There are many different folk tales in the world, but many tales are variations on a limited number of themes. The classification system originally designed by Aarne, and later revised first by Thompson and later by Uther, is intended to bring out the similarities between tales by grouping variants of the same tale under the same ATU category.
Below is the full tree of the ATU classification. Click on a title to see all the stories within that class.
This page is a mirror of the ATU Index page of the Multilingual Folk Tale Database, a rich library of curated world folktales, most of which are not indexed yet. All links target the MFTD.
Unfortunately, the MFTD was hacked in late December, 2019. The data is still intact on back-up images and the MFTD curators are looking for a secure means to host the MFTD again.
The index here is just a list of ATU Tale Types until the MFTD is recovered.
Thank you to the many institutions, professionals and amateurs, who rely on and use the MFTD for their research and as a source of folktales, who contacted me inquiring about the status of the MFTD.