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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 contend that a similar confluence of factors compels folklorists to re-examine definitions that guide folkloristic analysis at this exigent moment.
77) And yet for the ancients the molting of eagles was real and wondrous, something now more appreciable in Etana's folkloristic substratum.
Overall, this is a fine book, especially the chapters on methodology and the application of oral-formulaic and folkloristic methods to talmudic research.
It is seemingly a nice fit in anthropological and folkloristic theory and practice, because it validates other cultures and the work of ethnographers; however, it is not actually considered a serious threat to most ethnographic realism.
che bruna e magra e pelosa devenuta era," 1, 206), and wields a club, the folkloristic wild man's traditional weapon, to protect her precious deer from Currado's hunting dogs.
Monika Fludernik's natural narratology is the obvious case in point--it has a central interest in folk judgments but is not folkloristic itself; it interprets without repeating folk-interpretive moves on a theoretical level.
I am specifically interested in how previous research investigated the genesis and development of folkloristic materials, the meanings and traditional interpretations of folkloristic materials, centrality of folklore in modern everyday life, and the use of folklore as a means of communication.
Still, it is no more useful for the resonance of Spanish modernist poetry to use that restrictive label than it is, for instance, to think of Lorca asa folkloristic poet mainly defined by the Romancero gitano, a tendency that, both inside and outside of Spain, has had a restrictive effect on the reading of his poetry.
Nevertheless, in the Chinese fairytale tradition there is a small selection of narratives dealing with folkloristic creatures living in caves and grottoes, evoking the notion of an underworld inhabited with beings totally different from those living in the upper world.
In my own work with artists like Carrasquillo, I have of necessity had to carefully frame my findings about folk artists to fit into the accepted folkloristic "script": this artist learned the tradition from someone else via informal means, and plans to pass it onto the next generation in the same way.
With this reality in mind, I wish to share a personal account of my first folkloristic encounter: the series of events that led to my choice of a career in folklore.