Incubation in Greek and Berber mythology: a comparative approach

Authors: Valeria Argiolas (Iremam, France)
Fatima Leham (Inalco, France)
Speakers: Valeria Argiolas, Fatima Leham
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
COMELA 2022 General Session


In Greek mythology, Hypnos designates the eternal Sleep, he is the God of sleep.

Oneiric practices, very old in Africa, are mentioned by Herodotus among the Nasamons, while Pomponius Mela reports that the Augiles (of the oasis of Aoudjila) used to lie down on the tombs and to take as answers the dreams they had while they slept (Benseddik and Camps). Among the Kabyles the god of sleep is designated by the term Bur. The owl is called bururu because it spends the night pleading with its howls to the god Bur to send it sleep.The expression yečča tit n bururu litt. “to swallow the eye of the owl” means: “to lose sleep for a long time”.

Benseddik et G. Camps, « Incubation », Encyclopédie berbère, 24 | 2001, 3714-3722.

Keywords: incubation, mythology