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Article

Motifs of Soqotri Narratives: Towards a Comparative-Typological Analysis

AULA ORIENTALIS. 2016. Vol. 2. No. 34. P. 201-243.
Berezkin Y., Cherkashin D., Kogan L., Naumkin V.

The article is an attempt at comparative analysis of motifs and plots of the oral literature of Soqotra (Gulf of Aden, Yemen). Both the early recordings made in the beginning of the 20th century by D.H. Muller and the recent ones, carried out by V. Naumkin and his team, are involved. For each story we have tried to find parallels in the oral traditions of the Old World, previously collected and analyzed in the framework of Yu. Berezkin's electronic database. The main directions of the cultural links between Soqotra and the external world have thus been established. Not unexpectedly, most of the parallels connect Soqotra with the Near East, but some plots and motifs are also known_ sometimes exclusively_ in South Asia and North-West Africa. Truly archaic plots and motifs are very rare and typically reflected in lower mythology only. Etiological stories are rare, and no cosmological myths have been recorded.