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Mekidech Marries the Daughter of Death


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(Kabyle/Algeria)

Mekidech is a mythic hero.

Mekidech, a dwarf and one of seven brothers, goes hunting. A young woman warns him of her ogre-mother, a death-dealing person. The trickster-hero Mekidech deceives the blind ogre, taking parts of her property from her each night. His brothers, envious, attempt to do the same, but they must be rescued by Mekidech. Finally, he takes the ogre's daughter. He is caught by the ogre and put into a pot. He convinces the daughter that she should release him, and he moves higher in the house. To catch him, the ogre piles wood, and when she is halfway up the woodpile, Mekidech sets it on fire, killing her. He brings the daughter home, and his parents are delighted, but they fear that the daughter will avenge the dead mother. Mekidech makes the daughter promise that she will change into a woman, no longer an ogre. She swears that she will do that, becomes a woman, and is united with Mekidech.

Subjects: Religion.


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