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Folktales of India

Bringing together nearly one hundred tales translated from fourteen languages, Folktales of India opens the vast narrative world of Indian folklore to readers of English. Beck includes oral tales collected from tribal areas, peasant groups, urban areas, and remote villages in north and south India, and the distinctive boundary regions of Kashmir, Assam, and Manipur. The tales in this collection emphasize universal human characteristics—truthfulness, modesty, loyalty, courage, generosity, and honesty. Each story is meant to be savored individually with special attention given to the great range of motifs presented and the many distinct narrative styles used. Folktales of India offers a superb anthology of India’s bountiful narrative tradition.

"This collection does an excellent job of representing India. . . . It is the type of book that can be enjoyed by all readers who love a well-told tale as well as by scholars of traditional narrative and scholars of India in general."—Hugh M. Flick, Jr., Asian Folklore Studies

"The stories collected here are representative, rich in structural subtlety, and endowed with fresh earthy humor."—Kunal Chakraborti, Contributions to Indian Sociology

390 pages | 8 halftones, 1 map | 5-3/8 x 8-1/2 | © 1987

Folktales of the World

Asian Studies: South Asia

Folklore and Mythology

Table of Contents

Foreword by A. K. Ramanujan

I. Suitors and Maidens
1. The Goddess of Mahi River (Gujarat)
2. The Girl Who Was Loved by a Tree Spirit (Nagaland)
3. The Rain Prince’s Bride (Gujarat)
4. A Farmer’s Son (Tamilnadu)
5. The Man Who Was in Love with Two Girls (Nagaland)
6. Love between Two Birds (Nagaland)
7. Four Clever Men (Tamilnadu)
8. A Poor Man (Tamilnadu)

II. New Brides and Grooms
9. The Girl Fated to Die by Snakebite (Nagaland)
10. The Yakshi’s Descendants (Kerala)
11. A Marriage in the World of the Dead (Nagaland)
12. A Dead Husband (Assam)
13. Four Friends (Uttar Pradesh)
14. The Farmer and the Barber (Uttar Pradesh)
15. The Story of a King (Tamilnadu)
16. The King’s Daughter (Uttar Pradesh)
17. Sanykisar the Crow-Girl (Kashmir)

III. Parents and Children
18. The Boy Who Could Speak with Birds (Nagaland)
19. The Uninvited Guest (Kashmir)
20. The Birth and Marriage of Siva (Bengal)
21. Chokanamma (Kerala)
22. The Youngest Daughter-in-law (Bengal)
23. The Wicked Mendicant (Bengal)
24. Akanandun the Only Son (Kashmir)
25. Lord Siva and the Satwaras (Gujarat)
26. An Old Man’s Wisdom (Nagaland)

IV. Sisters and Brothers
27. Seven Dumb Daughters (Kashmir)
28. The Clever Old Man (Assam)
29. Thabaton (Manipur)
30. Kini Mulki (Karnataka)
31. Greed Can Be Perilous (Kerala)
32. The Monkey-Son (Tamilnadu)
33. Monkey-Boy’s Story (Tamilnadu)
34. Tolerance and Jealousy (Tamilnadu)
35. The Story of a Brother and a Sister (Uttar Pradesh)
36. The Origin of Different Water Animals (Nagaland)
37. The Man Named Unige Mada (Nilgiri Hills)
38. Mamo Jalwalo (Gujarat)

V. Domestic Strife
39. The Fish Head (Assam)
40. The Cruel Daughter-in-law (Kerala)
41. A Flowering Tree (Karnataka)
42. Two Sisters-in-law (Uttar Pradesh)
43. Kecha Nahar (Assam)
44. Lord Krishna’s Wives (Karnataka)
45. Sandrembi and Chaishra (Manipur)
46. The Tale of the Mouse (Kashmir)
47. As Long as You Keep Your Legs Up (Bihar)
48. Siva and Parvati (Karnataka)
49. The Story of a Man Who Had Awful Lips (Tamilnadu)
50. Vayanatu Kulavan (Kerala)
51. The Enchanted Water Hole (Manipur)

VI. Moral Virtue or Its Lack
52. The Prince and the Shepherd (Bengal)
53. Rich Girl, Poor Girl (Nagaland)
54. The Dexterity of a Squirrel (Kerala)
55. The Mincemeat Spirit (Kashmir)
56. The Crane and the Crow (Kerala)
57. The Tale of Bibgaraz Maj (Kashmir)
58. The Children of the Crab (Karnataka)
59. The Rupee Note (Assam)
60. The Value of an American Thank You (Karnataka)
61. The Brahman’s Lime (Assam)
62. The Feast (Assam)
63. Borrowed Earrings (Andhra Pradesh)
64. Oh! Calcutta (Bengal)
65. Dala Tarwadi (Gujarat)
66. The Story of Pebet (Manipur)
67. The Outlaw Babar Deva (Gujarat)

VII. Knowledge and the Fool
68. The Elephant and the Ant (Gujarat)
69. The Crow and the Sparrow (Uttar Pradesh)
70. The Parrots and the Carpenter’s Scale (Kerala)
71. The Potter and the Wagher (Gujarat)
72. The King of Delhi and the King of Turkey (Uttar Pradesh)
73. The Single-Wit (Gujarat)
74. Tenali Ramalingadu (Andhra Pradesh)
75. The Ghost of a Brahman (Bengal)
76. The Daily Measure (Assam)
77. Badsah the Great King (Kashmir)
78. The Foolish Gujjar (Kashmir)
79. Our Wife (Andhra Pradesh)
80. I’ll Take Two (Andhra Pradesh)
81. Dropping, Rolling, Tail-Peeler (Kerala)
82. Panikar’s Blunder (Kerala)
83. The Fox and the Crow (Uttar Pradesh)
84. The Greatest Fool of All (Bengal)
85. A Jackal and a Fox (Uttar Pradesh)
86. A Jackal and a Crocodile (Uttar Pradesh)
87. Chamdan and Yuthung (Manipur)
88. The Sparrow and the Sweet Pudding (Tamilnadu)

VIII. Origin Tales
89. The Origin of Man (Manipur)
90. How Lijaba Created the World (Nagaland)
91. The Porcupine Daughter (Gujarat)
92. The Origin of the Temple at Tarakesvar (Bengal)
93. Bhimnath Mahadev (Gujarat)
94. The Carpenter’s Tale (Gujarat)
95. The Origin of Head-Hunting (Nagaland)
96. Friendship between Man and Dog (Manipur)
97. Why the Ow Fruit Drops in March (Assam)
98. Sharpening the Dagger (Manipur)
99. The Death of Mosquito (Tamilnadu)
Notes to the Tales
Contributors’ Notes
Index of Tale Types and Motifs by Story
Index of Tale Types
Index of Motifs
General Index

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