Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

H1F. People learn to bury the dead. 17.29.40.

People learn how to treat the deceased by observing the behavior of a crow.

Arab literary tradition, Ingush, Kumyks, Nunivak Island.

Western Asia. The Arab literary tradition (tafsir to the Koran) [“Kabil and Habil are characters in Muslim legends, Adam's two sons, the biblical Cain and Abel. Their names are not in the Koran, but there is a story about how Adam's sons made a sacrifice that was accepted only by one. <... > Commentators give names — K. (var. Kane), H. and report the reason for the quarrel. Each of the brothers had a twin sister. Adam ordered them to marry each other's sister. K., however, wanted to marry his own sister, beautiful Aclima, and not to his ugly sister X. Labuda. This dispute was to be decided by lot in the form of a sacrifice. Since the murder that followed was the first death on earth, K. did not know what to do with the corpse, and carried it on his back for a year in a sack before burying it when he saw the crows tear the ground. Tradition connects the descendants of K. with the invention of musical instruments, games and entertainment that distract people from piety and work. South Arabian folk legends place K.'s grave in Aden”]: Piotrovsky 1994:124.

Caucasus — Asia Minor. The Ingush [when Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, they became husband and wife; each time Eva gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, who also married each other; but one day a young man from one the twins fell in love with their sister later, but the brother resisted, a fight broke out, the youngest died; this was the first to die and no one knew what to do with him; the elder began to carry the body of the victim on his back; bury The crow taught the dead; when the crow's chick died, it dug a hole in front of the fratricidal and covered the body with earth; since then, it has become a custom to bury the dead]: Dakhkilgov 2006:306; Kumyks : Spivak 1989 [mother Eva gave birth three times a day: brother and sister in the morning, cousins at lunchtime, second cousins in the evening; twins after a certain feather during the autumn apples were supposed to ripen in three married couples; but the brother born in the morning fell in love with her cousin born at lunchtime; the brother who was supposed to marry her killed the morning brother; this was the first death; people do not know what to do with a dead man; a black raven arrives, spins, buries a nut in the ground; people follow his example]: 153; Khalidova 2012, No. 49 [in ancient times, if the man was dying, did not know what to do with him; two brothers lived with his mother; they did not love each other; the youngest killed the eldest in a fight; lifting her dead son on her back, the mother walked for three weeks; once she saw how in a fight, one raven killed another; then began to bury the dead: he dug a hole with his claws, put the crow there and buried it; the woman dug a hole with her hands, laid her son there and buried it; after that, people began to bury dead]: 69.

The Arctic. Nuniwak Island [The raven sees a dead crab, brings it to Fr. Nunivac; Let people die too, otherwise Nunivak will overflow; shows how to bear the dead and cry for him: Ostermann 1952]: 260-261.