Open Access

Estonian Fairy Tales up the Beanstalk into Heaven and Coal Porridge: Two Tales of Growing Up


The article* focuses on two Estonian fairy tale types that have been recorded among the Orthodox Seto minority in the south-eastern corner of Estonia. In the index of Estonian folktales they have been described under tales of magic (fairy tales) as tale types Ee 328C* and Ee 327H*. One of the tale types observed is a masculine folk tale (one with male protagonists), the other can be considered a feminine folk tale with female protagonists despite it seemingly having two main characters of different genders. In both tales the protagonists reach a hostile place after moving through liminality, and both tales can be interpreted as tales of growing up.