About the Type Index for Migratory Legends

The Migratory Legends (ML)

Some legends are widespread over large areas, and are called migratory legends. In 1958, Reidar Th. Christiansen created an index for migratory legends, the so-called migratory legends catalogue (ML). Following the example of the folktale index, it is organized according to the motifs in the legends. The index is divided into two main groups: Belief Legends and Historical Legends.

To avoid confusion with the numbers of the folktale catalogue, the numbers begin at ML 3000. Christiansen suggested that the catalogue could be expanded, and therefore chose to have a five-number gap between each type. The first type is number ML 3000, the second ML 3005, etc.

The index was developed on the basis of Norwegian data, but was intended as an international catalogue. However, it has only been used to a limited extent outside Norway.

Christiansen's index  was later proofread and expanded by Inger Christiansen. She added two types, ML 4035 Deildegasten and ML 4095 Nøkken as a horse. SAMLA uses this revised catalogue.