The Earth-Diver Myth (Mot. 812) and the Apocryphal Legend of the Tiberian Sea

Nagy, Ilona (2006) The Earth-Diver Myth (Mot. 812) and the Apocryphal Legend of the Tiberian Sea. Acta Ethnographica Hungarica, 51 (3-4). pp. 281-326. ISSN 1216-9803

[img] Text
Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 September 2026.

Download (463kB)


The study gives a survey of the history of research on the legend type mentioned in the title, in Hungary and abroad, and makes the reader acquainted with the newly published Hungarian texts and theories. Towards the end of the 19th century comparative philology possessed a great number of data about the dualistic legend of the creation of the earth. Dragomanov's monograph (based on Veselovskii's and others thorough exploratory work to some extent, itself a synopsis) appeared and was extended in the other great comprehensive study of the century, Dähnhardt's Natursagen. The problematic issues in the research have been the written sources. The sacred books of the Bogomils do not draw up the dualistic creation legend of the earth in the form it is known from the folklore: the only apocryphal document that actually contains that form is the one titled Svitok božestvennyx knig [Bundle of Divine Books], or O Tiveriadskom more [About the Tiberian Sea] - but it can be found under different titles as well. In the last years a debate about its origin has formed. Likewise, in case of the Hungarian texts we could just ignore the problem of when and where they came from: they simply exist, are rich in variations, beautiful and a part of Hungarian culture. And yet, Hungarian researchers are constantly intrigued by this question; what sort of culture did we have of our own at the time of the conquest, what is the link that connects us to our relatives? The creation legend of the earth cannot be examined as an independent typological unit. The Slavic apocrypha remain the basis for further research; the texts are supplemented with two important elements. First of all the whale-motive requires further elaboration, then the story of the creation of mankind and the Noah-legends require more comprehensive examinations. All the more so since Hungarian folklore, with the new results of research, presents an unbelievably rich collection of this kind of material. The myth of the creation of the earth is an organically integrated element of the system of dualistic creation-legends in Hungarian folklore. Its variability indicates that, in spite of the individual, fresh borrowings, this system could not have been formed in a matter of seconds. This system goes by the surrounding peoples' culture but retains its local touch that is worth introducing.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation / földrajz, antropológia, kikapcsolódás > GT Manners and customs / néprajz, szokások, hagyományok
Depositing User: xBarbara xBodnár
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 07:24
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2017 07:24

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item