forgiving all sins; the Spider laughed at the Virgin that she cannot weave as skillfully as he does]: Moshkov 1901:64; Western Ukrainians (p. Puzhniki, Ivano-Frankovskaya) [mother gave her daughter 7 loaves, and she ate them all at once; mother began to beat her; pan asks why she screamed; mother: gave her daughter 7 skeins of yarn for a week, and she hid everything in a day; pan married a girl and gave her a lot of yarn; she sees a spider on the wall and cries: this is her aunt; she spun for 7 years, and then became a spider; the pan promises not to let his wife spin; they began to take care of the spider]: Pankeev 1992: 390-391).

Western Siberia. The Northern Selkups [people did not have sewn clothes; people ask the shaman what to do; he says every day he will answer the next day; on the seventh day he tells every woman and even the girl sew a needle for herself, put it at the doorstep; in the morning they have needles and thimbles in them; shaman: at night, a spider imia came in the form of a spider; it is forbidden to kill spiders, Y. in This look is still coming to check if women have lost their sewing skills; if you kill a spider, it will take away sewing needles]: Stepanova 2018: No. 35:16.

Amur - Sakhalin. Nivhi ["When a spider descends from the sky, its harness is thick, shiny, and silver shines like that. The thickness of its harness is like a thin rope. The spider is large, the same in size as a shell similar to a hand. The smallest spider is equal to the head of a large smoking pipe. Then we gotta go, hit him, knock him down. But when they go get it, it turns out to be extremely spotty. A coward, scared, can't take it. Only a man with a strong heart takes it. He hides it at the bottom of his box. Then he puts all the silk samples he wants in the box. When night falls, a lot of noises are heard in the box. When the sounds stop, the box opens. It contains a lot of silk similar to samples. Nivkh, taking these silks, gets richer. The spider only makes different silks. They get rich in such a spider mascot "]: Kreinovich 1987:116.

The Great Southwest. Navajo: Haile 1984, No. 13 [only the spider people knew the art of making fabrics; the first ancestors exchange jewelry for matter]: 63-68; O'Bryan 1956 [where in the third place Two rivers cross the lower world, cotton grows (any fibrous plant is called cotton); Spider and Spider brought its seeds to the ground, taught weaving (all operations are described in detail)]: 37.

The Northern Andes. Kogi [the first to try to weave was the Mama-Málkua spider {"mama", a priest, also a forefather}; Mother said his work was no good, made him a spider; he weaved the roof of his house, Mother liked it, she asked him to teach people how to make roofs; before that, people lived in caves]: Reichel-Dolmatoff 1985 (2), No. 34:80; guajiro: Wilbert, Simoneau 1986 (1), No. 64-65 [poor girl turns into a beautiful weaver; a man who marries her breaks his promise not to say who she is; a weaver becomes a spider, her husband spreads her art], 66 [people spy on by the work of the first weaver; offended, she and her husband turn into spiders]: 162-180, 184-187; 1986 (2), No. 74 and 75 [a giant spider lives near the monastery of the thunder god and spins]: 718, 732.

(Wed. Llanos. Cuiva: Wilbert, Simoneau 1991b, No. 73 [a spider lies in a hammock making fabrics for Europeans and for the dead], 74 [weaving birds' feathers]: 127-128).

Guiana. The Aparai [the Aparai receive hammocks from another tribe; the Old Spider Woman made the hammocks]: Rauschert 1967, No. 25:194.

Central Amazon. Surui [The Great Spider teaches Indians how to weave cotton hammocks, belts, anklets, wristbands, etc.; then goes to Europeans and teaches them how to make clothes]: Mindlin 1995, No. 24:80.

(Wed. Eastern Amazon. Juruna [god is married to a huge spider making clothes]: Villas Boas, Villas Boas 1973:249).

Montagna. Kashinahua [people did not know weaving; the spider took the form of a woman and came to live in the village to teach her how to weave; all women began to bring her cotton to weave hammocks; one brought a lot and the spider swallowed it; the woman scolded her, not knowing that the spider first swallowed cotton and then released the thread to weave; the spider became angry; she taught the woman to weave and work for them refused to perform]: Ans 1975:141-142; Ashaninka: Zolezzi 2014, No. 33 [people did not know agriculture and weaving; the spider weaved a shirt and purse; the woman brought her cotton, she weaved it for her too; that gave it to her husband; he thought how to thank the weaver; the chameleon gave him a bow and arrow, and cleansed him, making him a good hunter; told him not to tell anyone until he was perfect; but man showed arrows to his wife; the chameleon disappeared; but the man had already learned, and others had already learned from him], 34 [people covered themselves with bark; the spider felt sorry for the woman, asked for cotton, and began to weave her shirt; told me not to tell anyone; but another woman opened her shirt basket: why is there a spider here? Offended that she was called that, the spider disappeared; but one bird (the Thurpide family) taught her how to weave, and others learned from this woman]: 240, 240-241.

Bolivia - Guaporé. Takana [10 options; spider Anu Dsetete shot a woman, taught how to spin and weave, taught ornaments; var.4: husband suspects that weaving is not his lazy wife; wife tells Hell to go away, becomes lazy as before; var.6: husband meets blood pressure, which was swaying in his hammock (= web); sees a spider run out of the hole at night, began to spin with the woman, did not intervene; var.7: husband spies, blood pressure goes away, but has already taught a lot; var.8: husband beats his wife thinking that such beautiful things are stolen; blood pressure goes away, the fabric turns into yarn]: Hissink, Hahn 1961, No. 185:312-314; eseeha [the wife does not know how to spin and fabric, the spider taught her; (one informant said the story was borrowed from takan)]: Hissink, Hahn 1988:184-185.

Chaco. Ayoreo [first weaver turns into a spider]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1989b, No. 240-242:297-299; chamacoco [the hero marries a spider, she gives fabrics, an ax and other benefits]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1987a, No. 35:120-121; matako [The spider taught a girl how to weave, then became a spider; the girl taught the others]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1982a, No. 53:121; poppies [were big female spiders, they always weaved; old people drove them away; women: but we want to help you; one man: go live with Paraguayans; women went to Paraguayans and now they have lots of clothes]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1991a, No. 4:25- 26; toba [The spider teaches women to spin and weave]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1982b, No. 87:183-185.