Folklore: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Folklore culture, including stories, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The academic and usually ethnographic study of folklore is sometimes called folkloristics. The word 'folklore' was first used by the English antiquarian William Thoms in a letter published by the London Journal Athenaeum in 1846.[1] In usage, there is a continuum between folklore and mythology. Stith Thompson made a major attempt to index the motifs of both folklore and mythology, providing an outline into which new motifs can be placed, and scholars can keep track of all older motifs.


Types of folklore

Folklore can be divided into four areas of study: artifact (such as voodoo dolls), describable and transmissible entity (oral tradition), culture, and behavior (rituals). These areas do not stand alone, however, as often a particular item or element may fit into more than one of these areas.[2]

Folklore as describable and transmissible entity

Folklore can contain religious or mythic elements, it equally concerns itself with the sometimes mundane traditions of everyday life. Folklore frequently ties the practical and the esoteric into one narrative package. It has often been conflated with mythology, and vice versa, because it has been assumed that any figurative story that does not pertain to the dominant beliefs of the time is not of the same status as those dominant beliefs.[citation needed] Thus, Roman religion is called "myth" by Christians. In that way, both "myth" and "folklore" have become catch-all terms for all figurative narratives which do not correspond with the dominant belief structure.

Sometimes "folklore" is religious in nature, like the tales of the Welsh Mabinogion or those found in Icelandic skaldic poetry. Many of the tales in the Golden Legend of Jacob de Voragine also embody folklore elements in a Christian context, as well as the tales of Old Mr. Brennan. Examples of such Christian mythology are the themes woven round Saint George or Saint Christopher. In this case, the term "folklore" is being used in a pejorative sense. That is, while the tales of Odin the Wanderer have a religious value to the Norse who composed the stories, because it does not fit into a Christian configuration it is not considered "religious" by Christians who may instead refer to it as "folklore."

"Folktales" is a general term for different varieties of traditional narrative. The telling of stories appears to be a cultural universal, common to basic and complex societies alike. Even the forms folktales take are certainly similar from culture to culture, and comparative studies of themes and narrative ways have been successful in showing these relationships. Also it is considered to be an oral tale to be told for everybody.

On the other hand, folklore can be used to accurately describe a figurative narrative, which has no sacred or religious content. In the Jungian view, which is but one method of analysis, it may instead pertain to unconscious psychological patterns, instincts or archetypes of the mind. This may or may not have components of the fantastic (such as magic, ethereal beings or the personification of inanimate objects). These folktales may or may not emerge from a religious tradition, but nevertheless speak to deep psychological issues. The familiar folktale, "Hansel and Gretel," is an example of this fine line. The manifest purpose of the tale may primarily be one of mundane instruction regarding forest safety or secondarily a cautionary tale about the dangers of famine to large families, but its latent meaning may evoke a strong emotional response due to the widely understood themes and motifs such as “The Terrible Mother”, “Death,” and “Atonement with the Father.”

There can be both a moral and psychological scope to the work, as well as entertainment value, depending upon the nature of the teller, the style of the telling, the ages of the audience members, and the overall context of the performance. Folklorists generally resist universal interpretations of narratives and, wherever possible, analyze oral versions of tellings in specific contexts, rather than print sources, which often show the work or bias of the writer or editor.

Contemporary narratives common in the Western world include the urban legend. There are many forms of folklore that are so common, however, that most people do not realize they are folklore, such as riddles, children's rhymes and ghost stories, rumors (including conspiracy theories), gossip, ethnic stereotypes, and holiday customs and life-cycle rituals. UFO abduction narratives can be seen, in some sense, to refigure the tales of pre-Christian Europe, or even such tales in the Bible as the Ascent of Elijah to heaven. Adrienne Mayor, in introducing a bibliography on the topic, noted that most modern folklorists are largely unaware of classical parallels and precedents, in materials that are only partly represented by the familiar designation Aesopica: "Ancient Greek and Roman literature contains rich troves of folklore and popular beliefs, many of which have counterparts in modern contemporary legends" (Such as Mayor, 2000).

Vladimir Propp's classic study Morphology of the Folktale (1928) became the basis of research into the structure of folklore texts. Propp discovered a uniform structure in Russian fairy tales. His book has been translated into English, Italian, Polish and other languages. The English translation was issued in USA in 1958, some 30 years after the publication of the original. It was met by approving reviews and significantly influenced later research on folklore and, more generally, structural semantics.Though his work was based on syntagmatic structure, it gave the scope to understand the structure of folktale where he discovered thirty one function of folktale[3]

Material culture

Elements such as dolls, decorative items used in religious rituals, hand-built houses and barns[4], and handmade clothing and other crafts are considered to be folk artifacts, grouped within the field as "material culture." Additionally, figures that depict characters from folklore, such as statues of the three wise monkeys may be considered to be folklore artifacts, depending on how they are used within a culture.[5] The operative definition would depend on whether the artifacts are used and appreciated within the same community in which they are made, and whether they follow a community aesthetic.

Culture as folklore

Folklorist William Bascom states that folklore has many cultural aspects, such as allowing for escape from societal consequences. In addition, folklore can also serve to validate a culture (romantic nationalism), as well as transmit a culture's morals and values. Folklore can also be the root of many cultural types of music. Folk, country, blues, and bluegrass all originate from American folklore. Examples of artists which have used folklore to produce beautiful music would be: Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jim Croce, and many others. Folklore can also be used to assert social pressures, or relieve them, in the case of humor and carnival.

In addition, folklorists study medical, supernatural, religious, and political belief systems as an essential, often unspoken, part of expressive culture.

Behavior as folklore

Many rituals can sometimes be considered folklore, whether formalized in a cultural or religious system (e.g. weddings, baptisms, harvest festivals) or practiced within a family or secular context. For example, in certain parts of the United States (as well as other countries) one places a knife, or a pair of scissors, under the mattress to "cut the birth pains" after giving birth. Additionally, children's counting-out games can be defined as behavioral folklore.[6]

Categories of folklore

National or ethnic

See also


  1. ^ Georges, Robert A., Michael Owens Jones, "Folkloristics: An Introduction," Indiana University Press, 1995.
  2. ^ Georges, Robert A., Michael Owens Jones, "Folkloristics: An Introduction," pp.313 Indiana University Press, 1995.
  3. ^ L. V. Propp, Morphology of the Folktale, Second Edition, revised and edited with a Preface of Louis A. Wagner, University of Texas Press, 1968.
  4. ^ Kniffen, Fred, and Henry Glassie. "Building in Wood in the Eastern United States: A Time-Place Perspective." In Thomas J. Schlereth, ed., Material Culture Studies in America. Nashville, Tenn.: AASLH Press, 1982.
  5. ^ Wolfgang Mieder, "The Proverbial Three Wise Monkeys," Midwestern Journal of Language and Folklore 7 (1981):5-38.
  6. ^ Kenneth S. Goldstein, "Strategy in Counting Out: An Ethnographic Folklore Field Study," in Elliott M. Avedon and Brian Sutton-Smith, eds., The Study of Games New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1971.

Further reading

External links

Basque Country

Czech Republic




Roinn an Bhealoidis: Department of Folklore and Ethnology, 5 Elderwood, College Road, Cork, Ireland.

North America




United Kingdom


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Folklore (video game) article)

From Wikiquote

Folklore, known in Japan as FolksSoul - Ushinawareta Denshō (FolksSoul -失われた伝承-, FōkusuSōru -Ushinawareta Denshō-?, literally "FolksSoul: Lost Legend") is a video game exclusively for PlayStation 3.


  • Keats: A murder in the village of the dead? Please tell me this is a joke.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FOLKLORE, a term invented in 1846 by Mr W. J. Thorns as a designation for the traditional learning of the uncultured classes of civilized nations. The word has been adopted in this sense into many foreign languages; it is sometimes regarded as the equivalent of the Ger. Volkskunde. But folklore is, properly speaking, the "lore of the folk," while Volkskunde is lore or learning about the folk, and includes not only the mental life of a people, but also their arts and crafts. The term folklore is also used to designate the science which deals with folklore; the study of survivals involves the investigation of the similar customs, beliefs, &c., of races on lower planes of culture; consequently folklore, as interpreted by the English and American societies, concerns itself as much or more with savage races as with the popular superstitions of the white races.

Table of contents


The scientific study of folklore dates back to the first quarter of the 19th century, but folklore was collected long before that date. The organized study of folklore is a thing of recent growth. The first Folklore Society was founded in London in 1878; similar bodies now exist in the United States, France, Italy, Switzerland and especially in Germany and Austria. The folk-tale makes its appearance in literature at a very early period; Egyptian examples have come down to us from the 28th century B.C. In Greece the Homeric poems contain many folk-tale incidents; for India we have the Jatakas and Panchatantra; and for the Arabs the great collection of the Thousand and One Nights. Another type of folk-narrative is represented by Aesop's Fables. Not unnaturally beliefs and customs received less attention; our knowledge of them among the ancients is as a rule pieced together. Among the oldest professed collections are J. B. Thiers (1606-1703), Traite des superstitions (1679), Aubrey's Miscellanies (1686) and H. Bourne's (1696-1733) Antiquitates vulgares (1725); but they belong to the antiquarian, non-scientific period.

The pioneers of the modern scientific treatment of folklore were the brothers Grimm, by the publication of their Kinder-und Hausmdrehen (1812-1815) and Deutsche Mythologie (1835). They were the first to present the folk-tale in its genuine unadulterated form. They differed from their predecessors in regarding the myth, not as the result of conscious speculation, but of a mythopoeic impulse. They were, however, disposed to press modern linguistic evidence too far and make the figures of the folk-tale the lineal representatives of ancient gods, as the folk-tales themselves were of the myths. This tendency was exaggerated by their successors, J. W. Wolf, W. Rochholz and others. At the outset of his career, W. Mannhardt (1831-1880), the forerunner of the anthropological school of folklore, shared in this mistake. Breaking away eventually from the philological schools, which interpreted myths and their supposed descendants, the folk-tales, as relating to the storm, the sun, the dawn, &c. (see Mythology), Mannhardt made folk-custom and belief his basis. To this end he set himself to collect and compare the superstitions of the peasantry; but his health was always feeble and he never completed his scheme. For a time Mannhardt's researches bore fruit neither in his own country nor abroad. In 1878 the foundation of the Folklore Society marked a new era in England, where the philological school had had few adherents; and the anthropological school soon produced evidence of its vitality in the works of Mr Andrew Lang, Dr J. G. Frazer and Professor Robertson Smith.

With the growth of our knowledge of European folk-custom and belief on the one hand, and of rites and religions of people in the lower stages of culture on the other hand, it has become abundantly clear that there is no line of demarcation between the two. Each throws light upon the other, and the superstitions of Europe are the lineal descendants of savage creeds which have their parallels all over the world in the culture of primitive peoples.


The folklore of civilized peoples may be conveniently classified under three main heads: (1) belief and custom; (2) narratives and sayings; (3) art. These again may be subdivided. The first division, Belief and Custom, includes (A) Superstitious beliefs and practices, including (a) those connected with natural phenomena or inanimate nature, (b) tree and plant superstitions, (c) animal superstitions, (d) ghosts and goblins, (e) witchcraft, (f) leechcraft, (g) magic in general and divination, (it) eschatology, and (i) miscellaneous superstitions and practices; and (B) Traditional customs, including (a) festival customs for which are set aside certain days and seasons, (b) ceremonial customs on the occasion of events such as birth, death or marriage, (c) games, (d) miscellaneous local customs, such as agricultural rites connected with the corn-spirit (see Demonology), and (e) dances. The second head of Narratives and Sayings may be subdivided (A) into (a) sagas or tales told as true, (b) Marchen or nursery tales, (c) fables, (d) drolls, apologues, cumulative tales, &c., (e) myths (see Mythology), and (f) place legends; (B) into ballads and songs (in so far as they do not come under art); and (C) into nursery rhymes, riddles, jingles, proverbs, nicknames, place rhymes, &c. The third head, Art, subdivides into (a) folk music with ballads and songs, (b) folk drama. Any classification, however, labours under the disadvantage of separating items which properly belong together. Thus, myths are obviously the form in which some superstitions are expressed. They may also be aetiological in their nature and form an elaborate record of a custom. Eschatological beliefs naturally take the form of myths. Traditional narratives can also be classified under art, and so on.


The literature of the subject falls into two sharply defined classes - synthetic works and collections of folklore - of which the latter are immensely more numerous. Of the former class the most important is Dr J. G. Frazer's Golden Bough, which sets out from the study of a survival in Roman religion and covers a wide field of savage and civilized beliefs and customs. Especially important are the chapters on agricultural rites, in which are set forth the results of Mannhardt's researches. Other important lines of folklore research in the Golden Bough are those dealing with spring ceremonies, with the primitive view of the soul, with animal cults, and with sun and rain charms. Mr E. S. Hartland's Legend of Perseus is primarily concerned with the origin of a folk-tale, and this problem in the end is dismissed as insoluble. A large part of the book is taken up with a discussion of sympathetic magic, and especially with the "life index," an object so bound up with the life of a human being that it acts as an indication of his well-being or otherwise. The importance of children's games in the study of folklore has been recognized of recent years. An admirable collection of the games of England has been published by Mrs G. L. Gomme. With the more minute study of uncivilized peoples the problem of the diffusion of games has also come to the fore. In particular it is found that the string-game called "cat's cradle" in various forms is of very wide diffusion, being found even in Australia. The question of folk-music has recently received much attention (see Song).


Introductory works: M. R. Cox, Introduction to Folklore; Kaindl, Die Volkskunde; Marillier in Revue de l'histoire des religions, xliii. 166, and other works mentioned by Kaindl.

General works: J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough; E. S. Hartland, The Legend of Perseus; A. Lang, Custczn and Myth, Myth, Ritual and Religion; Tylor, Primitive Culture; Liebrecht, Zur Volkskunde. British Isles. England: Burne, Shropshire Folklore; Denham Tracts (F. L. S.); Harland and Wilkinson, Lancashire Folklore; Henderson, Folklore of Northern Counties; County Folklore Series (Printed Extracts) of the F.L.S. Wales: Elias Owen, Welsh Folklore; Rhys, Celtic Folklore. Scotland: Dalyell, Darker Superstitions; Gregor, Folklore of N.E. of Scotland; the works of J. G. Campbell, &c.

Germany: Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, English translation by Stallybrass; Wuttke, Der deutsche Volksaberglaube; Meyer, Deutsche Volkskunde; Tetzner, Die Slaven in Deutschland; Mogk in Paul's Grundriss der germanischen Philologie, and the works cited by Kaindl (see above).

France: Sebillot's works; Rolland, Faune populaire; Laisnel de la Salle, Croyances et legendes. On the Sla y s see the works of Krauss and v. Wlislochi; for Bohemia, Grohmann, Aberglaube; for Greece, Abbott, Macedonian Folklore, and Rennell Rodd, Folklore of Greece; for Italy, Pitre's bibliography; for India, Crooke's works, and the Indian Antiquary. For questionnaires see Handbook of Folklore (Folklore Soc.); Sebillot, Essai de questionnaires; Journal of American Folklore (1890, &c.); and Kaindl's Volkskunde. For a bibliography of folk-tales see Hartland, Mythology and Folk-tales; to his list may be added Petitot's Legendes indiennes; Rand, Legends of the Micmacs; Lummis, The Man who Married the Moon; and the publications of the American Folklore Society. For other works see bibliographies in Folklore and other periodicals. On special points may be mentioned Miss Cox's Cinderella (Folklore Society); Kohler's works, &c. (see also bibliography to the article Tale). For games see Gomme, English Games; Culin, Korean Games; Rochholz, Alemannisches Kinderlied; BShme, Deutsches Kinderlied; Handelmann, Volksand Kinderspiele; Jayne, String Figures, &c.; and the bibliography to Doll. See also Sonnenschein's Best Books. The following is a list of the more important Societies and publications: - England: Folklore Society; Folksong Society; Gipsy-lore Society. U.S.A.: American Folklore Society.

France: Societe des traditions populaires. Germany: Verein fiir Volkskunde; Hessische Vereinigung fur Volkskunde; and minor societies in Saxony, Silesia and other provinces.

Austria: Verein fiir osterreichische Volkskunde. Switzerland: Schweizerische Gesellschaft fiir Volkskunde. Italy: Societ y per lo studio delle tradizioni popolari. In addition to these, the anthropological societies devote more or less attention to folklore. Resides the publications of the societies mentioned above, minor societies or individuals are responsible for the following among others: Belgium, Wallonia; Poland, Wisla; France, Melusine (1878, 1883 -1901); Bohemia, Cesky Lid; Denmark, Dania, &c.; Germany, Zeitschrift fiir Volkerpsychologie (1859-1890); Am Urquell (1890-1898). (N. W. T.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also folklore



Folklore f. (genitive Folklore, no plural)

  1. folklore

Related terms

  • Folkloristik
  • folkloristisch


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Developer(s) Game Republic
Publisher(s) Sony
Release date June 21, 2007 (JP)

October 09, 2007 (NA)
October 12, 2007 (EU)
October 18, 2007 (AU)
2008 (EU)
PlayStation 3 The Best:
March 19, 2008 (JP)

Genre Action role-playing game
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Folklore (FolksSoul: Ushinawareta Denshou in Japan) is an action/adventure game by Kouji Okada (the father of the Shin Megami Tensei series) that takes you through seven mysterious and yet Earth-like worlds. The game features two main characters. Ellen, a troubled young woman searching for answers to her past, receives a letter from her mother: a person who died when she was a child. The letter says "I want to meet you," and suggests that Ellen go to the town of Doolin. There, she meets Keats, a journalist who handles the occult corner of a magazine. He receives a phone call from an unknown woman asking for help. When he gets to Doolin, he finds that she has already been killed, and decides to start up an investigation.

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Simple English

Folklore is the body of expressive culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and more within a particular people. This also includes the oral traditions of that culture, subculture, or group. The academic and usually ethnographic study of folklore is sometimes called folkloristics.

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