Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Part 1 of How NOT to Get a Wife: Stealing Wings

A recurring theme in myths and folktales from very different cultures is the earthly or mortal man acquiring a wife of non-human origin by stealing her property, deceptively withholding information from her or otherwise limiting her options. Four stories from Vanuatu, Philippines, China and Pakistan all share these elements:
  • An earthbound or mortal man.
  • Celestial women or fairies who come to earth to bathe.
  • The man steals the wings/clothing of one of the women, preventing her from returning to the heavens.
  • Lacking other options, she stays and becomes his wife.
  • The wife eventually returns to her home.
  • He finds a way to follow her. (Outcomes vary)