Folklore An Introduction Folklore Ive heard of that

  • Slides: 20
Download presentation
Folklore An Introduction

Folklore An Introduction

Folklore? I’ve heard of that. It is not quaint, old, outdated, or untrue. At

Folklore? I’ve heard of that. It is not quaint, old, outdated, or untrue. At the same time, it is not necessarily “truth. ” It is, however, a fundamental component to the human condition.

What is folklore? �A better question might be, “What is life? ” �Folklore includes

What is folklore? �A better question might be, “What is life? ” �Folklore includes stories, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, and customs, of a particular group or culture.

Three Cultural Levels �Popular or Mass Culture �Elite Culture �Folk Culture 3

Three Cultural Levels �Popular or Mass Culture �Elite Culture �Folk Culture 3

Popular or Mass Culture �Media, entertainment, mass production, iconic, “author present” �Generally accepted or,

Popular or Mass Culture �Media, entertainment, mass production, iconic, “author present” �Generally accepted or, at least, experienced by the majority of a particular society

Elite Culture �Fine Arts �Formally schooled or trained �Small % of population produces these

Elite Culture �Fine Arts �Formally schooled or trained �Small % of population produces these works Generally expensive due to rarity or craftsmanship �Tends to be the focus of academic humanities because it is considered to be “more intellectual”

Folk Culture �Culture of the common people �Is so common it is often overlooked

Folk Culture �Culture of the common people �Is so common it is often overlooked because it has simply become tradition or habit �It is still dynamic and ever changing �Informally learned; regional and cultural

Folklore: Common Characteristics �Learned in small groups �Traditional �Migrates with people or technology �Multiple

Folklore: Common Characteristics �Learned in small groups �Traditional �Migrates with people or technology �Multiple versions (ex: print, electronic, verbal) �Meanings and versions change with context �Can be anonymous or bear the stamp of a particular community or group �Can be expressive (ex: jazz wedding/jazz funeral) �Can be functional (ex: BBQ, neighborhood watch)

Folk Groups and Communities �Age �Occupational �Ethnic �Family �Religion �Region �Preferred genre of music

Folk Groups and Communities �Age �Occupational �Ethnic �Family �Religion �Region �Preferred genre of music

Folk Material �“Folk” is not limited to custom or story �Can be materialized in

Folk Material �“Folk” is not limited to custom or story �Can be materialized in art and/or statuary

Folklore refined �Folklore is the dynamic process of conveying informal knowledge and culture

Folklore refined �Folklore is the dynamic process of conveying informal knowledge and culture

Types of folklore (just a few): �Myths �Legends �Tall Tales �Fairy Tales �Marchen �Fables

Types of folklore (just a few): �Myths �Legends �Tall Tales �Fairy Tales �Marchen �Fables �Ghost Stories �Urban Legends �Personal Experience Stories (ex: memorates, pranks)

Myths �It is not an entertaining lie �It is not something that has been

Myths �It is not an entertaining lie �It is not something that has been proven to be false �It is typically an ancient religious story dealing with heroes, ancestors, or supernatural beings �May attempt to explain nature

Legend � Belief is optional. Does not need to be true or false �

Legend � Belief is optional. Does not need to be true or false � Is believed to have a historical basis � Instead of Gods and Deities performing great acts, it involves mortals � The stories usually encompass a small amount of time and becomes embellished over time � Very specific time and place; usually localized Jesse James Robin Hood

Tall Tales �Much like a legend, it usually has some sort of historical basis

Tall Tales �Much like a legend, it usually has some sort of historical basis or time frame �May involve “real” characters �Story seems very believable right up until the end when something seems a little…. Off. Or until you get the punch line.

Fairytales or Marchen � Fairies do not have to be present in a fairytale

Fairytales or Marchen � Fairies do not have to be present in a fairytale � Thus “marchen, ” a scholarly German term, is more appropriate and will be used here on out � A fanciful tale of legendary deeds and creatures � Usually intended for children (good and bad) � Disney likes to “sterilize” these types of stories

Fable �A short narrative making a moral point �Often employs animals with human characteristics

Fable �A short narrative making a moral point �Often employs animals with human characteristics (speech, clothes, etc. )

Ghost stories About ghosts, obviously. More on ghosts later in the trimester. Stay tuned.

Ghost stories About ghosts, obviously. More on ghosts later in the trimester. Stay tuned.

What is an Urban Legend? �A contemporary legend �Those who tell them believe them

What is an Urban Legend? �A contemporary legend �Those who tell them believe them to be true �Passed on through a FOAF (Friend of a Friend) �Usually contain elements of humor or horror �Tantalizingly believable due to a bit of plausibility

Personal Experience Stories �A story told by an individual who claims to have experienced

Personal Experience Stories �A story told by an individual who claims to have experienced the story first hand or who was a witness to the told events �A memorate deals with supernatural encounters