Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

L49. Body parts fall down.


Individual parts or pieces of the character's body are successively dropped down. (In American versions, those below usually mistake them for game, honey, and fish).

Spaniards, Catalans, Portuguese, Sardinians, Italians (Tuscany), Germans (Grimms), French (Nivernay), Bontok, Bulgarians, Latvians, Danes, Kazan Tatars, Upper Tanana, Bellacula, kwakiutl, klamath, lassik, yana, yanomam, yanomami, tariana, chikuna, takana, kuikuro, paresi.

{There are probably more European traditions containing this motive, but not all data are available yet}

Southern Europe. The Spanish [the young man did not know what fear was; went to find out; went to the old people to spend the night; there are two skulls on the table, one eat and drink from the other; he had dinner with everyone and slept peacefully until morning; went into an empty palace, began to cook; 7 dead monks come down, each holding a skull and a candle; the young man did not pay attention to them; at night he woke up screaming: fall or not? - Fall like that, but I don't care; the monk's head fell, then his right hand, his left hand, then his body; the dead man joined his cocks and stood by the young man's bed; the same with the rest of the monks; the young man doesn't care; came to to the king, who married him to his daughter; one day he was sleeping, his wife brought a vessel of water in which fish were swimming; the spray fell on her husband's face, he screamed in horror]: Camarena, Chevalier 1995, No. 326:126-127; Catalans (incl. Mallorca) [the young man is not afraid of anything and goes to look for fear; sleeps in a house where skulls and bones fall from the ceiling; someone threatens to cut off his ear; he fights with the Moor, etc.; the old woman gives him an ointment heal wounds; came to the giants, told them to cut off his head, and then it stuck again with an ointment; the giants suggest doing the same with them; but he puts their heads backwards in front of or confuses heads and bodies; giants run away, the king is grateful, gives the young man a daughter; the wife promises to scare him: when her husband fell asleep, she sprayed him with cold water]: Oriol, Pujol 2008, No. 326:76; Portuguese ( many records) [the young man is not afraid of anything and goes to find out what fear is; spends the night in a house where parts of the bodies of the dead fall in the chimney; helps the deceased dig up valuables and give them to those who deserve them; defeats ghost cats; helps a ghost priest celebrate mass without turning back to stop the bells from ringing all the time; he is terrified when pigeons suddenly fly out of the cage ]: Cardigos 2006, No. 326:76-77; the Portuguese (Algarve) [the three sisters have decided not to be afraid to spend the night in a house where strange noises are heard; the youngest one comes last; scream from the ceiling: I'm falling! girl: well, fall; leg falls; then the rest of the body in the same way; an old man appears; when she finds out that the girl is not afraid of him, gives her an inexhaustible purse with money; if anything, you have to call him Querecas; someone goes to bed with the girl at night; she is afraid that it is old K., lights a candle, but sees a handsome man next to him; a drop of wax falls on his face, he wakes up, says that the spell is almost It was over, and now she would never see it; the girl went to that house and called K.; he gave her three balls of thread, we must go where they went; she went to the palace, persuaded the gardener to let her in gave birth to a boy; the queen said that the newborn looked like her missing son; she noticed a sign on his back, turned the key, the spell broke, and a prince appeared {the key is not very clear}]: Braga 2002:99-102; Sardinians [a woman with three sons stays overnight in an empty castle; at night a black cat comes, they give him peas (ceci); from above they shout: fall? woman: fall; hand falls; another one the next night; legs on the third, legs, fourth head; then everything disappears, falling piece by piece turns into money]: Aprile 2000:349; Italians (Tuscany ) [Body parts fall on the road to the castle; whoever sees is horrified, and Giovannino laughs; without fear of ghosts, takes possession of the castle; but the brave man died of fear when he sees his own shadow; (3 more are described below) versions)]: D'Aronco 1953, #326:56.

Western Europe. Germans [the elder brother is businesslike and sensible, but afraid of the night, the cemetery, etc.; the younger brother is not afraid of anything; wanted to learn fear; the sexton promised to do it; sent the guy to the bell tower to ring and himself stood on the stairs, pretending to be either dead or ghost; the guy threw him down, called him back and went to bed; a passerby invites him to spend the night under the gallows; the guy first pulled the dead down sitting by the fire, then hung him again; the cab driver sent him to the enchanted castle; whoever spends three nights there, the king will give him his daughter; but no one has yet returned; the boy asked for fire and lathe; two black cats appeared, he tied them to a machine and killed them; fought off many cats; his bed carried away, but he fell down with her and slept until morning; the next night they fell out of the chimney body parts of the dead, skulls, bones; the guy machined two skulls to make them rounder, began to play skittles with the dead; on the third night they brought a dead man; the guy warmed him up, he tried him strangle him, but the guy stuffed him into his coffin again; the old man wants to kill him, the guy split the anvil with his beard; hit him with a crowbar, and then let him go; the old man showed three chests of gold: to him, the poor, the king ; the king married the boy to his daughter; the maid promised to teach the guy fear: she poured a tub of water with gudgeon on him sleeping; the guy to his wife: now I know what fear is]: Grimm, Grimm 2002, No. 4:11-18 (=Grimm, Grimm 1987:14-22); French (Nivernay; also Haute-Brittany, Lorraine, Landes, Poitou, etc.; many records) [the curé's godson Fearless Jean tells him he cannot marry because he has not experienced it fear; he decided to frighten J.; placed several statues of saints at the bell, covering them with a white cloth, and cut the rope; sent J. to ring; the rope immediately broke; J. went upstairs and threw the statues away ; then tied the rope and rang back; went to look for fear; the curé gave him the flag shaft as a staff; wanted to spend the night in the hut; he was told about the castle, but it was better not to go there; at the castle J. took it out cards; parts of the body began to fall from the chimney, they formed and the devil offered to play; Jean dropped his card; he ordered it to be picked up, and when the devil bent down, he beat him with his staff; the devil promised to leave these places; when he left, the devil showed him where gold and silver were; after taking them, J. came to a city where the devil takes a man every day; J. came to the woman destined for the devil and, when he appeared, became beat him with a staff; the devil ran away; J. came to the capital, where every year they give the devil a girl, it's the turn of the king's daughter; J. hits the devil again with a staff; the king gives him his daughter; invites him to dinner; from under A pigeon flew out of an inverted plate; J. admitted that he was frightened; wedding]: Delarue 1957, No. 326:293-295.

Taiwan - Philippines. Bontok [mother sends her two sons to the mountains for firewood, dissatisfied each time; gives them only food for pigs and dogs; older brother climbs a tree, consistently cuts off his legs, arms, ribs , spine, head, every time saying that he dumps more firewood; tells the youngest to take it to his mother, turns into a zmeelov eagle (Spilomis holosplilus Vigors), flies over the youngest to home]: Jenks 1905:222-223 (=Eugenio 1994, No. 209:351-352).

The Balkans. Bulgarians [a fearless young man leaves home; in some cases he kills his father or someone else who tried to scare him by posing as a ghost; sleeps under the gallows; in an inn did not pay a one-eyed owner; kills ghost cats (or dogs) in an abandoned palace; spends the night in a house where parts of the bodies of the dead fall from the chimney or walls, and then join into whole bodies; to him in The dead man is dragged into the room, and he puts him in his bed and makes him talk; all night someone invisible presses and strangles him; he wraps the giant's beard around the grindstone; he hears a noise from the wall money falls out; only when, after the wedding, his wife drenched him sleeping with water and fish or put fish behind his collar, did the man get scared]: Daskalova-Perkovska et al. 1994, No. 326 1:124.

Baltoscandia. Latvians [a person seeks fear; spends nights in church, fights the dead, is not afraid of legs and arms falling from the ceiling; (also: fights devils in an enchanted castle); frightened of fish that his wife splashes out with water on him when he sleeps]: Aris, Medne 1977, No. 326:276; the Danes [one of the two princes does not understand what fear means; the king agreed to send him to find out; when swimming across a river or strait, the prince lost his horse; the poor couple said that there was a castle nearby, where two giants come for the night; their two sisters live in the castle permanently; they hid the young man in the cellar for the night; they brothers exterminate enemies all day long, and in the morning they were the same; the sisters had to confess that the giants greeted the prince; the next day he went with them and saw them kill the 100 who came to them warriors; remained on guard; at midnight an old woman got out of the well, began to revive the dead with ointment; the prince hacked her down; the giants offered him a sister and wealth, but he said he should look for fear; came to the king, who left the castle because it is a ghost; he allowed him to spend the night in the castle, giving two criminals; if they survive, he will have mercy on them; waiting for midnight, the prince sent the criminals to buy firewood, those did not return; the chimney shouted "I'm falling!" , then parts of the body began to fall out; they united into an overweight man; he says he was king; one chest contains unrighteous taxes on children, the other also unrighteous, and the third legal; chests in the basement; if they are picked up, the deceased will calm down and leave the castle; unrighteous money should be given to the poor; the prince found the criminals dead with firewood in his hands, revived with ointment; the king He promised to give two chests of money to the poor, wanted to give the prince his daughter and half his kingdom, but he went on in search of fear; he came to a city where mourning; the dragon takes people, it is the royal daughter's turn; the princess climbed the mountain, the prince gave her ointment to lubricate her chest so that the dragon would not hurt her; the dragon flew in, the prince stabbed him; cut 9 tongues out of 9 heads; the princess gave him her ring; the coachman Søren cut off the heads, declared himself victorious; the prince came to court and asked why dragon heads were hanging on the wall; when answered, he showed his tongues and a ring; was declared the true winner, and Sorena took into custody; the king gave the prince his daughter and throne, and the coachman was placed in a barrel of nails tied to two horses; on his way to his father's kingdom, the prince fell asleep in a clearing and dreamed that the dragon had stolen from He is a princess; this is where he got scared for the first time, which means he achieved his goal; returned to the kingdom that his father-in-law gave him]: Bødker 1964, No. 30:195-213.

Volga - Perm. Kazan Tatars (Western 1916) [Mullah's son Abbas did not know what fear was; the guest promised to teach Mullah fear; said he had forgotten his staff on the minaret; the guest hid there, pulled A.'s clothes, he threw it out the window, the guest threw it out of the window crashed to death; the mullah drove A. out; spent the night under the gallows, took off the hanged, fell asleep among them to make it warmer; the sorcerer sends to the king; his house has no roof: if you stay in it for three days, the king will give daughter and half the kingdom; at night, arms, legs, heads fall from above, fold into people; devils and witches roll their heads on the floor; A. cut off their noses to make them rounder; on the third night, devils and witches became roll the bed, but A. only fell asleep more soundly; A. got a princess; when he fell asleep, she poured a vat of cold water with fish on him; A. was frightened]: Zamaletdinov 2009, No. 120:424-426.

Subarctic. The Upper Tanana [Haak'ạy is an ogre giant, he has hills everywhere; people have blocked the entrance to his lair; one climbed, says he will reach H.'s leg; H. kills him, throws his leg away, shouts, "Here's leg X. "; the same thing took turns with others - arm, head, rib, pelvic bone; finally, his veins were cut, surrounded in his lair, a fire was lit at both entrances, and H. was killed]: Kari 1996:67-69.

NW Coast. Bellacula: Boas 1898 [Wolves say that the son of the Deer is good for eating; they come back, they kill him; the deer comes to them, his name is to dance, he says he did not take dance supplies; these are knives made of shells; they give him knives, he ties them to his hands, dancing, singing a sleepy song, cutting off the Wolves heads; four chase him, he climbs a tree; the old woman says to sing, Fall down, leg; Wolves forget words several times; the old woman tells you not to jump over a log on the way, but to avoid it; Wolves do not forget, one leg falls; then the second, hand, second; Wolves eat the Deer]: 97-99 ; McIlwraith 1948 (2) [Wolves eat the son of the Deer; he puts them to sleep with his dance, kills many, hides in a tree; Wolves sing under a tree; Deer's legs fall one after another]: 425-428; quakiutl [ Wolves captivate the Deer; he puts them to sleep with a song, unscrews four heads, sails away in a boat; they pay Orion to open a box of fog; the Deer loses its way, returns to the Wolves; hides on tree; boy and girl see its reflection in the water; Deer laughs, they look up; Wolves sing: Deer's left legs fall; feet fall off; Deer's right legs fall off; these legs too fall, the body rolls down after them, Wolves eat it]: Boas 1910, No. 13:161-167.

The coast is the Plateau. Klamath [the hero kills Leo or Lao, the head of the cannibals; throws parts of his body down the cliff as if it were Marten's body (Here his legs fall! , etc.); then tells the truth]: Barker 1963, No. 10 [the hero is Marten; his younger brother Laska helps him]: 75-77; Clark 1953 [cannibals kill the hero, play with his heart; Deer, Antelope, Wolf, Eagles, The dove steals the heart, revives the hero; body parts devour Shrimp and other spirits living in the lake]: 56-58; Klamath [all fish in Crater Lake are children of the monster Lau; he sends his daughter to Marten; she and Marten's wife both spit beads; Marten kills L.'s daughter, throws her body parts into the lake, screaming, Here Marten's leg falls, etc.; L. They devour their sister's flesh; when Marten throws his head, he shouts to them about it; runs home, doesn't pick up objects on the trail that anyone can eat him; L. She sends a one-eyed daughter, she fights Marten, throws him into the lake several times, covering the surface with ice, but he breaks through the ice with a knife; finally, she pierces and carries Marten's heart, L.'s people play with it; Marten's younger brother Laska asks Kamukamts to place him in his shoulder, they take his heart away; one-eyed chases them, K. throws a rope (tump-line), it turns into a river; L. They stop persecution; die on land, now there are no fish in the lake]: Curtis 1976 (13): 212-213; modoc [Minka is a chief and good hunter, married to Tick; his younger brother Laska never catches deer; the old man tells Norka to fight him, takes the form of a horned animal, is going to cut them into pieces and throw them off the cliff to his children; Mink cuts him, throws pieces with words When Minka's shoulder falls, etc.; the head falls last; the monster's children throw knives, blankets, beads on the path; if Nork picks them up, he dies; he picks up the last knife, but manages to throw them away; returns home; the monster's daughter comes, spits out beads; Norka's wife spits out more beautiful beads, fights with her all night; by morning, the monster's daughter overcomes, carries the sleeping Norka, also becoming horned animals; is going to throw pieces of his body into the lake to his sisters; Mink cuts it into pieces, throws them himself (the episode is similar to the first one)]: Curtin 1912:294-299.

California. Lassik []: Essene 1942:94-95; Yana [Wild Cat dreams that he climbs into a pine tree for cones, throws parts of his body down one by one, then rolls like a skull; it happens; Coyote lures the skull into a hole in the rock, burns]: Curtin 1898 [the skull eats people, swallows its newborn baby; people take refuge in a cave; Coyote promises the skull to restore its human appearance] : 325-335; Sapir 1910, No. 9 [as in Curtin; the Wild Cat's wife gave birth; so he does not go hunting, but picking nuts; climbs a pine tree; says he dreamed that he was throwing parts of his body down one by one alone and rolls his skull; sleep comes true, he chases his wife; people take refuge in a dugout; burned, the Wild Cat finds his body, but now he is dead], 23 [Coyote throws a burnt skull into the river; since then since those who bathe in it are made by shamans]: 123-128, 202-203.

Southern Venezuela. Yanomam [the husband went for honey, and his wife began her first period; when he climbed a tree, he cut himself with an ax, threw his insides down like honeycombs; Here's the lungs falling! Here are guts! Here's the liver! It turned into a nest of bees; the wife went to a menstrual hut, became a termite nest]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, No. 308:544-545; yanomami [the wife has her first period; at this time the husband and his The younger sister goes for honey; when she climbs a tree, she does not shed her honeycombs, but her lungs, intestines, and liver; turns into a bee nest]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1990b, No. 309:545-546.

NW Amazon. Tarian [the young man violates the prohibition to watch pieces of flesh of the month fall off during an eclipse, turning into fish; when he returns to humans, his body members also fall off; he says The fingers of one hand fall...; the other hand falls...; etc.; down the river people think they are fish; the head remains rolling]: Biocca in Brüzzi 1994:139; chikuna [ Baya (also known as Dioi) went hunting; his wife saw the demon baë bearing fruit; wished for fruit; B. promised to give it if she lay down with him; the woman saw that B. did not have a penis, agreed ; a huge penis grew, the woman died from copulation; b. put her skin on his sister; the eldest son saw this, said to his father; B. asks b. How to kill him; with mold on the fruits of asahi; B. smeared a moldy dart, hit b. in the leg; he began to drain like melting rubber; he says himself, Here my foot falls! Here's a leg! And so on, his head finally melted; B. asked his false wife to invite relatives to drink their favorite wild chocolate drink, sent him to the station, telling him to pull out one hair on her head at a time his eldest son; he brought suncoals himself from sunrise; burned the audience in the house with them, then restored the house, his two sons in the house jumped out through the holes made by the sarbacans; false the wife notices the charred hand, B. says it is the monkey's paw; tells him to bring water in the vessel, says that his wife wrapped the rope around not her forehead, but the neck; the rope cuts off the demoness's head, she pursues B.; he runs, becoming a deer, pushes a termite mound off a cliff, his head rushes for a termite mound; demons feed his head, its body begins to grow; B. turns the penis with palm fibers; torso feels him, believes that it was her relative who came to feed her; B. sprinkles suncoals into her body and head, burning them; revives his wife from bones]: Nimuendaju 1952:132-133.

Bolivia - Guaporé. Takana: Hissink, Hahn 1961 [monkeys kill a hunter in a tree, throw down parts of his body, yelling to waiting relatives Here's the first monkey falling! (then the second one, etc.)]: No. 29 [2 options; a man climbed a tree at night, killed howler monkeys; the monkeys tore his body into five pieces, began to throw it to his brother-in-law, screaming, Here a red monkey falls, here is a yellow monkey, here is another howler monkey; the brother-in-law runs home, tells his sister (i.e. the wife of the deceased); her head rolls towards her, she hides it; the woman's brother hears her with whom someone talks at night; his head says that once his brother finds out about him, let his wife take her to the bank of the stream; it turns into a palm tree, its fruits fall into the water, attract fish, the woman and her children can catch fish; brother spied; the palm tree turned into Mue an, the head of the spirits; the thunder that sounds during the palm ripening season in February is his laughter], 56 [the hunter kills too many monkeys; they rip it off skin, cut into pieces, throw down his brother-in-law, screaming, Here the first monkey falls, etc.; brother-in-law carries his head in the basket; the head falls out, gnawing through the bottom; chases his brother-in-law; reaching rivers, turns into a peach palm (hair into leaves, face into fruit); (story continues)]: 69-72, 125-126; Nordenskiöld 1924 [older brother climbs a palm tree for leaves; cuts off and throws down his younger leg, intestines, liver and other organs and parts of his body; every time he screams that it is such a leaf; the head falls last, asks him to carry it in the basket; kills for his brother tapir; kills people in a village; turns into a meteor]: 294-295; Ottaviano 1980 [a hunter kills too many howler monkeys by throwing their bodies off a tree to his brother-in-law; monkeys tear him apart, throwing them down as if killed monkeys; the head falls last, follows their brother-in-law; people lock themselves in the house, stay up all night, so they save themselves]: 31-37.

Southern Amazon. Kuikuro [Viti-Vití, his wife and his wife's brother went to the forest for honey; when he climbed a tree, cut the meat off his leg, sharpened his bone, threw his blood down, not between; his wife and her brother ate clots , mistaking them for honey, then the brother smelled them; the wife and brother run away, do not open the door of the house when BB comes; he went to the forest, made ditches with a sharp foot, which are numerous in the upper reaches of Shingu; in these ditches told his men to hide from the cold; now lives by Lake Kuikúru-Ipa]: Villas Boas, Villas Boas 1973:163-165; paresi: Pereira 1986, No. 8 [having quarreled with the rest of the men while playing ball , the brothers Zumizoré and Zonewa have left the village; each has two sons raised by their grandmother Alawrir; the meat they brought goes somewhere; the brothers find a dwarf hidden in the basket, he wants to eat them; they try to kill him, he dies only in the anthill of the hottest ants; A. pretends to be upset at the loss of the spindle; at night she revived a dwarf or made a new one; the brothers hear how A. says to herself about their dead parents; they force her to admit that Jaguar and Jaguariha ate all the men in the village, and the Eagle ate all the women; Jaguariha opened her mouth, people entered it; brothers they train in archery, you need a reed to make arrowpoles, it is owned by Otyueré; A. taught you to take a new knife from the battleship first; they took it when the battleship was lying with wife; blind old woman Yualoreroawsé took the knife; they made her sighted, received a knife as a reward, dazzled her again; O. and his cunhado (wife's brother or sister's husband) Alalaymaré smeared the branches with glue to catch bats; brothers turn into bats, consistently cut off O.'s limbs, throw them down from the tree, shout that a branch falls, a second one, etc.; O.'s body turns into a honey nest bees; his head clung to A.'s shoulder, who became a forest spirit with two heads (whoever hears him howling will die); the brothers killed Eagle with arrows; see motif F36], 17 [the forest spirit climbs the tree for Enora (hero's name ); he throws him down, screaming, Here Enora falls; others devour his comrade]: 149-169 (episode with falling limbs: 157), 266-267; Rickback [night monkeys kill the hunter, dump parts of his body to other animals that eat them; his head falls near the victim's companion]: Pereira 1994, No. 15:138-140.