Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

M69. The head gets stuck in the skull .41.43.-.46.50.


character is attracted by the inside of a large animal's skull (small animals or insects are dancing or feasting inside, or eating some meat); he sticks his head inside , it gets stuck.

Chipewayan, Thompson, Winnebago, Ojibwa, Algonquins, Atticamek, Ojibwa Steppe, Western Marsh Cree, Steppe Cree, Nascapi, Assiniboine, Grovantre, Crowe, Arapahoe, Arikara, Kiowa, lipan.

Subarctic. Chipewayan [rain floods the ground; Visákecak makes a boat, asks the Duck to dive; she brings silt on her paws several times, V. creates land; sees larvae in a deer skull, asks allow him to join the meal, sticks his head, gets stuck, swims along the river like a deer; people rush to him, he jumps ashore, breaks his skull; leads the Bear to the berry tree, he eats, gets fat, falls asleep , V. kills him; cooks meat, asks juniper trees to move apart, otherwise his stomach hurts; gets stuck, birds eat meat; twists juniper, since then its trunk is crooked; V. decides that his his eyes are rather weak, takes them out, goes blind; goes asking trees for their names; rejects poplar, etc., when he finds a pine tree, makes new eyes out of resin; creates landscape features, animal habits; his ass burned, he throws scabs at the birch tree; asks geese to dance with his eyes closed, kills one at a time; one opens his eyes, the birds run, V. steps on water-hen and the loon, since then they have not been able to walk on drier; V. laughs at the bear's excrement, he rushes at him; V. asks the caress to get into the bear's ass, gnaw the heart; then washes the caress, the tip of the tail remains black; V. eats something black that causes gas erupts; sits on a hot stone, throws burnt scabs on a birch tree; asks geese to give him feathers, flies with him; they take their feathers, he falls, people defecate on it; he runs away naked, turns into stone, goes into the ground; only his hair is visible on the cliff's surface]: Lowie 1912:195-200.

The coast is the Plateau. Thompson [hungry Wolverine sticks his head into the skull of a dead moose united outside to eat his brain; cannot take it out; walks with difficulty through the forest; goes out into the open; people see it, break it skull, freeing (or killing) Wolverine]: Teit 1917b, No. 20:33-34.

The Midwest. Winnebago [Wakjunkaga hears noise and roar, sees flies in the elk's skull; the neck opening of the skull expands, he sticks his head inside, the hole becomes narrow again; by the river he meets woman; says he is a spirit, promises amulets to those who break his head with an ax; people give him offerings, split his moose skull; Trickster laughs, skull fragments turn into strong amulets ]: Radin 1956, No. 32-33:32-35; Ojibwa: Barnouw 1977 (chippewa) [Venebojo sees a piece of meat in the elk's skull; after becoming a snake, he climbs inside; regains its appearance, the head remains in the skull; bumps into trees, asks for their names; cedar points a branch towards a river or lake], No. 1 [V. falls off a cliff, the skull splits], 4 [swims across the lake; people think it's an elk, they split skull shooting at it]: 25-26, 73; Coleman et al. 1971 (Minnesota, Font du Lac, 1958) [Nanabozho killed a deer, baked it, began to eat; the trees creak, N. thinks they are hungry, climbed a tree, his hand is pinched ; wolves are coming, N. shouts not to approach them; they came up, ate meat, only the deer's head was left; N. freed himself, tried to get what was left from his deer's head, his head was stuck, he swam through ask the river to help their grandmother Nokomis; people decided that a deer is swimming, a deer's skull has split, N. laughs]: 74-75; Kinietz 1947 (Michigan chippewa) [Manabozo asks a Wenange bird (like an eagle, blue ) take a ride; he leaves him on the edge of a cliff, saying that he himself is in a hurry to the party; M. falls, falls into a hollow stump; two women named Bad Woman and New Woman cut a stump, believing that there may be a white porcupine inside; M. replies that this is him; PJ expands the hole, NJ tells her not to do it; M. tears off her suede clothes from PJ, runs away; makes greaves out of it, but wears them it turns out to be a toad, M. throws out greaves; sees the reflection of red berries, dives, hits his head in the blood against a stone, this is the first bruise; sees berries on the bushes, breaks branches angrily; looks dead moose; Wenange descends the carrion last to bite; M. clamps his head backwards, drags him along, releases him when his feathers have peeled off, since then the vulture has been bald; M. calls the moose, tells him this history, kills with an arrow; cooks meat; hears trees creaking, it prevents him from swallowing meat; he climbs a tree to spread its branches, his hands are pinched; wolves have come, ate all the meat and fat, only remains head; M. freed himself, wanted to become a worm to eat his brain; climbed, but then could not take out his head; looking for cedar (growing by the water), he knocks on trees, finally finds it, jumps from it into the river, swims to Beaver , he gnaws through his moose skull, falls asleep; M. hits him, puts him in his bag; Beaver wakes up, ran away with his bag]: 211-214; Josselin de Jong 1913, No. 15 [Nanabojo finds an elk skull; becoming a snake, he climbs inside to eat the brain; turns into a person again, cannot remove the skull; when he bumps into trees, asks where the river is; where are the stones; swims; the Indians chase the “moose”; N. jumps on the rocks breaks the skull, runs away laughing]: 27-28; Radin 1914, No. 1 [as in Radin, Reagan; Nenebozo; without asking tree names]: 3-4; Radin, Reagan 1928, No. 10 [Manabozo kills caribou, roasts meat; the creaking of trees prevents him, he puts his hand between them, cannot take it out; wolves eat meat; freeing his hand, M. turns into a snake, eats the brain inside the caribou skull; returns ahead of time his appearance, his head remains inside the skull; M. walks, bumping into trees, asking them for directions to the lake; swims; people take him for a caribou, shoot; he breaks his skull against a stone, they recognize him]: 86- 87; Algonquins [see M53 motive; Whiskejack (Canadian jay) kills a bear, bakes meat, it's stolen; ants have climbed into the skull and have a brain; V. makes his head small like a snake, slips into the skull; the head becomes the same, he cannot pull it out; walks, bumping into trees; asks everyone what his name is; when he reaches the alder, he realizes that the lake shore is nearby; swims; people want kill a bear; V. gets to the other side, falls, the skull splits]: Speck 1915d, No. 2:6-7; steppe ojibwa [Nanibozhu kills a deer, roasts meat; tree branches creak in the wind; N. climbs to unhook branches, his hand gets stuck; wolves eat meat leaving only their heads; when free, N. turns into a snake, climbs into the deer's skull and has a brain; turns into a person, the head remains in skull; N. asks trees if the river is far away; goes with the flow; seeing deer antlers, boys throw stones, breaking the skull]: Skinner 1919, No. 9:288-289; Western Swamp Cree (stone crees) [seeing flies in a caribou skull, Wīsahkīcāhk wants to feast with them; they make him a fly; when he takes on his normal appearance, his head is inside the skull; he swims, people think it is caribou, chased; V. gets ashore, bumps his head into a tree, caribou's skull splits, people laugh]: Brightman 1989:35; Steppe Cree [Visakachak finds an elk's head, sees inside flies and larvae, becomes small to join them; when he becomes human again, he cannot remove the moose skull from his head; people mistake it for an elk, chase it, it falls, the skull splits]: Dusenberry 1962, No. 10:249; atticamek [Wisekejak killed an elk, decided to eat the brain, turned into a snake, climbed into the skull; when it took human form again, his head was stuck in skull; swam across the lake, the Indians mistook him for an elk; he was afraid that they would shoot, reached the shore, climbed a rock, fell, his skull crashed, V. ran away]: Davidson 1928a: 268-269.

Northeast. Naskapi [Wolverine calls the Bear her sister; says she only thinks he's Wolverine, because she doesn't even see berries on the slope (there's nothing there); that you have to squeeze berry juice into her eyes, to see better; creates berries, the Bear goes blind from the juice, Wolverine pierces her with a spear; to eat her brain, she turned into a larva, climbed into the skull, ate it, became big, could not get out; starved, lost, then got out; during this time, the Wolf took all the meat]: Millman 1993:38 —40.

Plains. Blacklegs [mice dance in the skull of an elk or bison; Napi (Old Man) sticks his head; mice eat his hair; he walks blindly, swims across the river with a horned skull on his head; people break the skull with stones or pull the Old Man out of the river, remove the skull]: Josselin de Jong 1914:6-7; Wissler, Duvall 1908, No. 16:32-33; assiniboine [Sitkonsky sees mice dancing in a buffalo skull; puts his head in there, falls asleep; seeing nothing, falls into the water, spends two days in the river before he can remove his skull]: Lowie 1909a, No. 20, 21 [the mice gnawed all his hair off his head]: 116, 116-117; grovanter [Mice celebrate the Sun Dance in the elk's skull; Nishant sticks his head inside; The mice run away, the head gets stuck; N. bumps into trees, asks for their names; cherries, poplar, willow; realizes that there is a river nearby; falls, goes with the flow; people mistake him for a water monster; Only girls have to pull me out; copulates with one of the girls; her mother hits him; You can only kill me with a blow to the head; she hits, the elk's skull splits, N. runs away]: Kroeber 1907b, No. 7, 15a [women chase him, he hides in a hole; smears clay, is different appearance; advises women to catch N. in a hole; suffocates them with smoke]: 68-69, 71-72; crowe [Mice celebrate the Sun Dance in the bison's skull; Coyote sticks his head, gets stuck, the Mice run away; Coyote asks take the boys to the river, stone him on the skull; he splits]: Lowie 1918:21-22; arpaho [Mice celebrate the Sun Dance in the elk's skull; Nihansan sticks his head inside, can't take it out; walks, bumping into trees, asking their names; when he reaches the poplar, he realizes that the water is nearby; floats along the river; women notice him, he asks them to break the skull]: Dorsey, Kroeber 1903, No. 52, 53 : 107-108; Arikara [The Coyote asks the Mice to let him watch them dance in the buffalo skull; puts his head in there, the Mice run away, the Coyote cannot take his head out; people are frightened when they see him; he promises to spare them if he is given the chief's daughter; spends the night with a girl; in the morning, a boy notices that it is a Coyote; people broke his skull, tied the Coyote to pegs on the ground, and began to relieve him ; an old woman, a weight gain, asked Coyote how to do it; he told her to pull out the pegs first, then sit down with her skirt lifted; put a peg in her ass, ran away, defecating; since then, coyotes have been easy to cope need and persuade people]: Dorsey 1904d, No. 49:137-138; kiowa [Mice celebrate the Sun Dance in the elk's skull; Sendeh asks to let him in; the skull opens, S. sticks his head inside, not can take it out; swims along the river; people get scared, then they almost cut off his head, finally break his skull]: Parsons 1929a, No. 17:36-37.

The Great Southwest. Lipan [Wasps dance in the horse's skull; the Coyote sticks his finger inside, tells him to dance; the wasps widen the hole, the Coyote sticks his head; the hole closes; the Coyote goes, repeating: I am a spirit; people pour sacred pollen on him; a crazy boy breaks his skull with a stick]: Opler 1940, No. 45:169-170.