Perchta the belly‐slitter and her kin: a view of some traditional threatening figures, threats and punishments

@article{Smith12004PerchtaTB,
  title={Perchta the belly‐slitter and her kin: a view of some traditional threatening figures, threats and punishments},
  author={John B. Smith1},
  journal={Folklore},
  year={2004},
  volume={115},
  pages={167 - 186}
}
In the contemporary folklore of Austria, Frau Perchta (active during the twelve days of Christmas) is depicted as the rewarder of the generous and the punisher of the bad. But the punishments she inflicts, such as ripping out a person's guts and replacing them with refuse, do not seem to fit the crime. This paper links Perchta's behaviour, and that of other bogeyman figures, to their historical context. Initially Perchta was the enforcer of communal taboos, hunting down those who spun on… 

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