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A Classical Indian Folk-Tale as a Reported Modern Event: The Brahman and the Mongoose

M. B. Emeneau
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society
Vol. 83, No. 3 (Sep. 10, 1940), pp. 503-513
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/985117
Page Count: 11
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A Classical Indian Folk-Tale as a Reported Modern Event: The Brahman and the Mongoose
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Abstract

The classical Hindu story of the Brahman and the mongoose, with details corresponding to those of the Pañcatantra textus simplicior and Pūrṇabhadra's Pañcatantra, has been recorded in the language of the Kotas of South India as an event which happened to members of the tribe about twenty years ago. Investigation in the tribe and interviews with the persons involved established the conviction that the event really happened. This is then a documented case of independent origin of what we should otherwise, following the theory on which all scientific studies of folk-tales must proceed, regard as a borrowing of a motif. The paper discusses the bearings of the case on the general theory which rejects polygenesis as a principle of wide application.

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