Volume 8, Issue 34 (2020)                   CFL 2020, 8(34): 187-216 | Back to browse issues page

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jabbareh naserou A. Mythological Themes in the Tale of Girl and Gazelle. CFL. 2020; 8 (34) :187-216
URL: http://cfl.modares.ac.ir/article-11-42636-en.html
assistant professor of persian language and literature, faculty of humanities, jahrom, iran. , azim_jabbareh@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (262 Views)
Tales are important parts of folk literature and culture. This part of folk culture is a manifestation of the beliefs, ideas, and the life styles of the people of each nation. The tales of each region, especially the oral ones, provide an appropriate context for exploring the mythological and totemic beliefs of the natives. Accordingly, the tale of Girl and Gazelle, which is one of the most common tales of the Kumereh Sorkhi region in the Fars province of Iran, is analyzed in this study. The author tried to record this tale first via field method, which has not been recorded in any sources, and then study the mythological themes of the tale through the descriptive-analytical method. The results of the study show that the mythological beliefs are seen vividly, or symbolically and mysteriously in all pivots of the tale. The study tried to analyze these themes in different parts: the oak tree of ‘Martyr’, a holly tree in the region of Kuhmereh Sorkhi, the call on the tree to become pregnant, the birth of the girl from the trunk of a special tree, the growth of a plant from the blood of the innocent character of the tale, the role of fairies in the tale, hair as a fertility tool, burying the bones, the tree of life, the journey to the world of the dead in dream, and passing through seven or several labors.
Research background
No particular study could be found on this tale and its mythological themes, but other researchers have tried to study similar tales with this approach. For example, Mozaffaryan (2012) studies the mythological hints in the folk tales; Ansari and her colleagues (2014) tried to study this approach in four parts; Heidari (2017) investigated the structure of the tale according to Propchr('39')s theory; Vatanpour and Namyrian (2012) tried to show the mythological themes of the narration besides presenting a model for studying the folk tales.
Aims, questions, and assumptions
The study tried to investigate the mythological themes in the folk and oral tale of Girl and Gazelle; the narratives of five villagers were recorded, then the most complete one was chosen as the basis for the study by comparing different narrations. These recorded narrations have different characteristics, although they are the same in the main pivots of the story. The most ancient and complete narration was given by Ali Hossein Alynejad who was the eldest narrator in the region. The researcher wrote the narration completely when the orator was alive. Abdol Ali Jabbari has narrated this narration with a few changes so far as the descriptions in the stories are concerned. The narration which is investigated in this article is conducted based on the aforementioned person.
The significance of these studies is to keep some parts of the Persian literature which are on the threshold of being forgotten or even extinction. Although the serious studies of folk literature have begun since two centuries ago, these kind of studies have not gained enough attention in Iran. This rich part of literature is also disappearing since the advent of modernism and its manifestations in society, the growth of urbanization, the death of elderlies, and the unwillingness of young generation to the ancestors’ tales and beliefs, among others.
The author tries to answer the following questions: What are the mythological beliefs of this tale? What are the native elements in this tale?
The findings indicate that:
  • The holly oak tree, ‘Martyr’ oak, has a special role in the story; at the command of a divine voice in her dream, the mother calls on this tree to become pregnant and her wish is fulfilled; the girl, the protagonist of the tale, is born from the trunk of this tree; the herochr('39')s motherchr('39')s corpse and the gazelle / fairychr('39')s bones are also buried beneath this tree.
  • Some parts of this tale are the mythical reconstruction of the martyred God; such examples are abundant in the myths of the nations.
  • One of the mythological themes of this tale is the plantchr('39')s rise from the blood of the protagonist who was innocently murdered.
  • Fairy has a special place in this tale; in other words, the fairy as the supporter of the hero constantly accompanies the main character of the tale until its death. The fairy has a positive personality in this tale, with three essential characteristics: it has an extensive relation with water; its hair causes fertility; it has a power of changing its face.     
  • Burying the bones is another mythological theme of this tale.
  • The hero of the tale eats the fruit of the tree of life on the way to the king’s palace and becomes safe during her journey. The guard of this tree, who often prevents the hero from reaching the fruit of life in similar stories, appears as a guide in this tale.   
  • The main character of the tale has a symbolic dream, that is the repetition of the myth of journey to the world of dead or underworld.
  • The last barrier for the girl, the hero of the tale, to reach her goal is passing through five difficult labors.
  •  Ansari, Z., Jamali, A. & Zareyi, B. (2014). A survey and classification of mythical idea of Tree-Man in folk tales of Hormozgan province. Journal of Mytho-Mystic Literature, 10(3), 35-65.
  •  Heidari,M. (2017). Explanation and analysis of mythical themes in the structure of the tale of MahPishani. Journal of Literary Art, 1, 143-160.
  •  Mozaffaryan, F. (2012). Folk tales and myths. Journal of Mytho-Mystic Literature, 22, 213-247.
  •  Vatanpour, A. & Namyrian, K. (2012). The mythical morphology and analysis of       folk tales of the girl and the lotus. Iranian Journal of Anthropological Research, 1, 167-187.
Full-Text [PDF 780 kb]   (52 Downloads)    
Article Type: پژوهشی اصیل | Subject: Mythology
Received: 2020/05/4 | Accepted: 2020/07/29 | Published: 2020/10/1

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