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Traditional stories with a conventionalised structure.


A report about someone's experience, biographic and not conventionalised.


An account of the properties of natural or cultural objects and phenomena, or procedural instructions.


A dialogue between two or more native speakers.


A public monologue.

Common plots and features

Human children of animals

Both in Vanuatu and in the Saliba data, we find a variety of stories where demigod-like actors who usually descend from animals are irresistible to humans of the opposite sex. They are often admired for their magical powers but may also incite envy. Their animal mothers are often killed.

Animal spouses

Origins of places / rocks / formations

Serving feces

A common motive in both the Saliba data and the stories from Vanuatu is someone serving baked feces to their enemy.

Hansel and Gretel

The theme of the evil step mother who wants to abandon or eat her step-children appears to be quite widespread.

Competition between animals

Animals holding a competition also appears to be quite a common theme.

Hedgehog and hare