Tag Archive: Folklore

Oct 20 2013

The Little Owl in Folklore, some stories

In Greek mythology, the Little Owl was the messenger of Athene, the goddess of wisdom. It is possible that the ‘wise old owl’ idea stemmed from this. Because of the association with Athene, the bird was protected and large numbers nested in the Acropolis (Athene’s temple). The image of the bird was used for decoration …

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Oct 20 2013

The blacksmith’s wife stole the Dove’s egg, and all were punished

A dove laid an egg in the hollow of a big tree in front of the blacksmith’s house. When she flew away from her nest in search of food, the blacksmith’s wife stole the egg. The dove came back to her nest and found the egg missing. The dove knew at once that the blacksmith’s …

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Oct 20 2013

Birds and folklore from the lower Amazon

Birds of ill omen are present in plenty. Chief among these is the goat-sucker (Caprimulgus). The Takutu Indians have the greatest superstition with regard to this bird, and would not kill it for any price. They say it keeps communication with the dead, and brings messages to their conjurers. Even the common people on the …

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Oct 20 2013

Why the Owl means mischief and the bat is a blood-sucker

Boku-boku, the Night-owl, married the bats’ sister, and often took his brothers with him at night to rob peoples’ houses. One night they came across a house where the people were drying fish on a babracote: just to frighten them, they all sang out, boku! boku! boku!, this made the occupants run out into the …

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Oct 20 2013

Don’t count your Chickens before they are hatched

An Indian went hunting one day far away from his hut, so far indeed that when he thought of returning night overtook him. Losing his path in the darkness, ho lay down to sleep under an overhanging wood-ants’ nest. These insects asked him by and by if he were asleep, and he told them “Not …

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Oct 20 2013

Why Oilbirds are living in the dark, even in daytime

In the province of Cumana are several lofty mountains, the highest of which is Tumeriquiri. In this mountain is situated the cavern of Guacharo, which is celebrated among the Indians. It is very extensive, and serves as a living environment to an immense number of nocturnal birds, especially the Oilbird or Guacharo, from the fat …

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Oct 20 2013

Txamsem deceived Chief Grouse and lost his intestines

Txamsem climbed a mountain and saw a house on the other side. He went up to it secretly and looked in through a knot-hole. Behold! there were a woman and her two children. He left secretly, and went a little farther back and sat there a while. Then three Crows whom Txamsem had called came …

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Oct 20 2013

Why the Turkey wears a red collar

When the smart Terrapin won a running race from the Rabbit by fooling him (another story) the animals wondered and talked about it a great deal, because they had always thought the Terrapin slow, although they knew that he was a warrior and had many conjuring secrets beside. But the Turkey was not satisfied and …

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Oct 20 2013

The Geese and the abbess

Many years ago there was near the sea a convent famed for the rich crops of grain that grew on its farm. On a certain year a large flock of wild geese descended on its fields and devoured first the corn, and then the green blades. The superintendent of the farm hastened to the convent …

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May 17 2013

Bird Folklore in Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

The stories in this post describe the folklore about birds in Ceylon, currently known as Sri Lanka. Dark plumaged birds like the owl, the magpie robin and the black bird bring ill luck and are chased away from the vicinity of houses. The cry of the night heron (kanakoka) as it flies over a house …

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