, Lazăr 2003: Ielele sau zânele rele după credințele poporului român [Ielele or the Malevolent Fairies according to the Romanian Beliefs]. (Ed. and foreword by Dobre
, Al.) In:
Studii folclorice. Cercetări în domeniul literaturei populare
on the one hand, and receives collective (not individual) prayers on the other hand – I found St. Elijah as a protagonist of four therapeutic and individual charms (possibly more, but not many). Here is The one of fairies: 4 “Beyond the sea There
The article is based on the online database “Estonian Droodles” (available at
, containing 7,200 droodles collected from 1963 up to the present), which includes a number of longer visual narrative riddles (about 430 text variants, 79 types, i.e. different droodles). The question component of the so-called ‘narrative droodles’, or ‘droodle tales’, is a verbally transmitted tale visualised by means of a pictorial image. The performer of a droodle sketches the image during narration and the story ends with a punch line question.Among narrative droodles there are variants built on a specific scene and plot, which may even resemble a miniature fairy tale. The extremely condensed plot centres on only one or two characters. For the purpose of distancing from reality, a princess, king, prince, witch, Little Red Riding Hood, etc. may be chosen as protagonists; the more popular characters are represented as the following character pairs — girl/boy, brother/sister, woman/man, grandmother/grandfather. The narrative droodles are not comparable to the majority of fairy tales in length, but the fast pace of modern life seems to favour the use of such illustrated narrative riddles. An analysis of the structural composition and function of narrative droodles of this type reveals the shared common features with the structure and function of fairy tales.
The Russian fairy tale has endured centuries of evolution. It was part of an oral tradition and as such, none of its details were static. A single story was told by generations of storytellers over a period of centuries. In this way, the tale is layered with beliefs and customs from many periods reaching far back to the pre-Christian, matriarchal times. While weakness and submissiveness are the preferred qualities of Russian folk heroines, many tales portray women of strength. The introduction of Christianity to 10th-century Russia extinguished there a strong matriarchal tradition. Matriarchal cultures are traditionally linked with mysti-cism and magic. Given the hypothesis of an early Russian matriarchy, the paper traces magi-cal figures like Baba Yaga and her sisters back to a time when there was no need to portray them as evil. It is only after the priests come that she was cast out and labeled evil. The Rus-sian fairy tale may appear to be vague, repetitious and hard on women, yet when these quali-ties are added together a magical transformation occurs that brings out lively and simplisti-cally beautiful images that give the tales that special Russian flavour.
Any scholar devoted to the study of the witch figure in Early Modern Spain will soon realize that the Iberian
is a peculiar character in European folklore. The Spanish
was a malevolent agent specialized, almost exclusively, in the murder of newborn babies. Her infanticide compulsion was associated with vampirism. She possessed the extraordinary capacity to enter rooms through the smallest chinks in doors or walls. She had amazing metamorphic powers. When she attacked the sleeping adults, she threw herself upon them, crushing them with her weight. On occasions, she was considered the victim of a tragic destiny from which it was impossible to escape. Some specific behavior, such as drinking the wine kept in cellars or washing clothes at the side of rivers, was also attributed to her. In these traits, the specialist in Mediterranean folklore and comparative mythology inmediately discovers the basic characteristics of a series of clearly identified mythical figures: the child-killing demon, the vampiric revenant, the fairy society and the Nightmare, specific avatars of the archaic mythology of the Double and the nocturnal spirits of the
-type. We can postulate, then, that the Spanish
, before embodying in Spain the figure of the satanic worshipper at the sabbat, gave name to a Pyrenean variant of the pan-European nocturnal demon. The evidence provided by diverse peninsular testimonies about the original meaning of the terms
, between the decades of 1280 and 1480, cover in an almost perfect way the spectrum of activities attributed to those fiends of the night. The historical evidence reinforces, then, the elements provided by the morphological analysis and by comparative mythology.
living near water, somewhat similar to fairies. It might be devil or witch as well. In this respect, witches function as mythical creatures, but they can also be members of human communities, as discussed below. Also, it was believed that newborn babies
, and bioscience have identified delayed recognition papers or conjuring ‘Sleeping Beauty’ from the fairy tale that go unnoticed (‘sleeps’) for a long time, and then, almost suddenly, attract a lot of attention (‘awakening’). The search for the classic
In the article, the author examines the characteristic features of epic fairy-tale of the two largest ethnic groups of Ukrainian Carpathians, i.e. Ukrainians and Hungarians. The folklore of the region has its own peculiarities. The natural and geographical features of the region, trades and crafts, in particular shepherd culture, historical events, entrance to different states are represented in the folklore. At the same time, the fairy-tale tradition of the region has its own ethnolocal specification, includes various linguistic and folklore dialects, the emergence of which was also influenced by other ethnic (Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovakian, Gypsy, etc.) borrowings which were adapted to withstand local forms.