Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

K32b1. Mother replaces daughter. 40.-.45.46.67.


man's mother-in-law takes the form of her daughter to take her place. See motif K32.

The Arctic. Netsilik; caribou; polar; Baffin Island.

Subarctic. Koyukon [grandmother replaces, woman turns into a sparrow]; kuchin; southern tutchoni; tagish; dogrib; helmet; taltan; chipewayyan.

The coast is the Plateau. Quarry [the hunter eats beaver giblets with his wife, gives the meat to his mother-in-law; she also wants to eat giblets; turns his daughter into an owl, puts on her skin; explains that she has grinded her teeth against the bark; the owl screams that her husband sleeps with his mother-in-law; he kills his mother-in-law, cannot restore his wife's human appearance; he turns into an owl (owl origin)]: Jenness 1934, No. 68:249-250.

The Midwest. Western Ojibwa [the hunter gives the best meat to his wife rather than his mother, who is jealous; lures his daughter-in-law to swing over the lake, cuts off the rope, the daughter-in-law falls into the water; the water monster wraps her around her with her tail; the old woman puts on her clothes, pretends to be babysitting the child; the husband does not notice the change, gives her the best meat; an orphan boy lives in the house; realizes that the adoptive mother has been killed; brings her babysit her baby; she rises from the water to the waist; next time her husband pierces the monster with a spear, frees his wife; mother-in-law falls into the fire, turns into a black bird]: Spence 1985:176-180; fox [the old woman sees that her son-in-law has a big penis; swings over the lake, invites her daughter to swing, cuts the vine, the daughter falls into the water, the Great Lynx takes her as his wife; the old woman pulls her skin tighter piercing it on the back of his head and wrapping it around a stick; at night, the husband discovers a wand, kills the false wife with a club; the drowned brother brings her crying baby to the shore; the mother is half out of the water to feed him; next time brother and husband bring a horn knife, the husband cuts off his wife's fish tail, she jumps out of the water to the shore; Lynx appears, holding the tail and fish in her teeth]: Jones 1907, No. 8:101-111.

Plains. Assiniboine [an old woman hangs a swing on the river bank; invites her daughter to swing first; cuts the rope; the daughter falls into the water, becomes a siren; the old woman puts on her clothes, sleeps with her son-in-law; the siren Goes out of the water to babysit his crying baby; her brother lures her out, her husband cuts off her fish tail, brings her wife back; mother-in-law runs away]: Lowie 1909a, No. 8b: 157.

Central Amazon. Arua [the chief lived with his wife and mother-in-law, shot only birds, his wife cooked good chicha; mother-in-law fell in love with her son-in-law, sent her daughter to the lake to look for a plant, pushed her into a hole; people live underground sometimes coming to the surface, the young woman was now with them; the old woman became young, put on her daughter's jewelry, said that the mother had gone to visit; at night the husband felt the mouth of his imaginary wife, that she had no teeth; in the morning I went to the hole, saw her wife in her, her body was covered with worms, on the head of a snake; the chief refused her, hid in the tree crown to watch her mother-in-law; she was cooking chicha as usual way; the chief returned without prey, said that the birds hid; told his people what had happened; they pulled the woman out of the hole; the chief tore off the old woman's jewelry, they ran out to meet her daughter, wiped it off with ash, worms and snakes fell to the ground, the daughter became beautiful again; happy with her husband and the old woman left]: Snethlage 1937:130-131.