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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).


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 ?
I discover repeatedly what the folklorist Sandy Rikoon narrowed to three words: "People are smart.
Michael Taft (formerly a free-lance folklorist in Alberta) and Gerald Pocius, Memorial, are both Senior Bibliographers for the Modern Language Association Annual Folklore Bibliography, and their work ensures that current Canadian scholarship is listed.
So when folklorists call a cultural form traditional, we mean simply that it's a form that is passed on, through the informal folk network of person-to-person communication.
The European intellectual heritage of Volkskunde or ethnology has been to divide practice into cultural and behavioral patterns, with the former being within the purview of the folklorist who uncovers the sources and functions of repeated actions perceived as traditional.
The book was, and still is, popular with laypeople and folklorists alike.
It is not possible to outline all the articles in this or subsequent sections of The Ballad and the Folklorist, but three more in the first part of the book demand mention: "Oral Tradition and Literary Tradition: The Scottish Ballads," "Ballad Formulas and Oral Tradition" and "Ballad Tradition and Hugh Spencer.
Do we seek out better methods of representation, as the proponents of new ethnography suggest, or do we, as folklorist Dorothy Noyes argues, leave this questioning of artistic representation to literature?
She is a folklorist, children's librarian and the author of more than 55 books on folklore and storytelling, including the award-winning "Peace Tales" and "The Storyteller's Start-up Book.
Furthermore, upon close scrutiny of the pioneering work of folklorist Juan Alfonso Carrizo, a protege of Padilla's circle, Chamosa provides evidence of the extent of the ideological influence patronage exerted over how early folklorists understood and studied criollo culture.
That democratic notion was opposed by academic folklorists -- most notably by Richard Dorson of Indiana University -- who were intent on making folklore a rigidly defined academic discipline upon which degree-granting departments and reputations could be built.
He was whipsawed back and forth between these religions and experienced an episode he described as sunstroke, but was probably a complete nervous breakdown," said Dillon Bustin, guest lecturer and folklorist for the Bulfinch Fund's Preservation Matters series of educational programs yesterday afternoon.
IN THIS ARTICLE I discuss my work as a Central Florida folklorist and digital media scholar with Lilly Carrasquillo, a Central Florida artist from Puerto Rico.