ABSTRACT: Although the Native Americans and the Romanians have very aloof cultures, a closer analysis of their folktales reveals a series of common points which can account for, from an anthropological point of view, a unique way of thinking of the First Men. The way they see life, their cultural traits, their worries and joys reflect in folk narratives shared in various occasions or for different purposes, as means of passing down folk wisdom. This paper is a case study, an analysis of a native american folktale, „The Seven Headed Dragon”, from Stith Thompson’s anthology Tales of the North American Indians (1929), analysis which has the purpose of revealing the tale`s structure and content features, with an emphasis on motifs recurrent in most cultures and remarks on their occurences in Romanian folktales. The case study grounds itself on two premises: firstly, the analysis is based on tale types and motifs, in a process of identifying the elements of structure on which the story is built. We use the concepts of type and motif, as they are defined in Stith Thompson`s studies and the international catalogues: Motif Index of Folk Literature, Stith Thompson, 6 volumes (1956-1966) and the ATU catalogue, The Types of International Folktales, the revised edition from 2004, by Anti Aarne, Stith Thompson and Hans Jörg Uther. Secondly, the reader must bare in mind that the European and American cultures have a different understanding of the narrative forms of folklore. In the culture of the Native peoples, myths, legends, fairytales, folktales, anecdotes blend, whereas in the European one, there are, in most cases, well established boundaries between genres. This case study is part of a bigger research of the native folktales from the Northern part of the American continent, in an attempt of revealing, once more if necessary, the importance of stories, storytelling and their way of creating links between people across the world.
KEYWORDS: culture, natives, storytelling, tale type, motif.