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The Folklore Portal

Folklore is the body of expressive culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, material culture, and so forth, common to 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. While folklore can contain religious or mythic elements, it equally concerns itself with the sometimes mundane traditions of everyday life. Contemporary folktales common in the Western world include the urban legend and the conspiracy theory. There are many forms of folklore that are so common, however, that most people do not consider them to be folklore, such as riddles, children's rhymes and ghost stories, rumors, gossip, ethnic stereotypes, and holiday customs and life cycle rituals.

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Saint Guinefort.jpg

Saint Guinefort was a 13th century dog that received local veneration as a saint after miracles were reported at his grave. His story is a variation on the well-travelled 'faithful hound' motif, perhaps better-known to Anglophones in the form of the dog Gelert. The cult of this dog saint persisted for several decades, until the 1930s, despite the repeated prohibitions of the Catholic Church.

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This painting by François Gérard depicts Ossian, a Gaelic language poet whose works were either collected or manufactured by James Macpherson in 1760. Debate on the amount of traditional material versus contemporary invention in Macpherson's version continues.

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R. E. Shay said:

Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit.

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