Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

H15. Yawning and whispering.

Dead people or spirits do not hear screams when they are alive, but they hear whispers, yawns, gurgling, etc. See motive H12.

Chugach, Tlingits, Bellacula, Quakiutl, Quarry, Lilluet, Upper Chehalis, Lower Chinook, Klikitat, Okanagon, Kalapuya, Waiwai.

The Arctic. Chugach [four brothers and sister go to find out why people are getting old; they come to the river, scream, they are not heard; they yawn, the old man hears them, carries them in a boat; they see a man in white as a harrier nests in a tree; they shoot, but the arrows break before they reach; if they could kill that man, people would remain young; brothers and sisters try to kill the villagers; they are all berries and trees, they jumped into the water; so in spring the trees have a lot of sap, and in autumn the leaves fall; brothers and sister go up to heaven to their father, the Sun; he does not let them go back anymore; when he opens the hatch, shows them the ground; (informant: this story was told by his great-grandfather, who was half a Tlingit from the Stikine River)]: Birket-Smith 1953:174-175 (=Johnson 1984:87-88).

NW Coast. Tlingits: Boas 1895, No. XXV/3 [the shaman dies, returns from the afterlife because his mother is very sorry for him; talks about what he saw; by the river he screamed for a long time, no one heard; when he yawned, the dead sent a boat for him; the bitter water in the river is tears shed by his wives]: 321-322; De Laguna 1972 ['Askadut is dead; sees everyone gathered and crying, cannot eat, sleep with his wife; touches his brother , asking why he did not let him eat; he says that his body cramped and the fire makes a noise; every time A. started saying something, sparks flew out of the fire; he ate only after the food intended for him was put into the fire; his body was burned, A. felt pleasantly warm; after that he could not follow the people who had gone home; went to the world of the dead; the journey was difficult, he was tired , scratched; by the muddy river he began to scream, no one hears; yawned, the dead heard, transported them in a boat; they were mossy, trees grew on their heads; A. wanted to return, his recently deceased aunt she crossed the river; he sat by the river, after 9 days the water washed the shore, he fell into the water - and was born as a baby to his sister; he was ashamed, he refused to suck his breast, he had to invite a wet nurse; it is known from A. that in the world of the dead]: 767-768; Swanton 1909, No. 87 [young wife dies; husband comes to the lake; screams, they do not hear him; whispers, a dead man in a boat immediately comes for him; wife warns not eat the food of the dead; both sail back in the same boat, come to their house; other people see shade instead of a woman; she does not sleep at night, her voice is heard; she begins to come to life completely; her husband's rival looks behind the couple's screen; husband and wife turn into bones, their shadows return to the world of the dead]: 249-250; bellacula [brothers approach the river, the village on the other side; they cannot reach; they cannot reach; one yawns, a boat is immediately sent to them; it has a transparent bottom]: McIlwraith 1948 (1): 506-508 [four brothers spend the night in a cave; wake up in the world of the dead; refuse to eat the dead; the chief sends them back through the same cave], 582-587 [two brothers follow their dog into the cave; enter the land of the dead, become shamans, come back]; quakiutl [wife asks her dying husband to come for her; after death he comes, they reach the river; behind her is a country of the dead; a woman screams, on the other side the children do not react; the husband yawns, a boat is sent for them; in the world of the dead they have a child; a woman takes it, comes to visit her parents; her mother sees that the baby has empty eye sockets, moss on her side; she throws it away, her daughter takes the baby, returns to the dead]: Boas 1921:710-713 ( retelling in Boas 1935:132).

The coast is the Plateau. Quarry: Jenness 1934, No. 1 [two brothers hunt squirrels; every time a squirrel runs, their sister can't help laughing; dies; brothers come to the cave, go south, come out with another sides; there is a river in front of them, they cannot reach; one yawns, black and red boats are sent to them; one brother fumigated himself with smoke in advance; got into the boat; the other pushed the bottom with his foot; the spirits turned him into skin and bones, thrown into the river, eaten by sturgeon; across the river, black houses and boats are owned by the dead, and red houses are owned by robins, flying to the afterlife for the night; man returns to earth; at the exit from a giant meets the caves; see motif K54], 9 [the shaman's wife dies; he tells her not to burn it, but to bury it; his soul goes east with her soul; along the way he does not allow her to eat the berries growing by the side of the road, drink water; across the river there are black and red dwellings of the dead and robins (as in No. 1); by the river she yawns, a black boat rushes after her; he screams, a red one swims towards him; he puts his wife with him; an old woman warns the dead not to eat food; blueberries are actually the eyes of the dead, meat is snake, lizard, frog; the old woman eats everything herself while standing behind the shaman; two paths lead back to the ground; one dirty, dead dogs come along it; the other is barely visible; it leads to a snake thrown like a bridge over the river; the snake rises and falls; the shaman and his wife have time to run across; relatives they dig up the grave, the shaman and the wife come to life; but for the wife the opposite is true: it freezes in summer, she is hot in winter; she eats pine bark, not fruits; the husband allows her to die again and for all]: 99-100, 143-145; lillouette : Elliott 1931 [the young man loses everything; goes under Lake Tuk in search of strength; the old woman teaches him to ask Essisnaeh, not his brother Kuklkulnaivah (who feeds his people dogs); E. gives the young man two daughters as his wife when he returns the arrows that have pierced K.'s house; K. turns his sons into a grizzly, the young man kills them while hunting; K. mourns their death; the young man returns to land with wives, son and daughter; plays everything, including the scalp of his offender; another man goes to the bank of Tuk to get wives; calls loudly, no one answers; yawns, now they hear him; says that goes to K.; torn to pieces by his dogs]: 169-172; Hill-Tout 1905 [the young man loses everything; he is advised to go to the famous Qa Qa player; by the river he screams, no one hears; yawns, answers; the carrier insists that he go from the fork to Nkelneqa (he is terrible and angry), but the man goes to Nezeneqa; he sweeps away his failure; guests gather in the house with property that relatives have put in theirs graves; the owner frightens them, gives everything he has brought to the person; he returns home, beats the enemy; he goes to Qa Qa himself, yawns, transported, but gets to Nkelneqa, dies]: 199-201; upper Chehalis [Blue Jay's sister marries a dead man; brother goes to visit her; screams by the river, he is not heard; sister hears him when he yawns, sends a leaky boat with her skeleton husband in it; sticks and driftwood - salmon and whales for the dead; Jay legs his bones, they turn out to be his sister's husband, daughter, etc.; on the way back, his sister gives him five buckets of water to fill the burning prairie; he spends water to no avail, burns, returns dead; now he sees whales himself, not logs, etc.]: Adamson 1934:21-24 [sister gives a basket, tells me not to open it along the way; Jay opens, edible cones and berries turn into bees, fly away; a baby lies at the bottom; because Soyka opens the basket, the firstborn often die], 24-27 [Jay pretends to be dying, asks his sister to step on his face; after seeing enough on her genitals, says he has recovered; passes her off as dead], 27-28 [while Soyka is alive, he does not see the dead, tries to tear off someone's necklace], 28-29 [Soyka's daughter instead of her sister; gives him her baby; Jay wastes water, the baby is left without water, so the children die]; the lower chinook [sister is dead; her brother Blue Jay comes to her land of the dead; they whisper; he screams, everyone turn into bones; he laughs at the dead, replaces their skulls; his sister gives him five buckets of water to extinguish the burning prairie on his way back; he pours out the water ahead of time, burns; returns to dead; now sees a whale and salmon instead of logs and sticks; sister realizes he is dead when she sees him dancing on his head]: Boas 1894a, No. 15:167-171; clickitate [Coyote's son and daughter die; he fits to the river; the carrier swims when he calls him with his head down into the water; the Coyote puts his children and other dead in a bag, carries him back; contrary to his son's warning, unties the bag when he hears voices; his children and others return to the land of the dead]: Jacobs 1929, No. 10:227-230; the southern Okanagon [Coyote goes to look for his dead wife; on the shore of the pond he screams, he is not noticed; they hear him yawn ; returning K.'s wife, the chief promises that she and all the dead will be reborn if K. does not copulate with her on the way home; on the fifth night, K. violates the ban; the wife disappears]: Cline in Gayton 1935a: 278; kalapuya: Gatschet et al. 1945:199-203 [Coyote makes daughter out of marmot giblets; he marries Raccoon, Skunk, and returns home; she doesn't like the cougar either; he makes berries that tickle in her throat , she choked, died; Coyote follows her to the seashore; calls the boat, he is not heard; she sighs, the dead send a boat; the Coyote and her daughter sail to the other side of the sea; at night the dead dance on head; the snail is an elk for them, but after freshening the meat is a lot; the dead take only bones (this breaks off)], 226-231 (No. 4) [Puma's daughter dies; he asks his brother Coyote if she will return to life; he replies that in this case the earth will overflow; Coyote's daughter dies; he wants to change his mind, Puma refuses; Coyote follows his daughter into the world of the dead; on the way, she tells him not to scream, but sigh if he wants to call out to her to be like him; in a boat they swim across the sea; for the dead, snails are deer and moose; Coyote sees the dead only at night, feels lonely, returns to land].

Guiana. Waywai [husband cries for his deceased wife; her spirit comes and leads; by the river, the husband calls the boat in vain; the wife makes sounds like the voice of a turtle throat; an anaconda rises out of the water by a bridge; they they cross; on the site, the husband drives away the opossum â€" it turned out that it was his late mother-in-law; the man sees the deceased shaman asking Thunder to use his mirror, scourge and fan against those who killed him; on the ground thunderstorm; man comes home]: Fock 1963:82-85.