Jean de l'Ours
Jean de l'Ours (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ də luʁs])[b] or John the Bear, John of the Bear, John-of-the-Bear, John Bear, is the leading character in the French folktale Jean de l'Ours classed as Type 301B in the Aarne-Thompson system; it can also denote any tale of this type.
Some typical elements are that the hero is born half-bear, half-human. He obtains a weapon, usually a heavy iron cane, and on his journey, bands up with two or three companions. At a castle the hero defeats an adversary, pursues him to a hole, discovers an underworld, and rescues three princesses. The companions abandon him in the hole, taking the princesses for themselves. The hero escapes, finds the companions and gets rid of them. He marries the most beautiful princess of the three, but not before going through certain ordeal(s) by the king.
Numerous variants exist in France, often retaining the name Jean de l'Ours or something similar for the hero. Some of the analogues in Europe that retain the names corresponding to "John" are: Jan de l'Ors (Occitan: [ˈdʒan de ˈluɾs]); Joan de l'Os (Catalan: [ʒuˈan də ˈlɔs] or [dʒoˈan də ˈlɔs]); Juan del Oso, Juan el Oso, Juanito el Oso, Juanillo el Oso (Spanish: [ˈxwan (d)el ˈoso], [xwaˈnito el ˈoso; -niʎo]); Giovanni dell'Orso (Italian: [dʒoˈvanni delˈlorso]), Iann he vaz houarn (Breton);[c] Ivashko Medvedko (Russian). The tale has also propagated to the New World, with examples from French Canada, Mexico, etc.
- 1 Physical appearance
- 2 Tale type
- 3 French versions
- 4 Other versions
- 5 Pyrenees
- 6 Occitan
- 7 Basque
- 8 Spain
- 9 Versions in the Americas
- 10 John Bear in literature
- 11 See also
- 12 Explanatory notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Several French versions explicitly comment on Jean de l'ours being covered with body hair on his entire body. One Gascon version, Jan l'Oursét adds that he had "a large head just like a bear's, except for its shape".
The hero is human from the waist up and bear from the waist down in a Mexican version (Juan el Oso) as well as the Russian tale "Ivanko Medv(i)edko" (or "Ivanko the Bear's son"). For comparison, in the Avar tale "Bear's Ear", the protagonist has ears like a bear.
Jean de l'Ours is a beautiful abandoned child raised by a mother bear in Henri Carnoy's version (1885). Along the same vein, Jean de l'Ours was a beautiful foundling adopted by a widow according to Carnoy in another version (1885, illustrated by Édouard Zier), but this, except for an altered telling of the boy's origin, is by and large identical to the tale given earlier by Hippolyte Babou (1862):[d] In both texts he is depicted as an angel-faced, blue-eyed boy who wears a bearskin around his loins, has a lush mane like Samson's falling from head to chest, and carries a poplar sapling as a staff.
In an artist's depiction by Jean-Claude Pertuzé Le conte de Jean de l'ours (1988), Jean appears with rounded bear's ears attached high on his head.
"John the Bear" is categorized as Type 301 or "Three Stolen Princesses" type.[e] Type 301 is also sometimes termed the "Bear' son" type, although "Bear's Son Tale" in general practice is a looser term that encompasses both 301 and 650A types.
The tale is classed more narrowly as type 301 B, and the whole group dubbed the "Jean de l'ours" type, especially in French folkloristics quarters, whereas 301B is often called the "Strong man and his Companions" type in English-language circles. And analogues of "Jean de l'ours" often get admixed with elements of another but very similar tale type, Strong John (AT 650).
The Juan Oso tales as analyzed by the Spanish-language folklorists are described in similar vein, with certain differences. Juan Oso tales have disseminated widely to the New World, and fall widely into types 301A, 301B, 301C, or 301D. And they exhibit mixing not only with the AT 650 mentioned above, but also with Type 513 A, "Six Go through the Whole World".
Type 513 A is marked by the presence of "extraordinary helpers". Cosquin believed these [f] were an outside element introduced from other tales; and Clive Claudel attributed such helpers to Thompson's tale type 513 A. Bertram Colgrave on the other hand believed certain companions ("treeman",[g] "mountain man", "stone man", etc.) should be regarded as native to Juan Oso tales, whereas generic companions[h] (such as "the runner") are "strictly speaking" foreign to it.[i][j]
A key example of type 301 B noted by French scholars such as Paul Delarue or Daniel Fabre is the version told by soldiers, and first published by Vidal et Delmart in 1833. No regional localization was given for the version.[k] It was designated version 1 by Delarue, who gave a summary of it. It has also been translated into English as the tale of "The Story of John-of-the-Bear".
- Birth and childhood [l]
A woodcutter's wife looking for wood is abducted by the bear, and gives birth to a child by this bear. The child walks at four months, speaks and runs at one year, and soon even rattles the stone with which the bear plugs the cave. The boy lifts the stone at age 5 or 6, and he and his mother escape. At school, his hairiness earns him the nickname "Jean de l'Ours" from other schoolchildren. He retaliates with violence, the schoolmaster demands his parents punish him, he drops out, and enters apprenticeship under a blacksmith.
- His cane and companions
He leaves the blacksmith, and as compensation, obtains an iron cane weighing 800 pounds in the shaft and 200 pounds more at the pommel. He obtains two companions, Tord-Chêne ("Twistoak") and Tranche-Montagne ("Cutmountain").[m]
- Inside the haunted castle [n]
Jean's party lodge at a castle, without sign of human presence, but with tables and beds prepared, and meals (and other wished-for items) that would appear as if by magic.[o] They decide to go hunting, leaving one behind to sound the lunch bell. Tranche remains at the castle on the first turn, but a size-changing "little giant (petit géant)" descends from the chimney and beats him terribly with a stick.[p] He blames a fall going down to the cellar for being unable to signal. Next day, another companion meets the same fate, and offers a different excuse. Jean defeats the little giant by striking him before he had the chance to grow large, and the enemy flees inside a well.
- Descent and visit to the Underworld
They investigate the well, taking turns being lowered down riding a basket tied to a rope. Only Jean de l'Ours has courage to reach bottom. There John meets his informant, an old woman. She reveals the adversary to be a giant who abducted three princesses from Spain. Each princess is guarded separately: in a steel castle by 2 tigers, a silver castle by 4 leopards, and a gold castle by 6 lions as large as elephants. The old woman also provides a jar of ointment to cure wounds. Jean defeats the beasts and rescues the princesses. Each princess is prettier than the last. He finds them asleep, and uses increasingly gentler means to awaken them. The hero receives from the princesses a steel, a silver, and a golden ball, respectively.
- The hero's climb out
The companions betray Jean and let go of the rope pulling him up. He falls and suffers a bruised body and broken legs, which the ointment cures. Jean gains advice from the old woman on how to escape the Underworld, and is lifted out riding a giant eagle, which requires feeding each time it squawks. Near the end he runs out of meat, and he flays some flesh from his own thigh, but this too heals using the jar of salve.
- The return to the princesses
Jean reaches Madrid. His two former companions have claimed credit for saving the princesses, and the eldest is ordered to choose one of them to marry, but she is granted a stay for a year and a day. Meanwhile, they collect all the Marseilles soap in the kingdom to scrub the two men clean. The hero arrives and rolls his three balls, so the eldest knows to warn the king about their true savior. The king owns another set of the three balls, and declares marriage of his daughters to anyone who could replicate them. The hero succeeds by bringing the three balls he owns, and marries the eldest. The two treacherous companions are hanged on the high gallows.
A version from Lorraine was printed by Emmanuel Cosquin in 1886 (listed as Delarue's version 9). Its English translation appeared in Stith Thompson's One Hundred Favorite Folktales (1968). The plotline is quite similar to the soldier's version summarized above, with numerous differences in detail, which will be noted:
The hero's mother was already pregnant before being captured by bear,[q] but still born half-human, half-bear; given the John the Bear name as a child; apprentices under three blacksmiths,[r] cane is 500 pounds. Three companions: Jean de la Meule (John of the Mill) playing quoits (original: palets) with a millstone, Appuie-Montagne (Hold-up-Mountain)[s] and Oak-Twister (Tord-Chêne). At the castle, the giant is the one to attack whichever companion in turn (staying at castle while the others hunt; this is chosen by lot). Two companions both blame harm from kitchen smoke. John destroys the giant, splitting it in two with a cane.
He discovers underworld by knocking on the floor with the cane; He descends hanging on a rope;[t] at the bottom, hero's informant is a fairy (fée); hero destroys little devils in two rooms[u] before reaching a chamber of three princesses; companions release rope carrying the hero.[v][w]
The hero's escape from Underworld is up to a point by the "path leading to the ground above" formula, but unique in that the fairy warns him not to look back at the little light behind (lest the light vanish and make him unable to see anything). Hero after regains princesses from companions yet sends them home — this is also an unusual pattern; Jean refuses invitation to kingdom at that point, and only after princesses have forgotten about him, enters kingdom on his own volition. Formulaic test of replicating three balls is solved by balls hero obtained from princesses, but in this version, each is specifically an ornate ball made with pearls, diamonds and emeralds.[x]
Jean de l'Ours in most cases is the child of a mother and a bear. However, in some versions his origins are less clearly defined, i.e. his mother is already pregnant before being captured, and then gives birth to him, though he is nevertheless born a half-bear, half-human (Cosquin's version above).[q]
His cane weighs from 500 pounds (e.g. Cosquin's two full versions) ranging to 10,000 pounds (Carnoy ed.) in a version from Provence. Provence is where not the standard French but Provençal is the traditional language spoken, and the cane's weight of 10,000 pounds matches the 100 quintals given in an actual Provençal text published by Nelli, The cane's weight can even be 100,000 pounds, in a cognate tale from Brittany called "Yves of the iron stick", but this tale gives no bear-associated origins for the hero, and belongs in a group characterized by Delarue as being in the "periphery", to be distinguished from the main group of French tales that includes the representative example (Soldiers' version).
There are other examples where the hero is "John Iron-Stick", named after his cane (e.g., Jean Bâton de Fer, from a manuscript collection of tales from Nièvres,) but this tale also lacks the bear-origins opening.[y] From Brittany, there is also Jean au bâton de fer,[z] where the hero is in the mother's womb for 3 years. as well as a version given in both translation and in the Breton language original, Jean a la Bar de Fer aka Iann he vaz houarn.
Other times, the cane is not iron, but an oak trunk of an equally imposing size.
The hero's adversary at the "haunted" castle is typically a dwarf (or little man) who might be caple of becoming a giant, or just a giant, or it may be the devil in some instances. In the underworld, hordes of devils (or a devil) as enemies are a commonplace, but the devil(s) can be the hero's informant or both.
The ungrateful companions suffer various fates: either disappear, are punished, or forgiven depending on the version.
Versions of the tale found in the Pyrenees region, across languages. These include for example "Joan de l'Ors" in Occitan, from the Aude province, in the French Pyrenees, Joan de l'Os in Catalan on the Spanish side, and examples in Basque.
Daniel Fabre noted in his study of Jean de l'ours that there were parallels between the birth origins of the hero and the various bear festivals in the Pyrenees region, held during Candlemas or Carnival seasons.
In some legends, the Pic du Midi d'Ossau is the head of John the Bear. In the Pyrenees, 'Jean' is sometimes regarded as an Anglicized corruption of "people" (gens) or "giants" (géants), an assumption which works well in French, but not in the various other languages and dialects of the region.
An Occitan version Jan de l'Ours, collected by Urbain Gibert in Sougraigne, Aude was published by René Nelli, alongside his side-by-side French translation. Nelli may have preferred the orthography "Joan de L'Ors", or at least that was the spelling he used when he was alerting his pending publication.
Fabre and J. Lacroix also published a recitation of the tale by a conteuse from Aude (Louise Cassagneau).
The 19th century writer Valère Bernard had worked the Joan de l'Orso character throughout his prodigious work la Légenda d'Esclarmonda, and there was a building on that icon, so that in the eyes of some Joan de l'Orso may have appeared as "the hero par excellence of the Pays d'Oc".
Other Provence tales
Some tales from Provence were published in standard French. In Hippolyte Babou's version (1862), considered to be an arranged piece of work to a large degree, the hero goes to the Holy Land region into Palestine on his bearskin, and faces off with an archdemon who rides a shark. (Likewise in the version close to it printed by Henri Carnoy, with illustrations by Édouard François Zier).
Henri Carnoy also published a version[ab] in which a mother who had no food due to famine exposed her infant in the woods, but the child was raised by a mother bear that lost one of its cubs. The plotline is somewhat elaborate. A slaying of dragons rescues three princesses, Pomme d'or, Pomme d'argent, Pomme de cuivre ("Golden-Apple", "Silver-Apple", "Copper-Apple"). Although this is enough number of brides for Jean's party, the betrayal of the cut cord still ensues. Pomme d'or refuses marriage to a traitor, and wishes to wed Jean. So the two companions consult a witch on a way to murder Jean and Pomme d'or. An evil spirit with the black beard who enters into the betrayers' service is defeated and killed by Pomme d'or's guardian spirit, whom she summons by biting into her gold apple. The two companions are punished by the guardian spirit, but afterwards forgiven by Jean.
One Basque version of the tale is Juan Artz, edited by Resurrección María de Azkue accompanied by Spanish translation. The name Juan Artz denotes "Juan Bear", where hartza is the word for "bear". The story begins by stating "They say that Juan was raised by a she-bear in the mountains because his mother had no breast". This pattern where not a male but female bear is involved, and suckles the infant, is given by Delarue as one of the alternative origins for hero in the tale group, but it is not exhibited in many examples in his list.[ac] This motif of a she-bear raising the hero is paralleled by Orson, in Valentine and Orson, a tale widely read in roman bleue (chapbook) form in the early modern period.
In the tale given by Jean Barbier, Hachko eta harén bi lagunak (French: Hachko et ses deux compagnons; "Hachko and his two companions"),[ad] instead of a bear, it is the Basa-Jaun ([bas̺a jaun],[ae] French: Seigneur Sauvage) who kidnaps the girl in the forest and carries her to an underground dwelling. But Barbier's version which makes this substitution has been suspected of being an interpolation of a modern date, most probably by Barbier himself, in a study by N. Zaïkak.
According to the hypothesis, Barbier based his tale on Jean-François Cerquand's version, l'Ourson or Le fils d'ours ("bear cub" or "bear's son"; Basque: Hartch Ume) published in 1878 and 1882. This version was taken down from a native of Mendive in Basse-Navarre.[af]
Aurelio Espinosa, Sr. published three versions of Juan el Oso from Spain in his Cuentos Populares Españoles: Juanito el Oso (from Blacos, Soria in Castile and León and another from Tudanca, Santander) and Juanillo el Oso (from Villaluenga, Toledo).
Versions found in Spain are marked by the motif of the devil's ear, or Lucifer's ear, which are present in Espinosa's versions named above. When the hero cuts the ear off the diabolical adversary, he has gained mastery over him, and thereafter, the hero can summon the devil by biting on the ear, and command him at his disposal. In one tale the hero encounters a duende (a sort of dwarf) who severs his own ear and gives it to Juanito. In some versions, "Lucifer's Ear" becomes the title of the tale. This motif also occurs widely in various versions from Latin America and Spanish-speaking populace in the United States (§Versions in the Americas).
In Juanito el Oso (Blacos version above), the bear's son has a massive ball weighing 100 arrobas (2500 lbs.) made for him, to be used as weapon. His companions are Arrancapinos y Hace sogas "Uproots-Pinetrees-and-Makes-Ropes") and Allana cerros con Culo ("Flattens-Hills-with-Buttocks").
Espinosa published more versions in Cuentos populares de Castilla y León: Juanillo el Oso and Juan Os from Peñafiel, Valladolid. And a non-ursine variant, called El Hijo Burra ("Donkey's son") from Roa, Burgos.
Versions in the Americas
American folklorist Robert A. Barakat published in English translation his collected versions "of North Mexico". These included a tale collected in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (Juan el oso),[ag] as well as tales from natives of that city residing in the United States: Juan Oso collected in El Paso, Texas, 1964,[ah] and a fragmentary Juan de la burra (John of the Donkey).
Frank Goodwyn had also published 1953 a complete Juan de la burra (collected in Chicago). Here, it can be seen that not only is the animal transposed to a female donkey, it is not the hero's parent, but only his wetnurse which allowed the abandoned child to suckle. It thus resembles the tale of El Hijo Burra ("Donkey's son") of Spain.[ai]
The hero's helpers in the El Paso version were Aplanacerros (Mountain Breaker) and Tumbapinos (Pine Twister), reminiscent of names in the French version. Whereas in the Juan de la burra, they were Carguín Cargón (the Carrier) Soplín Soplón (the Sigher) Oidín Oidón (the Hearer), exactly as found in Fernán Caballero's La oreja de Lucifer, although this is recognized as a Type 301B tale, but Caballero's protagonist has no connection to a bear or another substituted animal. In Mexican versions, the machete, or a machete weighing 24 kilograms has displaced the massive cane in French versions.
John Bear in literature
In 1868, Prosper Merimee published Lokis, a new telling of a mysterious marriage Count, which appears to be born from the rape of his mother, and probably by a bear, these elements are gradually revealed, until the epilogue where the animal instincts of the character come to the fore. This news is written following a trip Merimee did in Lithuania and the Baltic countries where the story (or legend) was underway.
In 1990, Alina Reyes evokes the myth in her second novel, Lucie au Long Cours.
In 2011, the novel by Philippe Jaenada "Woman and Bear" explicitly refers to the tale.
- Cf. Jean-Claude Pertuzé's illustrations which depict Jean de l'ours with bear's ears.
- Note that final s is pronounced.
- French translation: Jean à la barre en fer, i.e. "John with the iron stick".
- In Babou's version, a widow is abducted by a bear who makes the sign of the cross, and she stays with the bear. She returns a year later with a 3-month old as large as she.
- The "Three Stolen Princesses" is something of an official title, published in Aarne-Thompson Types (1961) and Uther's Types (2004).
- Oak-Twister, Millstone-Hurler, Mountain-Pusher in the French tales
- In the Mexican tale, arrancador or "puller" of trees.
- i.e., "of the general fairy tale type" to use Colgrave's exact wording.
- Or, "strictly speaking, do not belong to the bear's-son saga" to put it in Colgrave's words).
- Colgrave provides the generic extraordinary companions with the definition that they are those that have "their senses or faculties strongly developed like the runner, the hearer, the taster, the smeller, or the man with the highly developed sense". (Cf. Thompson's comment that men "endowed with some remarkable power (supernatural sight, hearing, speed, or the like", recur in tale types 513 and 514, and many others besides.
- "Version des soldats, non localisée" (Delarue (1949), p. 315).
- Delarue's section heading is "II. Naissance et enfance du héros".
- Translated "Twistoak" and "Cutmountain" in the Borzoi Book. Tord/Twistoak used oak trees as cord to tie bundles of wood, Tranche/Cutmountain lifted boulders with pincers and smashed them).
- Delarue entitled the section "IV. Dans le château hanté".
- When a pipe to smoke is wished for, it states "Poof! And there were three pipes of excellent Maryland tobacco on the table".
- Fife translates "walking-stick", Delarue gives bâton.
- Delarue: femme enceinte avant capture), Delarue (1949), p. 323, note on version 9 (Cosquin).
- But staying long only with the third to learn his trade
- Holding up a mountain to keep it from falling and being dashed to bits.
- As in the soldier's version, they ring a little bell (clochette) as signal to be lifted up.
- 11 devils in one room, 12 in another. Compare the three types of beasts in three castles in Delarue's version 1 above.
- Whether cutting or releasing is still the same motif VI a1 according to Delarue's analysis.
- The broken leg is healed by the ointment also, which here the fairy provides.
- "3 boules ornée de perles, diamants, émauds," noted as unique element, Delarue (1949), p. 320–323.
- Delarue's IIa and b elements.
- "Jean with the Iron-Stick".
- Collado who made the claim draws on Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, but Ladurie merely analyzed the bear in these rituals as having aspects of both a flock-endangering beast, and a satyr-like sexual predator.
- Already referred to above in #Physical appearance and regarding the weight of the cane in #Other versions.
- Few examples, apparently only Delarue's 5., from Birette, B. Norm., 44.
- Hachko means "little bear".
- The initial /j/ may be ɟ, d͡ʒ, ʒ, ʃ, or χ.
- In the story, a girl returning from Mendive to Otchagarria in Spain is abducted by a bear in the Irati Forest.
- Barakat does not clearly identify the tale type, suggesting it is contaminated by several motifs "usually found in other tale types", p. 335.
- Barakat says "John Bear" follows the typical plotline of type 301A. Barakat (1965), p. 335.
- Except the hero has no name like "Juan" in the Spanish tale from Roa, Burgos.
- The machete given by Mountain Jumper.
- The iron weapon which the grandfather (the king) provides. Barakat assumes it to be a machete in subsequent discussion (Barakat (1967)).
- Thompson (1968), pp. 3–9.
- Creighton, Taft & Caplan (1993), pp. 81-88.
- Delarue & Fife (tr.) (1956), pp. 45-65.
- Delarue (1949), pp. 318-320: analysis of themes for sections II ~ VII (applicable to Type 301 B)
- Maspons y Labrós (1871), pp. 11–17.
- Amades (1974), pp. 3–8.
- Espinosa (1924), pp. 275–283.
- Visentini (1879), pp. 157–161.
- Afanasief, A. N. (1860–63) Naronuiya Russkiya Skazki, Moscow, VIII, No. 6
- Chambers, Raymond Wilson (1921), Beowulf: An Introduction to the Study of the Poem, The University Press, pp. 371–375
- Delarue's element II c, "II a le corps couvert de poils", Delarue (1949), p. 318, seen in versions 1, 4, 9, (Cosquin's no. 1), etc.
- Delarue's 67, Delarue (1949), p. 334, Duffard (1902), "Jan l'Oursét (Jean l'Ourset)", L'Armagnac Noir, ou Bas-Armagnac, pp. 211– 230.
- "John Bear" (Juan Oso) from Leopold Gemoets, then 19 years old, resident of El Paso, Texas, collected in 1964, Barakat (1965), pp. 331–332.
- Cosquin (1876), p. 88, citing Gubernatis.
- Haney, Jack V., "Ivanko the Bear's son", The Complete Russian Folktale: Russian animal tales
- Cosquin (1876), p. 88, citing Schiefner.
- Schiefner, Anton, "C'il`in (Bärenohr)", Awarische Texte, Mémoires de l'Académie impériale des sciences de St.-Petersbourg, series 3, vol. XIX, No. 6
- Delarue's 71 Jean l’Ours et ses compagnons, Carnoy (1885a), pp. 23–38.
- Carnoy, É. Henri (1885b), Édouard Zier (illustr.), "Jean-de-l'Ours: l'Hercule gaulois", Les légendes de France, A. Quantin, pp. 193–220
- Babou (1862), pp. 198–208. Delarue's 66, Delarue (1949), p. 334, summarized in Jourdanne, Gaston, (1900) , p. 124.
- Carnoy (1885b), p. 195.
- Babou (1862), p. 199.
- Barakat (1965), p. 330.
- Thompson (1977), p. 287: "Three Stolen Princesses".
- Aarne, Antti; Stith, Thompson (1961), The Types of the Folktale, Helsinki, pp. 90–93, cited by Template:Harpv
- Uther, Hans-Jörg (2004), "The types of international folktales. a classification and bibliography", FF Communications, 284: 176–
- Thompson (1977), pp. 33, 85.
- Bierhorst, John (2016), Duggan, Anne E.; Haase, Donald; Callow, Helen J. (eds.), "Bear's Son", Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from around the World (2 ed.), ABC-CLIO, 1, p. 105
- Fabre (1968), pp. 28-29.
- Stitt, J. Michael (1992). Beowulf and the bear's son: epic, saga, and fairytale in northern Germanic tradition. Garland Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8240-7440-1.
- Collado (1993), p. 343.
- Hansen, Terrance Leslie (1957), The Types of the Folktale in Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, and Spanish South America, pp. 24–25, 75–77, cited by Barakat (1965), p. 335 and note 6
- Espinosa (1987), p. 467.
- Claudel, Calvin (1952), "Some Comments on the Bear's Son Tale", Southern Folklore Quarterly, XVI: 186–191
- Colgrave (1951), p. 411.
- Thompson (1977), , p. 280 and note 17.
- Delmart & Vidal (1833), pp. 223–253.
- Delarue (1957), pp. 110–133.
- Fabre (1968), pp. 28-36.
- Delarue (1949), p. 332.
- Delarue (1949), pp. 315-317.
- Delarue & Fife (tr.) (1956), pp. 45-49.
- Delarue & Fife (tr.) (1956), pp. 49-50.
- Delarue & Fife (tr.) (1956), pp. 50-55.
- Delarue & Fife (tr.) (1956), pp. 55-60.
- Delarue & Fife (tr.) (1956), pp. 60-63.
- Delarue & Fife (tr.) (1956), pp. 63-.
- Cosquin (1886), pp. 1–27.
- Thompson (1968), pp. 4–5.
- Thompson (1968), pp. 5–6.
- It is commonplace theme VI e8 "par une route qui ramène à la terre", but Delarue noted the additional "ne doit pas regarder derrière", Delarue (1949), pp. 320, 323.
- Delarue notes, after VII a that "Chasse ses compagnons, princesses rentrent chez le roi".
- Delarue's theme VII c3, Delarue (1949), pp. 320, 323
- Thompson (1968), p. 6.
- Delarue (1949), p. 318.
- Element II, b. "Il naít d'un ours et d'une femme enlevée".
- Delarue (1949), p. 323.
- Delarue's versions 9 and 10, Cosquin's No.1, summarized above, and Cosquin's No. 52, La canne de cinq cents livre, Contes populaires de Lorraine II, p. 195 =1886 ed., II, p. 135, although in the latter the hero is a boy with no given name.
- Nelli (1941), pp. 91–98.
- Delarue's 65, citing Folkore, April 1941. This is Nelli (1941)'s edited text.
- Delarue's version 42., Le Dot (1906), "Yves et son bâton de fer", Revue des traditions populaires, XXI (12): 469–474 (in French)
- Delarue (1949), pp. 339–340.
- Delarue's version 26., Ms. Millien-Delarue, version J.
- Delarue's version 40. Luzel, F. M. (1906), "Jean au bâton de fer", Revue des traditions populaires, XXI (12): 465–467 (in French)
- Troude, Amable; Milin (1870), "Iann he vaz houarn (Jean a la Bar de Fer)", Le conteur breton, ou Contes bretons (in Breton and French), pp. 132–179 (Delarue's 38)
- Delarue's element IV c is adversary with a tiny body, c3 is him growing ever larger, c4 is him coming from the devil. Delarue (1949), p. 328
- Delarue lists the devil (IV c4) Delarue's version 27., Millien-Delarue version K, version 30., ms. version N; "little devil (diablotin)" in version 46. Sébillot, Paul (1881), "Jean de l'ours", Littérature orale de la Haute-Bretagne (in French), pp. 81–86; a seven-headed devil (of which Jean breaks three heads) in Delarue's 59, Seignolle, Claude, ed. (1946), "Jean de l'ours (No. 7)", Contes populaires de Guyenne, G.-P. Maisonneuve, pp. 63-
- Delarue's element Ve
- Delarue's element VI b "he asks how to escape from an old woman", b1 "from another being in the Underworld". Delarue's 26., Ms. ver. J,
- Delarue's 21., Ms. Millien-Delarue ver. E.
- Delarue (1949), p. 320.
- Delarue's element VI c is his climbing out, c1 by a monster or quadruped, c2 by an eagle or some other bird.
- Delarue's 58., Seignolle, Claude, ed. (1946), "Jean de l'ours (No. 6)", Contes populaires de Guyenne (in French), G.-P. Maisonneuve, pp. 53-
- Fabre (1968), pp. 10-11.
- Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel (1979), Le Carnaval de Romans, p. 342
- Collado (1993), pp. 348.
- Nelli (1941), pp. 91-98.
- Gardy, Philippe (2005), "À la recherche d'un " héros occitan " ? Jean de l'Ours dans la littérature d'oc aux" (PDF), Lengas: revue de sociolinguistique (56): 273, archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03 (S2)
- Fabre, Daniel; Lacroix, Jacque (1979), "Récit, discours, texte: une conteuse en action", Via domitia, XX-XXII: 70 (47–80)
- Gardy (2005), pp. 269-270.
- Bernard, Valère (1936), la Légenda d'Esclarmonda, Societat d'Estudis Occitans
- Delarue (1949), p. 349, Delarue's 66, "très arr. (arrangé)".
- Babou (1862), p. 202.
- Carnoy (1885b), pp. 212–213.
- Listed under Type 301B by Amores (1997), pp. 65–67
- Zaïkak (2014), p. 103, Juan Artz 'Juan l’Ours', and p. 142, note 184, glossing hartza.
- Azkue (1942), II, p. 196, Basque and Spanish. "Mendian, amak bularrik ezeukalako, artz batek ezi eieban Juan (Dicen que a Juan le crió en el monte una osa porque sua madre no tenía pecho)".
- Collado (1993), p. 368, this opening sentence retranslated into French.
- Theme IIb2 or b3 and b4, Delarue (1949), p. 318
- Delarue (1949), p. 337.
- Collado (1993), p. 368.
- Fabre (1969a), pp. 18–19.
- Trask, R. L. (2008), Etymological Dictionary of Basque, Wheeler, Max W. (ed.), University of Sussex, p. 35
- Zaïkak (2014), p. 165.
- Barbier (1931).
- Zaïkak (2014), pp. 142-143: "On peut même supposer que le conte de Barbier est plus tardif et qu’il est résultat d’une substitution de l’ours par Basa-Jaun".
- Zaïkak (2014), p. 87: Zaïkak proposes three scenarios: the second is the case where Barbier's informant who had read Cerquand created an interpolated version. The third scenario where Barbier adapted from Cerquand, is the case Zaïkak deems as most likely.
- Cerquand (1878) Mélusine I, p. 160 (gives Basque title as "Hartch Ume")
- Cerquand (1882) Légendes 2, pp. 11–14; 148–149
- 133. Juanito el Oso from Blacos, Soria, Espinosa (1924), p. 275–278
- 134. Juanito el Oso from Tudanca,Espinosa (1924), pp. 278–280
- 135. Juanillo el Oso from Villaluenga, Toledo, Espinosa (1924), pp. 280–283
- Goodwyn (1953), p. 154.
- Amores (1997), pp. 65–67 collects Caballero's La oreja de Lucifer from Andalucia and Fasternath's La oreja del diablo from Seville in his tale type list.
- Caballero (1859), pp. 51–58.
- Caballero & Ingram (tr.) (1887), pp. 88–98.
- La oreja de Lucifer, a literary version by Fernán Caballero.
- Espinosa (1987), pp. 100–108.
- Espinosa (1987),
- Espinosa (1987), pp. 108–110.
- "John the Bear" (Juan el Oso) from a 20 years-old resident of Ciudad Juarez, collected 1964, Barakat (1965), pp. 333–334.
- "John of the Donkey" (Juan de la burra), only the concluding portion, collected in La Union, New Mexico, 1963, from Francisco Melendez, age 78, Barakat (1965), p. 334.
- Goodwyn (1953), pp. 143–154.
- "John of the Bear (Juan del Oso)" from Sandra Maria de Jesus Padilla, age 28, in: Barakat (1967), pp. 3–6
- Amores (1997), pp. 65–67.
- Juan el oso from Ciudad Juárez, Barakat (1965), pp. 331–332
- Goodwyn (1953), p. 145.
- "European variants hero a magic sword or walking stick; Mexican versions give him a machete", Barakat (1965), p. 330
- ―texts (France - Langues d'oïl)
- Cosquin, Emmanuel (1886), "Jean de l'Ours", Contes populaires de Lorraine (in French), Vieweg, 1, pp. 1–27 (Delarue's 9)
- Delmart, J.; Vidal, Léon (1833), La Caserne, moeurs militaires (in French), pp. 223–253 (Delarue's 1)
- Delarue, Paul (1957), Le Conte populaire français (in French), 1, Érasme, pp. 110–133
- Delarue, Paul (1956), Fife, Austin E. (tr.), Chappell, Walter (illustr.), "The Story of John-of-the-Bear and the Story of Cricket (soldier's versions)", The Borzoi Book of French Folk Tales, Knopf, pp. 45–69 (in French)
- Babou, Hippolyte (1862), "Jean-de-l'ours", Les payens innocents: nouvelles (in French), Poulet-Malassis, pp. 195–208 (Delarue's 66)
- Carnoy, É. Henri (1885a). "Jean l'Ours et ses compagnons". Contes français (in French). Ernest Leroux. pp. 23–38. (Delarue's 71.)
- Duffard, Paul (1902), "Jan l'Oursét (Jean l'Ourset)", L'Armagnac Noir, ou Bas-Armagnac (in Occitan), pp. 211–230 (Gascon) (in French) (Delarue's 67.)
- Nelli, René (1941), "Recherches sur Jean de l'Ours" (PDF), Folklore (in Occitan and French), XXX (22): 91–98 (Delarue's 65.)
- Maspons y Labrós, Francisco (1871), "Joan de l'Os", Lo Rondallayre: quentos populars catalans, Álvar Verdaguer, pp. 11–17 The full text of this work at Wikisource
- Amades, Joan (1974), "En Joan de l'Os", Folklore de Catalunya: Rondallística (rondalles), Álvar Verdaguer, pp. 3–8
- Espinosa, Aurelio M., ed. (1924), "D. Juan el Oso (No. 133, 134, 135)", Cuentos Populares Españoles, Stanford University, 2, pp. 275–283
- Espinosa, Aurelio M., ed. (1987), "62. Juanillo el Oso, 63. Juan Oso, 64. 64 El Hijo Burru", Cuentos populares de Castilla y León, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1, pp. 17, 100–110, 467
- Caballero, Fernán (1859), "La oreja de Lucifer", Cuentos y poesias populares andaluces, Sevilla: La Revista mercantil, pp. 51–58
- Azkue, Resurrección María de (1942), Euskalerriaren yakintza, 2, Elkar, pp. 196–199 (in Basque) (in Spanish)
- Barbier, Jean (1931), "Hachko eta harén bi lagunak (Hachko et ses deux compagnons)", Légendes du Pays Basque d'après la tradition (in French), Elkar, pp. - (in Basque)
- Cerquand, J. F. (1878), "L'ourson (Hartch ume)", Mélusine (in French), 1: 160
- Cerquand, J. F. (1882), "81. Le fils d'ours (l'Ourson)", Légendes et récits populaires du pays basque (in French and Basque), L. Ribaut, 2, pp. 11–14, 148–149
- Visentini, Isaia (1879), "Joan de l'Os", Lo Fiabe mantovane, Canti e racconti del popolo italiano, E. Loescher, VII, pp. 157–161
- ―(Mexican versions)
- Colgrave, Bertram (1951). "A Mexican Version of the 'Bear's Son' Folk Tale". The Journal of American Folklore. 64 (254): 409–413. JSTOR 537011
- Barakat, Robert A. (1965). "The Bear's Son Tale in Northern Mexico". The Journal of American Folklore. LXXVIII (310): 330–336. JSTOR 538440
- Barakat, Robert A. (1967). "John of the Bear and ‘Beowulf’". Western Folklore. 26 (1): 1–11.
- Goodwyn, Frank (1953). "Another Mexican Version of the 'Bear's Son' Folk Tale". The Journal of American Folklore. LXXVIII (260): 143–154. JSTOR 537328
- ―(English Canada)
- Creighton, Helen; Taft, Michael; Caplan, Ronald (1993), "John of the Bear", A folk tale journey through the Maritimes, Breton Books, pp. 81–88 (Acadian Tales and Mrs. Laura McNeil, West Pubnico, N. S.)
- ―secondary sources
- Amores, Montserrat (1997), "El fortachón y sus companeros (Tipo 301B)", Catálogo de cuentos folclóricos reelaborados por escritores del siglo 19 (in Spanish), Editorial CSIC - CSIC Press, pp. 65–69
- Collado, Marian García (1993), "Le conte entre l'oral, le représenté et l'écrit. l'histoire du conte "Jean de l'ours"", Merveilles & contes, 7 (2): 341–382 JSTOR 41390372 (in French)
- Delarue, Paul (1949), "Le Conte populaire français: Inventaire analytique et méthodique", Nouvelle revue des traditions populaires, Presses Universitaires de France, 1 (4): 312–341 JSTOR 40991689 (in French)
- Fabre, Daniel (1968), "Recherches sur Jean de l'Ours" (PDF), Folklore: revue d'ethnographie méridonale (in French), XXI (131–132): 2–41
- Fabre, Daniel (1969a), "Recherches sur Jean de l'Ours (2e partie)" (PDF), Folklore: revue d'ethnographie méridonale (in French), XXII (134): 2–36
- Fabre, Daniel (1969b). Jean de l'Ours: analyse formelle et thématique d'un conte populaire. éditions de la revue Folklore. (Contents of 1968 and 1969a) (in French)
- Thompson, Stith (1977), The Folktale, University of California Press, pp. 32–33, 183, 85–86, 52, 287, Index.
- Zaïkak, Natalia M. (2014), Approche textologique et comparative du conte traditionnel basque dans les versions bilingues de 1873 à 1942: (W. Webster, J.-F. Cerquand, J. Barbier, R. M. de Azkue) (PDF) (in French), Euskaltzaindia, ISBN 978-84-943211-3-9
- Claude Azemard (2001). "Jean de l'ours (Version inédite de Michel Cosem)". Balades dans les Pyrénées avec le GR 10. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12.