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Stratum plus. 2021. No2

A. I. Behr-Glinka (Moscow, Russian Federation)

African Stories about Snake-Man: an experience of intertextual approach




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Pages: 263-306


The article analyzes plot forms of African tales related to the concept of snake-man and his function as a marriage partner. The author uses the intertextual approach, which allowed placing texts of fairy tales in interethnic cultural context, as well as the interdisciplinary approach (i.e. a combination of folklore and ethnographic material from Sub-Saharan Africa). These approaches allow tracing the geographical distribution of the studied plots on the continent, as well as to understand the semantics of individual fairy tales motifs, which are completely divorced from their cultural context in parallel plots of Eurasian folklore, where they exist within the framework of the “fairy tale” genre. The paper demonstrates existence of a close connection between tales and myths, ritual complexes, practices of initiations and social institutions, which make up a single semantic field, individual aspects of which exist in close interconnection.


Keywords: ethnography of Africa, African tale, snake in traditional culture, a miraculous spouse, werewolves, sacrifices, the practice of rainmaking, initiation, oracles, obsession, Bantu, interdisciplinary approach


Information about author:

Andrei Behr-Glinka
(Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Independent researcher
E-mail: [email protected]
Academia.edu: https://independent.academia.edu/AndreyBehr

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