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The Folklore of Geckos: Ethnographic Data from South and West Asia

Jürgen W. Frembgen
Asian Folklore Studies
Vol. 55, No. 1 (1996), pp. 135-143
Published by: Nanzan University
DOI: 10.2307/1178860
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1178860
Page Count: 9
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The Folklore of Geckos: Ethnographic Data from South and West Asia
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Abstract

This paper is based on an empirical study of human behavior, attitudes, and beliefs toward geckos in South and West Asia. Proverbs, sayings, and information provided by numerous informants show that the common small house geckos are regarded as ominous creatures associated with ill fortune. They are also considered highly impure, and thought to be carriers of leprosy and other diseases. People are nevertheless rather ambivalent on the question of whether geckos should be killed; in some cases there is evidence of underlying beliefs that link the animals with fertility and well-being.

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