Sleep paralysis: at intersection of biology and folklore

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The author examines the concept of “sleep paralysis” from the point of view of biology and folk culture. The key components of this concept, highlighted by various authors, touches on the main problems related to this concept, including the relationship between biological and cultural in the context of sleep paralysis, are presented. In addition, the work describes possible interpretations of sleep paralysis, mythological characters associated with it in the folklore of different peoples of the world, and folklore genres in which it is reflected. Moreover, the article contains examples of narratives about cases of sleep paralysis in folklore; outside the cultural tradition, where mythological characters associated with sleep paralysis are known; as well as an example of the appearance of mythological characters connected with manifestations of sleep paralysis not in a mythological text, but in other folklore genres.

About the authors

Polina B. Povetkina

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8246-5367

Master of Cultural Studies, postgraduate student, Department of Russian Folklore

1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Povetkina P.B.

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