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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 pre-industrial, ancient, and more modern and developed 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).

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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Projects focusing on the small trading ports, marine folk lore, language, literature and environment of the Llyn peninsula will benefit from a pounds 706,400 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund that aims to boost the local economy
(unpaginated); Richard Birt, '"Wise and fair and good as she": The Forgotten Gatherer of Folk Lore' (1996), 2 pp.
As popularity has grown, however, so too have property and land values and some of the deals of which folk lore are made (villas for twenty-five grand as recently as 10 years back) have all but evaporated.
Delightful reading and a welcome addition to any family, school, or community library Christmas picturebook collection, "The Magic Sceptre: The Legend Of Blue Santa Claus" is an imaginative and entertaining edition to the expanding folk lore and mythology of Christmas in general--and Santa Claus in particular!
HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS: THEIR LEGENDS AND FOLK LORE surveys not just the genealogy of the Cherokee and their intermarriages with whites, but their history, culture, myths, and legal resolutions affecting the tribe.
Featuring the stories of The Three Drinks, The Captive Princess, The Hare of Sleevebawn, The Treacherous Waters, The Jewel of Truth, The Mountain Wolf, A Prince in Disguise, and the title piece, The Enchanted Lake this anthology deftly offers a very special introduction into traditional Irish storytelling culture and folk lore. A wonderful addition to any personal or community library Fairytale, Folklore & Mythology collections, The Enchanted Lake is very highly recommended as a compendium of Sinead de Valera's most entertaining and endearing Irish fairy tale stories.
I am reminded of an African Folk Lore, please allow me to share: Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky (Africa-Efik-Ibibio)
Away trips can become part of a team's folk lore, with exploits on and off the field forging reputations, and the manner in which each player deals with the challenges associated with these trips is a vital part of a team's success
These four volumes are part of Lone Pine's Folk Lore series designed to bring historical subjects to the public, written in a popular style.
Added social studies instructor Carolyn Wiggins, "It teaches them a little bit about Indian folk lore, and it's always good to be hands-on."
This recording by the Traxleri group at least partly fills up the gaps in this field, since it focuses on the historical sources of folk and popular music, urban folk lore and student songs of the 15th to the 19th centuries.
He moved into golf folk lore when he took off his shoes, rolled up his trousers and tried to play his ball until sense prevailed.