folklore

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Related to folklores: Folktales

folklore,

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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.

Bibliography

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

folklore

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 ?
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.
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.
Alan Dundes agreed that a cognitive goal would help a discipline find explanations in the materials under study, but he criticized the criterion of transmission because while processes such as driving a tractor and brushing one's teeth are transmitted, they would not usually be recognized by folklorists as folklore (1965, 1-2).
Oring criticized Dundes's idea of group as more relevant to North American situations than to a universal model of folklore because of their absence of a peasantry and ancient legacy upon which European concepts of folklore were built (Oring 1986, 2-4; see also Cocchiara 1971, 467-95).
One was to identify folklore in the modern world and another was to declare differences from other disciplines.
Fresh from fieldwork on storytelling events in Nigeria, Ben-Amos viewed folklore as a special form of communication separated from everyday life.
Rethinking the Idea of Folklore and Tradition in the Digital Age
As Ben-Amos grasped the challenge of popular culture to the identification of folklore, folklorists face questions in the digital age about the influence of the Internet on the notion of "small groups." Whereas he self-critically questioned whether folklore existed in social reality, folklorists openly voice concern about folklore's applicability in virtual reality (Blank 2009; Blank 2012).
Consequently, tradition as a keyword received fresh review in the early twenty-first century as a unifying concept in folklore (Blank and Howard 2013; Bronner 2000; Bronner 2011).
Richard Bauman (1969) retorted that a definition was essential to outlining a guiding concept that allowed folklore to take its place as a discipline.
Qualifying folklore as a special type of creation, learning, and practice creates the possibility that folk evidence is distinctly available for cultural analysis versus other materials.