Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

M29K. The turtle (toad, frog) is a cunning winner.


A turtle (toad, frog) defeats strong opponents by cunning or perseverance. See the motives in square brackets. The character is named if it is a toad or frog; otherwise, a turtle.

South Africa. Hottentots [M112A].

Bantu-speaking Africa. Congo [M183]; Kwanyama [M157]; lingala [M23, M118]; mongo [M118]; sakata [M23, M60B, M112A, M119]; lunda [M23]; ambundu [frog, M172, turtle , M23]; mbundu [frog, M172]; kimbundu [M112A]; bavunga [M62C]; matumbi [M112A]; buheba [M119]; douala [M62C]; basa [M62C, M104, M156]; bafia [M62C]; aka [M62C]; Western pygmies (aka?) [M109, M157]; quiri [M114, M182, M183]; fang [M118]; bulu, beti bulu [M104, M118, M156]; Krug 1912, No. 14 [there is a lot of food in the turtle village and poverty in the leopard village; the leopard occupied the turtle village, but the food there is gone, and turtles are abundant again in the new village; so three times; they ask the underground spirits who owns the village; hides in a hole; hers The eldest son, dressed up, asks for spirits; the turtle answers on behalf of the spirits; it has been dug up; now the leopard orders to bury himself; he is asked, but unanswered; the grave has been opened, the leopard is dead]: 116-118; Malawi [B38]; Sekiani [M118]; Dabida [M156]; Mpongwe [M62C]; Swahili [M23]; Ngindu [M112A]; Comorians [M112A]; Kamba [M112A, M183]; Kikuyu [M112A]; nyamwezi [M112A]; isanzu [L113, M112A]; bondei [M183]; safwa [frog, M183]; ndaw [M112A, M183]; mpongwe [M183]; conde [M183]; chwana [M183]; Suto [M112A]; Xhosa [M112A]; Ila [M112A]; Tonga [M112A]; Ronga [M112A]; Nyanja [M112A]; Lamba [M112A]; Tete [M112A]

West Africa. Background [M62C]; Yoruba [M5, M62C, M106, M112, M118, M172, M182]; engenny [M172]; ijo (kalabari) [M62C; M125; during a drought, the turtle goes to the pond to fish; its leopard I met and demanded fish for myself; before that, he killed the mother of the turtle; the turtle offers to fry fish together, but for now to play, tying each other to a tree; the leopard tied and untied the turtle, and she tied it up threw pepper in his eyes and left; everyone is afraid to untie the leopard; finally the forest rat did it and the leopard managed to scratch it; since then, there are spots on her skin]: Dayrell 1910, No. 27:93-97; nupe [M172 ]; ikom [F61, M112A]; senufo [M52]; duala [the leopard dug a trap hole, the toad fell into it; asked him to go to the village before eating it and asked his parents what the toads tasted; the leopard went, the parents said the toads were delicious, and when he came back, the trap was empty; now the toad had dug a trap, the leopard was caught; sent a toad to her parents to ask if they were tasty leopards; toad: already asked; killed a leopard]: Lederbogen 1901, No. 4:162-163; banen [M62C, M112A, M183]; dagari [M51, M156]; dark [M172]; wolof [M181, M185]; tangale [frog, M183]; wute [M181, M183]; wai [M183]; igbo [frog, M183]; hausa [M181, M184].

Sudan - East Africa. Lango [M154]; mangbetu [M183]; sarah [M184]; beja [M184]; tigre [M184]; pokot [M183]; nuers [frog, M183]; shilluk [M183]; sanye [M112A]; malgashi [frog, M183, M185, turtle, M23]

North Africa. Kabila [M183].

Southern Europe. Portuguese [turtle, frog, M183; toad, M184; turtle, M184]; Spaniards [M183; toad, M184]; Catalans [toad, M183, M184]; Aragon [frog, M183]; Galicians [ frog, M183]; Italians (north) [turtle, M184]; Italians (Basilicata) [toad, M183].

Western Europe. French [toad, M183]; Flemish [M184]; friezes [M184].

Tibet is the Northeast of India. Tibetans [M151; frog, M185]; lepcha [toad, M74]; garo [M23]; Meitei [M84, M185]; Burma naga [frog, M185].

Burma - Indochina. Thai Vietnam [toad, M74]; kho [M23]; Khmer [M30, M185]; viets [toad, M74, M183, M185]; banar [M183]; sedang [frog, M145]; Thais [M183; Lao [frog, M145]; Aracans [frog, M152D].

South Asia. Varley [M23]; Veddas [M131]; Sinhalese [M183].

Malaysia-Indonesia. Dayaki (Sarawak) [M91c2]; kenya [M23]; minahasa [M23]; Sangihe Islands [M23]; toraja [M23]; galela [M23].

Taiwan - Philippines. Tagaly [M183]; pangasinan [M91c2]; pampango [M23]; ilongot [M23]; visayas [M23]; Tinghian [M23].

China - Korea. Koreans [toad, M83A]; fox [toad (frog), M185]; Chinese (Shanxi, Hebei) [M184].

The Balkans. Bulgarians [M145]; Hungarians [M183]; Albanians [M184]; Ancient Greece [M184].

Central Europe. Russian Writing Tradition [M184].

Caucasus - Asia Minor. Ingush [M184]; Dargins [M183]; Lezgins [M183]; Armenians [M184]; Turks [M183, M184].

Iran - Central Asia. Bakhtiyary [M183]; Baluchis [M185].

Southern Siberia - Mongolia. Khalkha Mongols [M23, M83, M185]; Mongols of Ordos [frog, M185]; Mongors [Frog, M74].

Amur - Sakhalin. Nanais [frog, M185]; Udege [frog, M185]


Coast - Plateau. Kutene [M23, M183]; kerdalen [M23].

The Midwest. Menominee [M23, M183]; Western Ojibwa (Chippewa) [M23], Eastern Ojibwa [M23]; Kickapoo [M23]; Potauatomi [M23]; Illini [M23]; Steppe Cree [M23] ; steppe ojibwa [M23].

Northeast. Viandot [M23]; seneca [M23]; wavenok [M23]; mikmaq [M23]; passamaquoddy [M23]; malesite [M23].

Plains. Osage [K8C, K8e, M23, M59]; teton [M23]; yankton [M23]; Omaha and Ponka [M23]; oto [M23, M183]; arikara [M183]; sheyen [M23]; Pawnee [K8C, K8e, M23, M59]; wichita [K8C, K8e, M59]; tonkawa [M107]

Southeast USA. Chirokee [M23]; Natchez [M183]; Hichiti [M183]; Alabama [M183]; Koasati [M183]; Screams [M183]

California. Pomo [M23]; luiseno [frog, M23].

Big Pool. Gosiyute [frog, M183]; Utah [frog, M183]

The Great Southwest. Navajo [frog, turtle, M23]; hopi [M23].

NW Mexico. Varigio [M23].

Mesoamerica Chorti [Toad, M23]; Masateki [toad, M23].

Honduras vs Panama. Cabecar [M23]; kuna [M73, M183]

Llanos. Sicuani [B38, M107]; kuiva [toad, F92].

Southern Venezuela. Sanema [M107].

Guiana. Warrau [B38, M73, M183]; oyana [B38]; makushi [M23, M107, M183]; carinha [M23, M42, M52, M73, M107]; Galibi [M52]; taulipan [L45]; wapishana [M23]; emerillon [M183].

Western Amazon. Napo (or canela) [M183].

NW Amazon. Tariana [M23, M107, M131]; Yagua [M23]; Tatuyo [M107]; Tabatinga mestizos [M183]

Central Amazon. Katawishi? (Lake Teffe) [L45, M107, M131]; Lower Amazon [M183].

Eastern Amazon. Tenetehara [F92, M23, M107, M131].

Montagna - Jurua. Shipibo [M30]; Kashinahua [M107].

Bolivia - Guaporé. Surui [J12]; synta larga [M23, M107].

Southern Amazon. Paresi [M23]; Rickbacza [M131]; Kayabi [K8C, K8e, M52]

Araguaia. Tapirape [F92].

SE Brazil. Botokudo [frog, toad, M23].

Chaco. Chamacoco [toad, M23].

The Southern Cone. Araucans [frog, M183].