Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

E5aa. Humans grew like grass .

The first people grew out of the ground like trees, grass, mushrooms.

Buduma, Sumer, Kuma, Easter Island, Kay Islands, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Mari, Komi, Nganasans, Southern Selkups, Forest Yukaghirs, Netsilik, West Greenland, Mikmak, Tarahumara, Makuna.

West Africa. Buduma [the first humans grew out of the ground like trees, and genies and all supernatural beings were born in water]: Talbot 1911:250 (quoted in Kotlyar 2009, no. 129:111).

Western Asia. Sumer [Song of the Hoe (a Sumerian literary text known from Old Babylonian manuscripts): "The Lord established the original order, /Master, whose orders are forever unchanged, /Enlil, to the seed of the country sprouted from the ground/Without delay separated the sky from the earth, /Immediately separated the earth from the sky. /So that the sprouts [Letters: heads] could sprout into Uzumua [Letters.: (the place) where the flesh grew], /He spent between Dur-Anki, /He hit him with a hoe, and the day dawned <... >/He dug up (the ground) in Uzumua with a hoe, /He placed human sprouts behind the fence/ And the country made its way out of the ground before Enlil. Enlil looked at his black-headed people./Anunnaki gathered near him/And they humbly stood before him./They won his favor with prayers/People were asked from him for themselves./Madam, that the rulers and gives birth to kings, /Nimenna initiated childbirth <... >/Enki glorified Enlil's hoe, /The Virgin of Nisaba appeared when the decision was made" (trans. R.M. Nurullina)]: R.M. Nurullin, personal report, 07.12.2021.

Melanesia. Kuma [a man and woman grew out of the ground like plants (specifically beans) or came out of a spring; this man had three sons]: Reay 1959:36.

Micronesia-Polynesia. Easter Island [Meke-Meke created humans who grew out of the earth like plants]: Palmer in Williamson 1933 (1): 73.

Malaysia-Indonesia. Ngada [the first ngada, brother and sister, came out of the ground like earthworms, but then they had faces, arms and legs; the sun made their bodies strong and at first soft; at first they were deaf and dumb and didn't know how to do anything; they came to the village, they had mouths and eyes]: Arndt 1937:347; Kai Islands: Bezemer 1904 [there are three brothers in heaven (the oldest is called Hian) and two sisters; younger Parpara lost the elder's hook, who ordered him to be returned; the fish said that the other had something stuck in his throat; brought a hook; to take revenge, P. placed a vessel of palm wine over his brother's bed ; when he got up, he could not help but touch him, the liquid spilled; P. demanded that H. return everything; H. began to dig, dug a hole; the brothers lowered the dog into it on a rope; when they picked it up, they found sand on their paws; three brothers and one sister began to descend the rope; when the second began to descend, her brother looked at her from below; she was ashamed, pulled the rope, the people who remained upstairs pulled her out; three brothers with sisters became the ancestors of the island's inhabitants; others came out of mangrove trunks, water, or ground]: 415-416 (narrated in Dixon 1916:156-157); Knappert 1977b, No. 2 [people lived in the sky, the clouds were theirs islands, the blue sky - the sea where they were fishing; a fisherman Parpara found a bamboo vessel with palm wine on the shore; after drinking wine, he wanted more, began to dig, dug a hole in the sky, saw Kai Island below, decided that the wine came to him from there; went down a rope with his wife Bikel and four dogs to Wuat on Big Kai; their descendants inhabited the islands; other islanders believe that 1) came out from mango trees, 2) grew out of the ground like saga palms, 3) came out of the sea and are the children of the daughter of the god of the sea]: 128-129.

The Balkans. Bulgarians [the first generation are giants, grew out of the ground like mushrooms; fought flying fiery snakes; if they fell, they broke in the lower back; the second generation was Pedya-humans, with a big beard, oxen are like goats to them; they hid from the rain under the leaves so that drops would not kill them; they were swallowed by snakes, killed by bees and ants; after that, the Lord decided that humans should be medium-sized]: Iliev 2001:17- 19; Macedonians [God told people to appear; the former were giants, grew out of the ground like mushrooms; if they fell, they crashed; when dragons threw fire arrows in the clouds, giants covered their heads were not afraid; God destroyed them, made dwarfs an inch tall, a beard to an elbow, their bulls were as tall as goats; these dwarfs were eaten by snakes; then God brought out real people and told them girdle to show that they are medium in size]: Ortenzio 2008, No. 2:29-30.

Volga - Perm. Komi: Klimov 2004 (Perm) [the first person was born where grass and mushrooms were; it was hot before the flood; humans and everyone were born from the seeds of the earth; man lived in a mouse hole]: 92; Limerov 2005 [first person appeared under a redhead mushroom; the first man appeared at the top of the grass, people came from here; man grew out of the ground like horsetail]: 39-40; marie [a gelatinous mass came out of the ground, from this mass a person happened, the other person was a woman]: Aktsorin 1991:31.

Western Siberia. Southern Selkups [Ostyaks climbed out of a hummock in the ground]: Pelikh 1972:342 (same as Tuchkova 2004:72); Nganasans: Popov 1984 [(zap. Popov in 1938, quail in Voskoboynikov, Menovshchikov 1951:109-112); the water reached the sky, Loon lay on it; a voice asked her to dive underground; she was frightened, did not dive; Kamenushka dived, surfaced on the fourth day with blades of grass, moss in her mouth; Loon was punished by telling her to nest in the water, laying only two eggs; Kamenushka nests in a dry place, has many chicks; since Earth appeared, people began to appear from the ground; Nguo created the sun, thunder and rain, a month for women to calculate the time of birth]: 41-42; Simchenko 1976 [to Mother Earth, which was like a huge vazhenka, the Mother Sun has come; spring has come, naked worms have come out of Mother Earth's skin, they were people; in some myths, they immediately begin to hunt wild deer; in others they live in poverty for a long time until they learn lead the lives of hunters]: 269.

Eastern Siberia. Far Eastern Evenks (Uchursky) [Torgandun and his younger brother Chanikol live alone, are not born a woman; T. realizes that he did not descend from the sky (otherwise there would be dew around his neck), did not rise from lower world (would have left a footprint), but grew like grass]: Myreeva 2013:41-43.

SV Asia. Forest Yukaghirs (p. Ridiculous, Verkhnekolymsky district) [ivy (soul that moves into a newborn) of a person, becoming a blade of grass, rose from the Lower Earth to the Middle Land; it was eaten by a mouse, the mouse was swallowed by lenok, Lenka was swallowed by an osprey; a live mouse Lenka jumped out of her stomach, the owl grabbed it, ate it, a blade of grass fell to the ground, became human; this is how the man escaped and lives]: Kurilov 2005, No. 36:309.

The Arctic. Netsilic (Pally Bay) [first humans came out of the ground, from grassy hummocks that look like human heads]: Rasmussen 1935:183; Rasmussen 1931:209; West Greenland [first people grew up from the ground, died in the flood; the current ones come from a giant and his daughter, conceived with the ground]: Birket-Smith 1924:440.

Northeast. Mikmak [We made our way out of the ground like trees and grass and flowers]: Wallis, Wallis 1955:144.

NW Mexico. Tarahumara [people grew out of the ground when it was still flat and soft; lived for a year and faded like flowers; according to another tradition, they descended from the sky with corn and potatoes in their ears; Tata- Dios (=The Sun) took them to the mountains]: Lumholtz 1902 (1) :297 (=Olmos Aguilara 2005:251).

NW Amazon. Macuna [from the places where the sun rises, people came underground to Upper Apaporis and grew out of the ground like plants there]: Hanke 1964:69.