Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

F43A. Women kill men.


In the community of first ancestors, women kill, try to kill, or transform men.

Hadza, Somalis, Egyptian Arabs, Marind-Anim, Kiwai, Porapora, Ancient Greece, Czechs, Halkomel, Akawai, Trio, Tenetekhara, Kulina, Takana, Iranshe, Umotin, Bororo, Karazha, Suya, apinaie.

Sudan - East Africa. Hadza [women hunted with bows and arrows, men dug tubers and rhizomes; men are unhappy that women wear bows along with prey and brushwood, decide to take them away; one boy hears about it, reports to his mother; women attacked men, killed many; men went to Mount Kitibi; two pregnant women gave birth to boys, refused to kill them, went looking for men; the Ishoko sun descended, told men to take spears, not be afraid of women; told women to give bows to men, gather and be afraid of men]: Col-Larsen 1962:44-48; Somalis [Arraweelo came out married, had children, but wanted to do men's chores; invited women to do nothing around the house for three days; when men began to do women's affairs, women took possession of weapons and castrated men; sage Oday-Biiqe managed to hide in the forest; A. sent him to kill, but he convinced the castrates not to do so, it will still come in handy; A. orders to build an arch the size of a rainbow; OB advises ask for the size of the rainbow; A. realizes that there is still an uncrowded man; OB was put on a strong camel so that A. could not notice that he was carrying something heavy; bring a skin with hair on both sides - donkey's ear; bring curiri fruits (healing) on a camel, but do not pack the camel; OH: let the camel lie in wet clay, the fruits stick to the skin; A. swam in the only well; camels I had to wait for her to wash her little finger, many died of thirst; after the death of her husband, A. gave birth to a girl; she gave birth to a son with OB; persuaded A. not to kill him; he went to OB, who taught him to kill A. with a spear; power passed to men, daughter A.'s son is the leader; women resigned themselves]: Hanghe 1988:132-140 (=Capchits 1997, No. 55-60:55-60 {so!} ; mentioned in El-Shamy 2004, No. 981B: 685).

North Africa. Egypt [The American University in Cairo Collections; female warriors kill men; husband refuses to kill wife and wife kills husband]: El-Shamy 2004, No. 981B: 685.

Melanesia. Marind-anim [before the festival, the men went hunting; women put on men's jewelry, killed returning men, kept two; Geb came out of the termite mound, Sami from the beehive, gathered people other tribes and killed women; few survived]: Wirtz, Neverman 1981:31-32; kiwai [men go to beat turtles, eat fat alone at home; indignant women grabbed children, flew away, turning into flying foxes; men cried]: Riley, Ray 1931, No. 8:329; porapora [men ate good meat themselves, gave worse meat to women; women did the same; while men were away, turned into flying foxes, hid inside a tree; the wind knocked him into the river, it swam from river to sea to Manam Island; at night they were seen on the beach by a man, but for a day they returned to the tree again; without women, men began to rock the mansion, it fell into the river, swam underwater into the sea; there is now a habitat for spirits somewhere]: Schwab 1970, No. 11a: 790.

The Balkans. Ancient Greece: Herodot. VI. 138 [The Story of Herodotus (c. 484 BC - ca. 425 BC): The Pelasgians who lived in Lemnos decided to kill the sons of Attic women {kidnapped by them}. They did so, and together with their children they killed their mothers. For this crime and for [others] committed before by women who killed their husbands, Foant's companions, all such terrible atrocities in Hellas are called Lemnos" (trans. G.A. Stratanovsky)]; Apoll. Rhod. I. 609-630 ["Argonautics" by Apollonius of Rhodes (first half of the 3rd century BC): "At that time, all the people there were women's criminal/Cruel hearted. A year before the arrival of the heroes/Wives of their legitimate husbands, they rejected them with contempt - /With fervent love, they openly burned for slaves, /To what they managed to obtain by ravaging the land of the Thracians lying against the/Land. The terrible rage of the goddess Cyprida/They were visited for denying her/The wives were unhappy, indomitable in evil jealousy: /For they were not the only ones who killed husbands and concubines - /All men were killed so that Avoid punishment in the future. /Only one of all her dear father/Hypsipil-Foant, he ruled Lemnos's people. /In the floor casket, she let him run into the sea/Hoping for salvation. He was also rescued from Enoia/ (Formerly that was the name of the current island of Sikin) by fishermen/(Sikin Island was later named after Foant's son; /Nymph Enoya gave birth to him here, calling him Sikin). /It's easier for wives on Lemnos it seemed to rule herds, /Grain-bearing arable land to plow and armor and bronze/Wear on yourself, what Athens should do with her labors, -/ Previously, their job was always like this" (trans. N.A. Chistyakova)]; Apollod. Bibl. I. 9. 17 [The Mythological Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus (1st-2nd centuries): "Under the command of Jason, all these heroes {Argonauts} set off and docked on their ship to Lemnos Island. It so happened that there were absolutely no men on the island of Lemnos at that time and Hypsipil, Toanta's daughter, ruled the island. This was the reason. The women of Lemnos refused to honor the goddess Aphrodite, and she gave them a stench in retaliation. Therefore, their husbands captured women from nearby Thrace and made these captives their concubines. The insulted women of Lemnos killed their fathers and husbands, and only Hypsipila saved her father Toant by hiding him. The heroes, having docked at the island of Lemnos, ruled by women, married its inhabitants. Hypsipila shared a bed with Jason and gave birth to two sons, Avney and Nebrophone" (trans. V.G. Borukhovich)]; Hyg. Fab. 15 [Myths attributed to Guy Julius Gigin, who lived at the turn of the eras, but most likely date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries: "On the island of Lemnos, women did not worship Venus for several years. Because of her anger, their husbands took Thracian wives and forgot their old ones. And the Lemnians, at the instigation of Venus, conspired and secretly killed all the men who were there, all except Hypsipila, who put her father Foant on the ship that the storm took to Tauride island. Meanwhile, the Argonauts sailed forward and approached Lemnos. When Ifina, who was guarding the gate, saw them, she told Queen Hypsipil, to whom Polixo, an elderly woman, advised them to invite them to visit and tie them in hospitality. Jason's Hypsipila gave birth to sons Evney and Deipil. After staying there for many days, the Argonauts, scolded by Hercules, left the island. The Lemnians, on the other hand, when they found out that Hypsipila had saved her father, tried to kill her, and she ran away. The robbers who captured her brought her to Thebes and sold her into slavery to King Leek. And Lemnians, all pregnant with the Argonauts, gave their names to their sons"]; 255 ["Lemnians on Lemnos killed their fathers and sons" (trans. D.O. Torshilova)]; I Myth. Vat. I. II. 31 ["The First Vatican Mythograph" (compiled at the turn of the I-II millennium by an unknown medieval compiler): "It is said that women in Lemnos, although they annually tithed all the gods from the harvest, thought it possible to neglect Venus. She angrily rewarded them with the smell of goats. Their husbands cursed them and, having left Lemnos out of hatred for their spouses, went to the Thracians and demanded their daughters as wives. When this became known to women in Lemnos, they, prompted by Venus, plotted against the entire male family and killed all men who had returned from Thrace. Among them, only Hypsipila helped her father Foant, namely, not only spared him, but also accompanied him to flee to the seashore. Lieber then helped him and took him safely to Chios Island. On the other hand, the Argonauts arrived in Lemnos, whom the women welcomed and united with them. Hypsipila gave birth to sons Eva and Foant with Jason. The Argonauts, detained for many days <на Лемносе>, sailed after hearing Hercules' curses. And the women on the island, realizing that Hypsipila had saved her father, tried to kill her. She fled, but she was captured by pirates, taken to Nemea, and sold as slavery to the king of this land Lycurgus" (from Lact. Theb. V. 29)]; 97 ["As for Fetoneus or Phiopeia, he was the son of Lieber, ruled Chios and was the father of Foant, whose daughter Hypsipil, during a conspiracy against men, only spared her father, who was saved by her great-grandfather Lieber" (from Ps. -Acr. Hor. I. 17. 23; per. V.N. Yarkho)].

Central Europe. The Czechs [{I do not yet understand the source of Irasek, but this is certainly not a falsification of the 19th century, but not a chronicle of Kozma Prazhsky}; the girls led by Vlasta rebelled against men and went to the city Devin, many men were killed, their leader Tztirad was executed; after that, the men prevailed, killed all women]: Irasek 1943:29-34.

The coast is the Plateau. Halkomel (chilliwack) [when hungry, men leave children and women, make a top, catch salmon; a boy ties eggs to his leg, tells his mother what is happening; women beat their husbands' beds, urge the Transformer to turn husbands into non-humans; the feathers and paint from the beds rise into the air, fall on women; they turn into colorful birds]: Hill-Tout in Boas 1916:665.

Guiana. Akawai [Walyarima, the chief's wife, takes over (a black jaguar?) ; men call him with a conditional signal, kill him, bring his meat, arrange a party; the chief's wife suggests that every woman poisons her husband with a poisonous drink; all men die; to these women are joined by women from other villages; they repel men's attacks; they leave to form their own village; men visit them occasionally; boys born are killed by wives]: Brett 1889:180f in Koch-Grünberg 1920, No. 34:90-93; a trio [men and women live in two separate houses; women discover that men eat children; burn down a male house with its inhabitants; one he jumps out, but his head is cut off; a live head says how they ate children; the next morning, spirits come to the village, ask about men; women say that they are gone; the spirits cause a strong wind and earthquake but go away]: Magaña 1987, No. 66:144-145.

Eastern Amazon. Tenetehara [a girl's father and brothers kill her tapir lover; she drowns them; she and her children turn into water spirits]: Wagley, Galvão 1949, No. 23:148-149.

Montagna - Jurua. Kulina [After men kill nutrias who were their wives' lovers, women kill husbands, turn into bakers]: Adams 1962, No. 16:128-130

Bolivia - Guaporé. Takana [men hide meat from women, bring them only bones; one young man brought whole game to his mother; women give hunters poisoned drink; all old men died, only left boys; men have been bringing game to women ever since]: Hissink, Hahn 1961, No. 235:369.

Southern Amazon. Iranshe [men take sacred flutes, go to clear the garden; one sends his son for chicha; follows, hears him telling his mother that men are waiting at the site (with women about It is forbidden to say this); the father tells his comrades that they can eat his son; he is thrown alive into the fire; the meat is eaten; the father brings his wife a fried hand under the guise of agouti meat; the mother recognizes the son's hand; leads women towards men; they see flutes, kill men with bows, go up the river; a rock appears at their parking lot]: Pereira 1985, No. 33:157-159 (=1974:44-45); Umotina [fishermen they eat all the catch themselves; one girl hides in the tree where her father is fishing; men ask her to go down and eat fish; she jumps over their heads, runs to the village, tells the women; they kill husbands with clubs; one is pregnant, gives birth to a boy; bandages him like a girl and runs away with him; blood drips from her vagina, so rivers appeared; women chase them, but can't cross the big one river, come back; the boy grows up, marries a jaguariha, turtle, blue and yellow arara; children from these marriages are half birds or animals; when he marries the daughter of a snake sukuri, people are born; father this wife is a Jaguar; he killed his sons-in-law, lured him into the thicket, threw the corpse into the river; A. pushes the Jaguar into the water himself, he drowned; his wife and mother-in-law are happy]: Schultz 1962, no. i: 239-242; bororo: Wilbert, Simoneau 1983, No. 101 [men always come back from fishing empty-handed; then women go, bring fish every time; Kituireu watches women; sees them painting each other on the riverbank uruku red juice, as men paint them before their wedding night; women call Otter, who go out and copulate with them; next time men wear their wives' belts, paint themselves like them, Otters are strangled with ropes; K. specially took a thin rope with him so that his wife's otter lover would run away and his wife would not take revenge; next time the only Otter comes out to the women; copulates with them, but there is not enough fish for everyone; women give their husbands a drink that has been added crushed thorny bones of the peaks; thorns pierce men's throats, men grunt, turn into wild pigs; wife spares K., he remains alive], 102 [as in (101), but without an episode with K.; all otters and all men die]: 192-195.

Araguaia. Karazha: Baldus 1937a [women come to the lake shore, paint themselves, summon Cayman, copulate with it; he gives them fish and peka fruits that men do not yet know; men women they bring only peels; the boy watches women; hides peks and other food in the flute, brings them to men, talks about what they see; women attack men; women have sharp arrows, men have stupid arrows, men killed; women disappear in the river]: 265-267; Aytay 1985 in Baer MS, in Coelho 1992:54, in Prinz 1997:89-90 [like in Baldus; women cut off their left breasts, put a calebas on their heads, jump into the river, turn into dolphins]: 16.

Eastern Brazil. Suya [at night, the brother stains the face of an unknown mistress with genipa juice; the exposed sister lives openly with him, although he does not want it; they fish, the water blows her down the river; she turns into androgyne; under her leadership, women kill most men and go far east; set up a village behind a lake full of predatory fish; men who return from hunting fish fish rivers of fish, they are turning into new women]: Wilbert, Simoneau 1984a, No. 158:459-467; Apinaye [in the east by the sea, women went swimming, meet Cayman; began to copulate with him every day, brought him food; called him, shouting "Mi-ti - we are here"; one man accidentally peeked and overheard, told others; men call Cayman in the voice of women; he comes out, they kill, fry him, eat him; women kill men with clubs; leave, meet koati people, then bee people, then establish a village of Kupē-ndíya women (kupis an alien tribe, ndi is a woman, ya is a personal collective plural; two brothers remain; their sister has taken an ax with her; brothers come to K., get an ax; two girls agree to lie down with them if they overtake them; one brother falls behind, the other overtakes the girl copulates; brothers return home]: Wilbert 1978, No. 140:337-338.