Eskimo Folk-Tales | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in August 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

When the Ravens Could Speak

ONCE, long ago, there was a time when the ravens could talk.

                But the strange thing about the ravens' speech was that their words had the opposite meaning. When they wanted to thank any one, they used words of abuse, and thus always said the reverse of what they meant.

                But as they were thus so full of lies, there came one day an old man, and by magic means took away their power of speech. And since that time the ravens can do no more than shriek.

                But the ravens' nature has not changed, and to this day they are an ill-tempered, lying, thieving lot.


The particular source of this tale is South-East Greenland.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: When the Ravens Could Speak
Tale Author/Editor: Rasmussen, Knud
Book Title: Eskimo Folk-Tales
Book Author/Editor: Rasmussen, Knud
Publisher: Gyldendal
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1921
Country of Origin: Greenland
Classification: unclassified

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