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Related to folklores: Folktales


the body of customs, legends, beliefs, and superstitions passed on by oral tradition. It includes folk dancesfolk dance,
primitive, tribal, or ethnic form of the dance, sometimes the survival of some ancient ceremony or festival. The term is used also to include characteristic national dances, country dances, and figure dances in costume to folk tunes.
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, folk songsfolk song,
music of anonymous composition, transmitted orally. The theory that folk songs were originally group compositions has been modified in recent studies. These assume that the germ of a folk melody is produced by an individual and altered in transmission into a
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, folk medicinefolk medicine,
methods of curing by means of healing objects, herbs, or animal parts; ceremony; conjuring, magic, or witchcraft; and other means apart from the formalized practice of medical science.
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 (the use of magical charms and herbs), and folktalesfolktale,
general term for any of numerous varieties of traditional narrative. The telling of stories appears to be a cultural universal, common to primitive and complex societies alike.
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 (myths, rhymes, and proverbs). The study of folklore emerged significantly in the 19th cent., partly out of the rise of European romanticism, with its interest in the past, and partly out of nationalism, with its stress on the indigenous. Today most folklorists and anthropologists regard folk customs, legends, and beliefs as an imaginative expression by a people of its desires, attitudes, and cultural values. Folk heroes (e.g., Frederick Barbarossa in Germany, the Cid in Spain, Robin Hood in England, Cuchulain in Ireland, Paul Bunyan in the United States, and Yü in China) have been said to reflect the civilization from which they sprang. Many theories have arisen to explain folk tales—Max Müller, a philologist, interpreted the legends as linguistic corruptions; Jakob Grimm saw them as corrupted cosmic allegories; the German school considered them as personified elements of nature; Edward Tylor and Andrew Lang held them to be survivals from a savage society; Freud and the psychoanalytical school found them fraught with sexual symbolism. Folklore has become increasingly important in the study of primitive societies and in understanding the history of mankind. Almost every country has a folklore society which collects, analyzes, and publishes folk material (e.g., in the United States the American Folklore Society publishes the Journal of American Folklore). For further information, see games, children'sgames, children's,
amusements or pastimes involving more than one child and in which there is some sort of formalized dramatic element, contest, or plot. Games are a cultural universal; for example, the string play called Cat's Cradle is common to cultures as varied as Eskimo,
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; monsters and imaginary beasts in folkloremonsters and imaginary beasts.
The mythologies and legends of ancient and modern cultures teem with an enormous variety of monsters and imaginary beasts. A great number of these are composites of different existing animals or of human beings and animals.
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; mythologymythology
[Greek,=the telling of stories], the entire body of myths in a given tradition, and the study of myths. Students of anthropology, folklore, and religion study myths in different ways, distinguishing them from various other forms of popular, often orally transmitted,
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See C. L. Daniels and C. M. Stevans, ed., Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World (1971); D. Emrich, Folklore on the American Land (1972); R. M. Dorson, ed., Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction (1972); T. P. Coffin and H. Cohen, Folklore from the Working Folk of America (1973); R. M. Dorson, America in Legend (1974); A. Dundes, Analytic Essays in Folklore (1975).


1. the unwritten literature of a people as expressed in folk tales, proverbs, riddles, songs, etc.
2. the body of stories and legends attached to a particular place, group, activity, etc.
3. the anthropological discipline concerned with the study of folkloric materials
References in periodicals archive ?
As someone who has done his share of writing about folklore topics for the popular press, I know exactly what this is like.
There is a long history of popularises of folklore and journalists interested in folklore.
Harris's sixteen-page introduction could serve for university students as an introduction to the range of folklore that one finds in a current newspaper: poems, memorials, "Lordy Lordy, Look Who's Forty"-type notices, patriotic displays of one sort and another, and so on.
Regardless, it is an excellent book for anyone interested in the idea of regional folklore and especially so for those who happen to dabble in that sort of journalism.
As Ben-Amos recalls, American Folklore Society members were often split between English and anthropology departments and fretted over the "indefiniteness of folklore, or the inertness of the discipline that the term had initiated" (Ben-Amos 2014, 12; see also Foster 1953, 159).
Other, younger folklorists with degrees in folklore from American universities had also expressed discomfort with the "indefiniteness" of folklore in the few years before Ben-Amos's (Ben-Amos 2014, 15).
Abrahams drew attention to performance to underscore the active, relevant uses of folklore in everyday life, but in doing so, narrowed the scope of materials that folklorists considered to contemporary verbal expressions.
Attracted to structuralism and intrigued by paremiologist Archer Taylor's observation that folklore expresses analogic, or connotative, reasoning (1946, 104; see also Ben-Amos 2014, 14, who called it "associative thinking"), Elli-Kaija KOngas, another recent folklore doctorate, applied her experience in the literary "Finnish method" of motif and type analysis and sought a keyword to represent a discipline as well as a body of material.
The Beauty of the Dead: A History of Folklore Studies
This opening statement encapsulates much of de Certeau's thinking about the history of folklore studies.
It is, then, the emergence of a conceptualization of and procedure for the preservation and study of folklore that signals the death of vernacular culture as an alternative locus of power, at least in the overt sense, to the culture of the elite.