Motifs for "Mother": 457

X Code Original Cultures
 A3 Creative mother source of everything India
 A31 Creator’s grandmother North American
 A109.2 Goddess as mother of Pacific Ocean Maori
 A111.1 Mother of the gods Oceanic, Babylonian, Chiriguano, Guarani, Hindu, Hittite, India
 A112.7.1 God born from mother‘s ear Marquesas
 A112.7.2 God born from mother’s armpit Marquesas
 A112.7.3 Goddess born from mother‘s eyes Hawaii
 A164.1.1 Mother-son marriage of the gods Ireland, Munderucu
 A401 Mother Earth African, North American, Finnish, Hindu, Iceland, India, Siberian
 A401.1 Mother Earth pregnant with Adam Jewish
 A511.1.1 Culture hero snatched from mother‘s side Brazil, Chiriguano, Eastern Brazil, Finnish, Jivaro, Kaigua, Peru, Tehuelche, Warrau
 A511.1.1.1 River flows from corpse of mythical mother of culture hero Amuesha
 A511.1.2.2 Culture hero in mother’s womb indicates direction to be taken by her Chiriguano, Guarani, Tupinamba
 A511.1.4.2 Hero formed by god out of mother‘s apron Maori
 A511.1.8.1 Culture hero son of deer mother Ireland
 A512.1 Culture hero‘s grandmother Kodiak
 A625 World parents: sky-father and earth-mother as parents of the universe African, Antilles, Chatham Is., Greek, Hervey Is., Hindu, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Maori, Tahiti, N. A. Indian, Cora
 A625.1 Heaven-mother--earth-father North Burma
 A715.4 Sun and moon from breasts of mother earth India
 A737.2 Cause of eclipses: mother‘s curse laid upon her third son India
 A745.2 Mother of the moon: the most distant star in the sky India
 A751.5.3 Mark of her mother‘s hand to be seen on moon’s shoulder India
 A753.3.3 During day moon stays with his mother under the earth Ipurina
 A841.0.1 The four world-columns fastened immovably by two gods with their mother’s hairs India
 A1234.1 Earth as virgin mother of Adam
 A1234.1.1 Primeval human pair spring from womb of Mother Earth India
 A1282 The mother of men California Indian
 A1282.1 Mother of the world gives birth to three sons India
 A1575 Origin of relation of mother and children
 A1575.1 Why a mother has prior claim on her children Ekoi
 A1683.2 Why a certain tribe wear clothes like dogs (supposed descendants of a bitch mother) India
 A2234.4 Hare weeps for mother when forbidden: moon hits him and cleaves lip Bushman
 A2275.5.2 Hawk (vulture) loses grandmother: still hovers and seeks her Cameroon, Nigeria
 A2471.3 Why hawk (vulture) hovers over camp-fire: seeks grandmother
 A2615.2 Plant from mother‘s milk India
 A2722.1 Plantain disobeys mother: hence bears but one stalk Mpongwe
 A2817.2 Will-o’-the-wisp is girl cursed by her mother for gathering plants for dyestuffs on Sunday Scotland
 B122.5 Wise mother eagle distinguishes between stupid and intelligent eaglets Ireland
 B241.2.8.1 Newly-born divine twins cared for by mother-of-tigers Chiriguano
 B524.4 Supernatural bird prevents mother from killing babe Ireland
 B535.0.12 Eagle cares for baby while mother works in field Fang
 B631.0.1 Son warns animal mother Ireland
 B631.1 Animal mother of man helps him Burmese
 B635.3.1 Culture hero licked by deer mother Ireland
 C12.4.1 Mother wishes lazy daughter may marry devil Spanish
 C114.1 Tabu: son seeing mother perform sex act India
 C171 Mother-in-law tabu Jewish, Upoto, Zulu
 C231.3.1 Tabu: eating of magic catch before mother does Greenland
 C815 Tabu: listening to mother‘s counsel
 C922 Death by smothering for breaking tabu N. A. Indian
 C993 Unborn child affected by mother‘s broken tabu Chiriguano, Raratonga
 D525.1 Despondent mother curses herself and children into trees Lithuanian
 D688 Transformed mother suckles child Bushman, India, Japanese, Jewish, Kaffir
 D741 Disenchantment of monster when prince promises to marry the monster’s mother
 D741.1 Disenchantment of monster when his mother acknowledges him as son Hupa
 D792 Transformed mother called by her child Ekoi
 D815.1 Magic object received from mother Iceland, Kaffir
 D815.3 Magic object received from godmother Breton, French
 D815.7.1 Magic object received from girl‘s foster-mother Iceland
 D839.1 Magic root acquired by tricking mother bird into searching for it in order to disentangle her young India
 D842.1 Magic object found on mother‘s grave
 D927.3 Spring augments milk of nursing mothers who drink its water
 D1314.2.4 Divining rod (twig) points out spot where unwed mother had drowned child U.S.
 D1500. Cures by the milk of the mothers of saints
 D1574 Line drawn by saint’s bachall separates calves from their mothers Ireland
 D1737.1 Magic power from mother Iceland, Ireland
 D2006.2.1 Longing of human child of sky-mother to visit father on earth India
 D2034 Crying induced by magic as trick to force child’s mother Iceland
 D2074.2.4.1 Foster-mother summoned by saying her name Iceland
 D2156.3 Saint forces a beast (leopard, wolf) to bring back stolen child (domestic animal) to his mother (owner)
 E181.1.1 Man advised how to resuscitate his mother: break waternuts on her head: she would revive and live one year for each nut broken India
 E222 Dead mother‘s malevolent return Ireland
 E222.0.1 Mother haunts daughter England
 E222.1 Mother‘s ghost tries to tear daughter to pieces England
 E222.2 Dead mother haunts daughter who marries against mother’s will England
 E222.3 Dead mother returns to invoke curse on murderer-son Greek
 E228 The dead daughter reproaches her mother for putting her dowery into coffin Lithuanian
 E323 Dead mother‘s friendly return Breton, Jewish, Lithuanian
 E323.1 Dead mother returns to see baby U.S.
 E323.1.1 Dead mother returns to suckle child Chinese, Finnish-Swedish, India, Jamaica, Luiseño, Swedish, N. A. Indian
 E323.1.2 Dead mother returns to care for neglected baby Greenland, India, Papuan
 E323.2 Dead mother returns to aid persecuted children Cameroon, Italian, Jewish, Melanesia, West Indies
 E323.2.1 Dead mother (in animal form) returns to aid persecuted children Chinese
 E323.3 Dead mother called up from grave to give her son charms Iceland
 E323.4 Advice from dead mother Hausa, India
 E323.5 Mother returns to search for dead child England, Ireland
 E323.6 Mother returns to encourage daughter in great difficulties England
 E323.7 Dead mother makes son strong Greenland
 E324.1 Voice of son answers his mother from the grave only when called by his pet name India
 E361.3 Dead son tells mother that no mortal escapes death India
 E412.2.2 Mother of unbaptized child cannot rest in grave U.S.
 E726.2 Soul of unborn son comes out of mother’s mouth (in form of stone), is kept by her, and later is given to son Ireland
 E765.4.2 Mother will die when daughter is wooed Ireland
 E765.4.3.1 Father (and mother) will die on same day as daughter Ireland
 F15.1 Man seeks his mother (star-maiden) in upper world Chinese
 F81.4 Journey to hell to retrieve soul of mother Ireland
 F118 Journey to Mother of Time Italian
 F302.5.5 Fairy mistress tries to destroy mortal‘s wife (mother) by sending her a magic belt
 F305.1.1 Fairy mother bestows magic powers upon half-mortal son Ireland
 F311.1 Fairy godmother Ireland, Slavic
 F311.1.1 Fairy godmother helps girl escape England
 F311.3 Fairy foster-mother Ireland
 F311.3.1 Water fairy as foster-mother African
 F321.1.4.7 Mortal mother pays no attention to changeling; the mortal child is returned Scotland
 F321.1.4.8 Mother treats changeling so well that her own child is returned England
 F321.4 Beggar returns to his mother child stolen by fairies Estonian
 F322.3 Stolen mother returns from fairyland each Sunday to minister to her children Scotland
 F326 Fairy father carries off child of mortal mother Ireland
 F420.5.3.3 Water-spirits call human godmother German
 F575.1.1 Birth of daughter so beautiful mother is frightened and abandons her India
 F611.1.1 Strong man son of bear who has stolen his mother N. A. Indian
 F611.2.0.1 Hero’s unusual strength from drinking his own mother‘s milk India
 F615.3.1.2 Camels having fallen from sky into girl’s eyes; she tells her mother that some grains of sand have fallen down from sky India
 F642.3.3 Blind man is able to see two unborn rats within mother rat Korea
 F989.8 Mother-love induced in animal Ireland
 F1041.1.3.8 Man dies from grieving over mother‘s death Italian
 F1041.1.5.3 Mother dies from joy on greeting long-absent son Italian
 G27 Moon made to eat wife‘s corpse by mother-in-law Viracocha
 G61.1.1 Girl avoids eating her mother’s flesh by spilling the meat and the soup in the pen Chinese
 G61.2 Mother recognizes child‘s flesh when it is served to be eaten India
 G205 Witch stepmother Basuto, Ekoi, Iceland, Jamaica, Lithuanian
 G303.11.1.1 The devil‘s son is with his mother at night in his father’s place
 G303.11.3 The devil’s mother Ireland
 G303.11.3.1 Devil’s mother rides a goat
 G303.11.4 The devil‘s grandmother
 G303.11.4.1 Devil‘s grandmother keeps house for devil Japanese
 G303.11.4.2 Devil’s grandmother is bleaching when it snows
 G303.12.5.3 Devil marries girl whose rich mother refuses to let her marry common young men of community U.S.
 G512.7 Backbone of ogre’s old mother broken Iceland
 G530.3 Help from ogre‘s mother Iceland, India, Jamaica
 G530.4 Help from ogre‘s grandmother India
 H175.1 Recognition of son by gushing up of milk in mother‘s breasts India
 H175.2 Child mystically recognizes woman as his mother Chinese
 H335.0.1.1 Otherworld mistress instructs hero how to perform tasks (imposed by her mother) Ireland
 H355.5 Suitor test: obtaining for bride a necklace like her mother‘s India
 H482 Infant picks out his unknown mother Chinese
 H491 Test of mother‘s and father’s love for children
 H491.1 In large family father unwilling but mother willing to sell children Jewish
 H495 Mother test
 H495.1 Baby finds its mother, goes to her for suckling India, Jewish
 H495.2 Mother test: milk goes long distance into child’s mouth India
 H551.1 Man wins wife by instructing her how to answer her mother‘s riddles
 H583.4 King: What is your mother doing? Youth: She does for another what the latter cannot do for her
 H583.4.1 King: What is your mother doing? Youth: She shows the light of the world to one who has not yet seen it
 H583.4.2 King: What is your mother doing? Youth: She is baking the bread we ate last week
 H583.4.3 King: What is your mother doing? Youth: She cuts off the heads of the well to cure the sick
 H583.4.4 King: What is your mother doing? Youth: She drives away the hungry and compels the filled to eat
 H583.4.5 King: What are your mother and father doing? Girl: Mother is separating earth (being a midwife), and father is mixing earth (at a funeral) India
 H583.4.6 King: What is your mother doing? Girl: She has gone to turn one into two (to split peas) India
 H588.19 “A father should always check and never forgive; a mother should always forgive and never check India
 H599.1 Girl will not drink of water which had no father or mother (i India
 H633.3 What is sweetest? Mother’s breast India
 H651.2 What is brightest? Mother‘s eyes
 H652.2 What is softest? Mother’s bosom
 H662 Riddle: what is dearer than gold? Mother love Swiss
 H734 Riddle: what is the mother who devours her children when they grow up? (Ocean and rivers
 H791 Riddle: a fish was my father; a man was my mother Norse
 H807 Formerly I was daughter, now I am mother; I have a son who was the husband of my mother Spanish
 H813 Riddle: who, having neither father nor mother, are dead? (Adam and Eve
 H814 Riddle: who, having had father and mother, is not dead? (Elias Jewish
 H815 Riddle: who, having had father and mother, is not dead like other mortals? (Lot’s wife
 H913.1 Tasks assigned by jealous mother
 H913.1.1 Task assigned at suggestion of jealous mother (of prospective bride) Ireland
 H913.1.2 Task suggested by jealous co-wife of mother India
 H914 Tasks assigned because of mother‘s foolish boasting Italian
 H934.3 Tasks assigned by stepmother Chinese
 H1187 Task left by departing husband for virgin wife to accomplish: have a son whose real mother she is and whose real father he is Iceland, India
 H1216 Mother sends son to find unknown father England, India, Japanese
 H1232.5 Directions on quest given by child(ren) still in mother‘s womb Chiriguano
 H1285 Quest to Mother of Time for answers to questions Italian
 H1381.2.2.2 Child seeks unknown mother Maori
 H1381. Boy twitted with illegitimacy seeks unknown mother Chinese
 H1397.1 Quest for witch stepmother Iceland
 J65 Birds having learned their possible dangers are forced from nest by mother
 J80.1.1 Solomon proves to his mother the inferiority of woman’s wisdom Lithuanian
 J122 Naïve remark of child: “You forgot to strike mother
 J122.1 Seducer about to seduce mother of child refrains when child wisely remarks that he is sad because his father has left his mother exposed to such dangers
 J125.2.1 Child unwittingly betrays his mother‘s adultery
 J225.1 Youth made lame: had kicked his mother
 J225.8 Evil mother has fine funeral, good father poor Ireland
 J391.1 Lamb chooses her foster-mother, the she-goat
 J482.3 Young man advised to choose as wife a girl whose mother was chaste
 J646.2 Bird hears voices from within unhatched eggs and flies away: voices plot to dine on their bird-mother when they are born India
 J1054 Man disregards mother‘s warning and is punished Canada, French Canadian
 J1063.1 Mother crab blames her children for not walking straight Italian
 J1142.1 Test of mother by weighing milk Jewish
 J1142.4.1 Mother‘s weeping for thief made to seem natural
 J1142.4.1.1 Clever son falls from tree, so mother’s tears over dead body of father being carried through street will seem natural India
 J1166.1 Barber operating on child’s skin kills it: blames mother for child‘s thin skin India
 J1171.4 Which mare is mother of colt: colt taken in boat to the middle of river; mother will swim to it India
 J1261.6 Priest may use his own mother’s mass money
 J1291.4 “In this sesame flower where is the oil?” “When your mother conceived where were you?” India: Thompson-Balys India
 J1652 Kissing the mother first
 J1661.1.4 Deduction: mare has she-buffalo as mother
 J1911.2 Foolish mother does not understand how babies cry Rhodesia
 J2129.8 Fool sows his mother‘s seed rice on other people’s fields India
 J2303 Gullible mother
 J2311.11 Idiot tells his mother he has been dead twelve years India
 J2321.3 Husband makes wife and mother-in-law believe he will bear a sheep Cheremis
 J2461 What should I have done (said)? The mother teaches the boy (the man his wife) what he should say (do) in this or that circumstance African, Chinese, India, Indonesia, Japanese, Lithuanian, Spanish
 J2465.3.2 Feeding mother Espinosa
 J2465.7 Oh bother! put it on my head! Numskulls asking old woman where to put grain obey and smother her India
 K311.8.5 Theft by disguise as owner‘s grandmother India
 K317.2 Entrance into wine cellar by removing lock during absence of mother
 K461.1 The bear helps the fox’s mother get berries: the fox eats them
 K499.1 Trickster sells mother’s wine to merchant without asking her permission
 K522.7 Sham murder: trickster attacked by angry mother causes her to spear ox guts and believe she has murdered him India
 K649.1.2 Tiger-mother hides concealed guests in jar Chiriguano, Yuracare
 K940.2 Man betrayed into killing his wife or grandmother
 K941.1.1 Wives killed when large price for his mother‘s (wife’s) corpse is reported by trickster India
 K1349.4 Lover visits guarded maiden while harper puts mother to sleep Ireland, Italian
 K1354.3 Seduction by bearing false order from mother
 K1354.3.2 Trickster masking as bridegroom tells bride that he comes at her mother’s request Italian
 K1462 Washing the grandmother--in boiling water India, New Britain, Spanish
 K1462.2 To cover house with straw: suffocates mother under straw India
 K1466 Master’s mother killed: wood heaved on her head India
 K1611.3 Girl takes place of impostor in marriage bed; impostor‘s mother beats her, thinking she is heroine Chinese
 K1718.2 Bluff: millstones said to be pearls of hero‘s mother Bluff
 K1718.3 Bluff: huge cauldron of tar said to be kitchen-pot of hero’s mother Bluff, Cheremis
 K1718.4 Bluff: harrow said to be comb of hero‘s mother Bluff, Cheremis
 K1718.5 Bluff: plow said to be hoe of hero’s mother Bluff, Cheremis
 K1855 Younger and preferred brother substituted by mother for elder to deceive father Jewish
 K1911.1.8.1 False bride makes child cry and demand mother’s clothes and ornaments Chinese
 K1921.2 Two mothers exchange their children, a boy and a girl Ireland
 K1923.4 Woman pretends to be mother of child chosen to be king India
 K1945.1.1 Mother-in-law’s head is shaven, face blackened and she is led around city on ass-back as only cure for malady of daughter-in-law India
 K1971.8.1 Sexton behind crucifix tells old maid she will have no husband; she tells Christ Child that he knows nothing about it, she is praying to his mother
 K2011 Wolf poses as ”grandmother“ and kills child French, Japanese, Nigeria
 K2011.1 Wolf poses as mother and kills child Basuto
 K2011.1.1 Ogre father poses as mother and kills child Bakuba, Rund
 K2011.1.2 Bogey imitates mother and kills child Kenya
 K2011.2 Tiger-ogress pretends to be girls‘ mother: explains tail as boil Chinese
 K2056 Hypocritical stepmother weeps as she tells departing husband she will take good care of stepchildren though they beat her (she beats them instead) India
 K2111.5 Mother falsely accuses son of incest with her
 K2175 Grandmother causes grandchildren to be whipped: puts dirt and hairs into cooking pot by stealth and sand in the water they draw India
 K2214.2.1 Treacherous daughter-in-law plots against husband‘s mother India
 K2218.1 Treacherous mother-in-law accuses innocent wife Ireland
 K2321.1 Man who killed mother uses her corpse to get presents Greenland
 K2325 Devil frightened by threatening to bring mother-in-law Spanish
 K2384 Man tricked to be one‘s sworn brother in order to secure his help against his mother Iceland
 L13.1 Youngest wife’s son restores eyesight to blinded six wives of raja and reinstates his mother India
 L111.4.1 Orphan hero lives with grandmother N. A. Indian
 L315.4 Mother ape burns bear
 M119.8.1 Swearing by one’s father and mother India
 M312.0.4 Mother’s symbolic dream (vision) about the greatness of her unborn child Iceland, Loomis
 M341.5 Prophecy: either youth or mother will die
 M343.0.2 Prophecy: mother will be killed by children Kaigua
 M344 Mother-incest prophecy Greek, India, Ireland
 M365.2 Son to be brave and wise but not to remain and cause mother to weep India
 M369.2.1.1 Prophecy of king taking a cruel stepmother to her sons after her death enacted before eyes of dying queen by sparrow family living in tree by palace window India
 M411.1.1 Curse by stepmother Iceland
 M411.1.2 Curse by foster mother Italian
 M431.6 Wicked stepmother cursed to have fire lit under her Iceland
 N313 Child follows bird and loses its mother
 N325.3 Mother kills son thinking him a wild beast Greek
 N342.1.1 Faithful son guarding his father from monster falsely accused by stepmother India
 N365.1 Boy unwittingly commits incest with his mother Celebes, Italian, Spanish
 N365.1.1 Man unwittingly falls in love with his own mother India
 N365.4 Man unwittingly lies with mother-in-law Italian
 N383.3 Mother dies of fright when she learns that she was about to commit incest with her son
 N384.3 Wicked stepmother falls into the fire because of fright Iceland
 N455.7 Secret about prince’s father learned by eavesdropper from his mother‘s talking to him Iceland
 N466 Daughter lousing mother weeps and reveals secret Chinese
 N681.3.1 Man about to consummate marriage with own mother; accidentally prevented India, Italian
 N681.4 Son returns on day his mother is to be married to another (though her husband still lives) India
 N735 Accidental meeting of mother and son Chinese, India, Ireland, Jewish
 N735.1 Begging ascetics beg alms of their own mother Buddhist
 N736 Accidental meeting of mother and daughter India
 N782 Mother‘s parting gift to adventuring son: the two loaves of bread India
 N812.2 Giantess as foster mother and helper of hero Iceland
 N819.2.1 Transformed mother as helper Chinese
 N825.3.3 Help from grandmother California Indian
 P17.6 Succession by mother-right Ireland
 P211.2 Mother kills husband for murdering their daughter Kamerun
 P230.1 Mother prefers son, father daughter Iceland
 P230.2 Mother dislikes her children in forced marriage Iceland
 P231 Mother and son
 P231.1 Boy sickens from grief at mother‘s death Ireland
 P231.2 Son warns mother Iceland
 P231.3 Mother-love Iceland
 P231.4 Mother kills sons who lack courage to help her revenge her father and brothers, and are likely to betray the plot Iceland
 P231.5 Mother reveals fact that son is offspring of supernatural father Ireland
 P231.6 Mother (eagle) casts out dull, stupid changeling; rears bold, energetic son Ireland
 P231.7 Mother commits suicide when son wants to marry foreigner according to foreign rites Chinese
 P232 Mother and daughter
 P232.1 Wicked mother and her sons do everything to prevent daughter‘s marriage with beloved Iceland
 P232.2 Mother lets daughter unwittingly marry own father in order to avenge his raping Iceland
 P233.2.1 Father drives away bad son whom the mother prefers Iceland
 P233.7 Son must threaten father before he will recognize him as son, even though he brings ring from his mother Iceland
 P233.9 Son chastizes father for scorning mother India
 P236.7 Undutiful son taught lesson showing his mother has suffered from him India
 P262 Mother-in-law Ireland
 P262.1 Bad relations between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law India
 P272 Foster mother French, Ireland
 P272.1 Witch foster mother Iceland
 P272.2 Foster mother as helper Iceland
 P272.3 Former mistress as sons’ foster mother Iceland
 P282 Stepmother French, Ireland
 P282.1 Realm ruled by stepmother, while king is absent Iceland
 P282.2 Stepmother mourns her stepsons’ death, not her own son‘s Iceland
 P282.3 Stepmother in love with stepson Greek, Ireland, Persian
 P282.3.1 Love of stepmother who has killed her husband refused Iceland
 P292 Grandmother French
 P292.1 Grandmother as foster mother Iceland
 P293.1 Mother’s brother as foster father Iceland
 P293.2 Mother‘s brother as helper Iceland
 P293.2.1 Children take after their mother’s brothers Jewish
 P293.4 Young prince sent to his father’s mother‘s brother Iceland
 P296.2 Godmother
 P526.2 “To every son belongs his mother”: in case of suspected illegitimacy, child is not guilty Ireland
 P711.2 Mother of invalided soldier says of his limping: “Every step will remind you of your virtue Italian
 Q65.1 Supplying food to ungrateful stepmother rewarded Gold Coast
 Q87.1.3 Spurned suitor is offered girl by her mother Italian
 Q151.2 Death passes by man who fed his stepmother Gold Coast
 Q172.8 Mother of saint admitted to heaven Ireland
 Q242.1 Cohabitation of godfather and godmother punished
 Q281.1.1 Devils carry off girl who abuses her mother
 Q281.1.2 Girl cruel to her mother is slain by God
 Q552.19.4 Miraculous drowning as punishment for man’s flight with stepmother Ireland
 Q559.9 Saints miraculously cause child to fall over cliff as punishment for mother‘s washing clothes in holy well Ireland
 Q586 Son on gallows bites his mother‘s (father’s) nose off: punishment for neglect in youth India
 Q593 Dead mother appears and makes disobedient child eat fatal serpent Jamaica
 R153.2.1 Father hides children from murderous mother
 R153.4 Mother rescues son
 R153.4.1 Mother rescues fettered son Iceland
 R153.4.2 Mother hides twin (triplet) sons to keep them from death Fang
 R154.0.1 Children rescue mother from lion’s den
 R154.1 Son rescues mother Buddhist, India, Ireland
 R154.1.1 Son rescues mother from burning at stake
 R162 Rescue by captor‘s daughter (wife, mother) England, Greek, Iceland, India, Ireland
 R318 Girl hidden in skin of her dead mother
 S12 Cruel mother Angola, Basuto, Breton, Canada, Eskimo, French, French Canadian, Spanish
 S12.1 Treacherous mother marries ogre and plots against son N. A. Indian
 S12.1.1 Treacherous mother and paramour plan son’s death India
 S12.2 Cruel mother kills child India, Spanish
 S12.2.1 Mother feeds newly-born illegitimate child to dog Italian
 S12.2.2 Mother throws children into fire Jewish
 S12.2.3 Mother forces child to break eating tabu: child dies Fang
 S12.3 Mother orders son‘s death Iceland, India, Italian
 S12.4 Cruel mother blinds son Greenland
 S12.5 Cruel mother expels (drives away) child India
 S12.5.1 Girl impregnated by god driven from home by mother Chiriguano
 S12.6 Cruel mother refuses children food Central, Cook Group, Cumberland Sound
 S12.7 Mother tells healthy sons to wipe soiled hands on lame son Wakweli
 S20.1 Children sell mother Zuñi
 S21.1 Son buries aged mother alive Swiss
 S21.3 Son gives mother as hostage Ireland
 S21.4 King banishes mother to stables India
 S31 Cruel stepmother Breton, Cameroon, Canada, Chinese, French Canadian, Greek, Hindu, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italian, Jamaica, Japanese, Jewish, Karib, Korea, Melanesia, Spanish, N. A. Indian
 S31.2 Children enchanted by stepmother Iceland, Ireland
 S31.3 Cruel bird stepmother feeds young ones with thorns India
 S31.4 Cruel stepmother feeds children with fish spines (thorns) to kill them India
 S41 Cruel grandmother Basuto, Breton, India
 S51 Cruel mother-in-law Buddhist, Chinese, Chiriguano, England, Hindu, India, Italian, New Guinea, Rumanian, Verde Is.
 S51.1 Cruel mother-in-law plans death of daughter-in-law India
 S112.7 Son takes mother to woods and tries to burn her up while she sleeps India
 S123.3 Living children buried with dead mother
 S216 Mothers exchange children India
 S223.2 Mother curses her unborn child
 S255.1 Deity promises deliverance of promised child to mother in dream India
 S255.2 Child sacrificed to deity returned to mother alive and whole after the ablution and ceremonial rites in honor of her India
 S322.2 Jealous mother casts daughter forth Angola
 S322.2.1 Mother exposes child (for fear of jealous co-wife) Ireland
 S322.4 Evil stepmother casts boy forth India
 S322.4.2 Evil stepmother orders stepdaughter to be killed Ireland
 S322.4.3 Stepmother irritates two stepsons so that one kills the other India
 S322.6 Jealous mother-in-law and sisters cast woman’s children forth India, Italian
 S322.7 Evil stepmother works stepdaughter to death in absence of merchant husband India
 S328 Mother sells her child to heathen sailors
 S342 Mother induced by rival to kill her children India
 S351 Abandoned child cared for by mother secretly Basuto, Zulu
 S351.0.1 Abandoned child made over to its own mother (sister) acting as wet nurse Jewish
 S351.1 Abandoned child cared for by grandmother (aunt, foster mother) California Indian, Ireland
 T47 Heroine hidden by stepmother when suitor comes
 T50.1.1 Girl carefully guarded by mother Chiriguano, Ireland
 T52.1 Prince buys twig (flower) (enchanted girl) from her mother Italian
 T92.6 Mother and daughter as rivals in love Ireland
 T126.1 Marriage of Mother Earth and ogre India
 T133.6 Groom’s mother visits bride-to-be and puts the betrothal ring on her finger India
 T148.1 Son named for mother Ireland
 T154 Cruel stepmother enchants stepdaughter on eve of wedding Iceland
 T371.1 Boy is denied sight of all women except his mother and his nurse until he is eighteen Italian
 T412 Mother-son incest Oceanic, Buddhist, Chiriguano, Danish, England, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jewish
 T412.1 Mother guilty of incest with son forgiven by Pope (Virgin Mary)
 T412.2 Incognito son tempts mother to see whether all women are wicked Iceland
 T412.3 Mother guilty of incest with son whose honor she is testing
 T412.4 Boy courts his mother, is driven off by father Konnoh
 T417 Son-in-law seduces mother-in-law Italian, N. A. Indian
 T417.1 Mother-in-law seduces son-in-law Guaproré, Italian
 T418 Lustful stepmother Greek, Iceland, Ireland, Italian, Viracocha
 T421 Man marries his aunt (mother‘s sister) Greek, Ireland
 T423 Youth attempts to seduce his grandmother Italian
 T452.1 Mother acts as procuress of bedmate for her son India
 T517.2 Conception through mother’s side
 T541.12 Birth from nine mothers Iceland
 T550.1 Monster child helps mother Japanese
 T550.4 Monstrous birth because mother sees horrible sight England
 T554.1 Tiger, spirit, and man sons of one mother India
 T572.1.1 Mother sits on stone to prevent premature birth Ireland
 T575.1 Child speaks in mother‘s womb Angola, Aztec, India, Ireland, Jewish, Kaffir, Persian, Tupinamba, Warrau, Zulu
 T575.1.1 Child in mother’s womb reveals crime
 T575.1.1.1 Child in mother‘s womb reveals murder
 T575.1.1.2 Child in mother’s womb reveals adultery
 T575.1.1.3 Child in mother‘s womb reveals unjust judgment
 T575.1.2 Future suicide weeps in mother’s womb
 T575.1.3 Twins quarrel before birth in mother‘s womb Greek, Jewish, N. A. Indian
 T575.1.4 Future poet chants spell in mother’s womb Ireland
 T575.1.5 Children in mothers‘ wombs praise God at birth of Christ Ireland
 T575.1.6 Child in mother’s belly guides her Karib, Warrau
 T575.1.6.1 Unborn child directs his mother on journey Chiriguano, Karib, Tupinamba
 T575.3 Child speaks from dead mother‘s womb India
 T575.4 Child in mother’s womb visible from outside Buddhist
 T579.1 Sheath and knife as analogy for mother and unborn child Eskimo
 T579.4 Mother of saint has healing spittle during pregnancy Ireland
 T581.2.1 Child born to an apparently dead mother in her grave
 T581.10 Twins born in tent; mother abducted Iceland
 T584.0.5 While saint‘s mother was giving birth to the child, she grasps a stout rod which roots and becomes a sturdy tree
 T584.1 Birth through the mother’s side Bacairi, Egyptian, England, Haitian, Hindu, Ireland, Malagasy, Persian
 T584.2 Child removed from body of dead mother Oceanic, Greek, Iceland, India, Ireland, Japanese, Karib, Tupinamba, Yuracare, N. A. Indian
 T584.2.1 Child born of dead mother in grave Ireland
 T584.2.1.1 Twins freed from dead mother’s body as body rots New Hebrides
 T584.7 Hero is born by splitting mother‘s womb Chinese
 T584.8 Child helps mother in severing his navel string Jewish
 T585.1.1 Child stronger than mother on day of birth Ireland
 T585.4 Infant saint rebukes mother’s impiety Ireland
 T585.6 Newborn child kisses dying mother Iceland
 T589.9 Child with several mothers Iceland
 T595 Sign hung out informing brothers whether mother has borne boy or girl Italian
 T611.9 Dead mother‘s breasts furnish sufficient nourishment for her baby during two years
 T611.11 Child nourished by sucking the eyeballs of snake-mother (frog-mother) who left it Japanese
 T612 Child born of slain mother cares for itself during infancy Oceanic, N. A. Indian
 T615.4 Precocious boy supports his widowed mother and himself by use of his wits India
 T640.2 Mother of illegitimate child given as pledge for his crime Ireland
 T645.3 Father orders the mother to send the expected illegitimate boy to him when he can perform certain feats Greek, Ireland
 T672 Adopted child reproaches his foster mother and is returned to his real mother India
 T675 Real mother preferred to foster mothers
 T675.1 Children prefer foster mother
 U111.1 Many books do not make a scholar: youth tricks mother by carrying many books
 U121.2 Hind, like his mother, flees before the hounds
 U128 Tiger son of human mother scratches her and licks her blood India
 V211.1.8.3 Christ as infant in mother‘s arms causes bare hillside to become field of wheat as protection Ireland
 V229.2.3.1 Saint as baby refuses to take mother’s breast on Wednesdays and Fridays
 V233.1 Angel of death spares mother who is suckling children Estonian, Lithuanian, Russian
 V271 Virgin Mary as foster mother
 V511.2.3 Girl sees vision of her mother in hell
 W16 Bishop exchanges places with prisoner so as to have him return to his mother Italian
 W111.1.1.5 Mother calls to daughter to tell her that she (daughter) is standing on a live coal U.S.
 W111.5.1 Lazy mother given shoes of cotton; son knows that she will not wear them out
 W121.4 Queen mother shames cowardly son and companions Spanish
 X756 The mother trains the old maid to speak properly
 X1563 City into which only married and mothers may enter India
 X1856 Lie: suckling children rock mother in cradle
 Z39.6 Mother ties bell on child; cat cuts it off Cheremis
 Z49.1 “I killed my grandmother because she refused to cook a hare Spanish
 Z118.3 River personified (Mother Ganges) India
 Z122.2 Mother of Time personified Italian
 Z215 Hero “son of seven mothers” India

About StorySearch

The Project

This website is a search engine of almost 50,000 patterns within stories world over called "Motifs" and several projects fueled by this search engine.

The Motif Collection

The work comes from a folklorist named Stith Thompson who spent his life reading and cataloging these stories which he published as the Motif Index of Folklore and Literature. You can read more about his work here: Wikipedia page for Stith Thompson

The Goal

While we have Mr. Thompson's motifs, we have yet to track down all of the stories he read, which is our ultimate goal. We then will provide the stories for all to read, explore and see the connections and commonalities between these stories which we hope to further understandings between cultures and deeper into ourselves.

The Stories

Of course, since there are a current total of 46,248 motifs, we've estimated there to be as many as 51,822 stories which might take some time to collect.

The Strategy

For now, we are working to build a crowdsourcing application to help us collect, organize these stories along with tagging the motifs within them.

Until then, please use the following FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions about Story Search

What do you use this site for?

We use it to find stories, or to know there are stories worldwide with patterns in them. From there, we've found three common uses:

Writing, Films & Other Creative Story-based Projects
We might write a story with a motif as it's seed, develop more interesting aspects to a character in a story, or help develop hidden symbols within a film. We also frequently get asked for consulting help if you'd like help, please let us know.
Lectures, Professional & other Metaphor Development
Another common request is from people wanting to tell better stories in their work. This might be someone trying to communicate a tricky idea which is in need of a good metaphor. Since we know these "story seeds" have proven themselves to be quite memorable, we try to adapt motifs to fit as a solid and simple metaphor. We've helped Scientists, Lawyers, Medical Organizations, and even those in the Financials Industry to help better convey what they are doing by telling a better story.
Storytelling, Mentoring & Narrative Therapy
And last (usually the most important in the story world) but not least, we do a lot of work with how people can grow and develop parts of who they are and the connection therein through story. So, we might tell research specific stories to tell a child or youth who is working through an issue, such as dealing with anger, attention issues, or life changes by carefully choosing a motif which can help them understand what they're dealing with. (This works well for adults too.)

If you find a new usage for these, please tell us.

What exactly is a Motif?

A Motif is a trait common between two stories. They can be from nearby places, but the interesting ones (we find) are from very different parts of the world. That is to say, two ideas that simultaneously erupted most likely independently. This is because we can then develop a theory about well, pretty much anything.

Let's give you an example of two excerpts from stories so you can spot their motifs.

Sedna - Eskimo

In this mortal peril the father determined to offer Sedna to the birds and flung her overboard. She clung to the edge of the boat with a death grip. The cruel father then took a knife and cut off the first joints of her fingers. Falling into the sea they were transformed into whales, the nails turning into whalebone. Sedna holding on to the boat more tightly, the second finger joints fell under the sharp knife and swam away as seals; when the father cut off the stumps of the fingers they became ground seals.

Handless Maiden - Germany

The devil still could not approach her, he was very angry, and ordered the miller, "Chop off her hands, so I can get to her."
The miller was horrified and answered, "How could I chop off my dear child's hands? No, I will not do it."
"Then do you know what? I will take you, if you don't do it!"
That frightened the miller terribly, and driven by fear he promised to do what the devil had ordered. He went to his daughter and said, "My child, the devil will take me if I don't chop off both your hands, and I have promised him that I will do it. I beg for your forgiveness."
"Father," she said, "do with me what you will," stretched forth her hands, and let him chop them off.


What could we infer about this story? Well, we might use it to interpret a major plot point in another storyline such as Star Wars, Winter's Bone or Game of Thrones.

We might see it as a symbol for the the loss of ability, that is to say, the loss of the ability to do things.

And so, it might be a useful story to tell someone who has issues with motivation, or the lack of the ability to do things.

We'd also be very curious what the relationship between the symbolic "father" is in each of these stories is, including the three newer stories we mentioned.

Where did you get all of the info about Motifs and Stories?

This search engine is a digitized version of the life work comes of a folklorist named Stith Thompson who spent his life reading and cataloging stories which he published as the Motif Index of Folklore and Literature. This book is very hard to come by, as are many of the books Mr. Thompson referenced. We will be collecting the stories (with the help of folks on the internet) to allow everyone to enjoy and educate themselves about this work.

I have a story I'd really like to find. Can you send it to me?

If we can find it, yes, we will definitely try to so you're always welcome to ask. We don't have digital copies of all of the books referenced in the search engine yet, but we currently have more than two thirds of the 800 or so. Feel free to use the contact form, and we will let you know what we can do.

When I be able to read all of the stories online?

That is hard to tell because it is dependent on two things: our helpers and funds.

  Feedback - If you have feedback to offer as far as features you'd like, or requests for stories, this helps us polish the new systems we are putting in place in order to collect all of Stith's stories. Don't hesitate to use our contact form.

  Donate Time - If you would like to donate some of your time to help comb stories, please fill out the form below.

  Donate Funds - Or, you can use the fully tax deductible donation to our 501(c)3 non-profit hosting organization the Center for Symbolic Studies via a form at

Story Search Contact / Signup

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How can I help?

One of three ways:


Give Feedback.


p.s. our contact form helps with these.


We've created a twitter feed for StorySearch, and since it is using his work, we've put the feeds under the name @StithThompson.

Every 15 minutes, a new random motif is tweeted. Below are the 20 most recent tweets:



TEDx - Lower East Side

Here is a talk by the creator of the Story Search, Richard Schwab, did on myth featuring stories about ways we use this site. October 25th 2013.


Story Search Contact / Signup

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