FOLKTALES, MYTHS, AND LEGENDS
Folklore and Traditional Literature
Folklore consists of a people group (or folk) and all of its accumulated facts (lore) including: traditional customs, beliefs, knowledge, values, and attitudes of the ordinary people.
Folk + Lore = Folklore
A folk's lore is communicated by word of mouth until it is transcribed (written down); this is called oral tradition. Before people groups had written languages, oral tradition was the only means of preserving the history of a people and its culture.
TRADITIONAL LITERATUREFolktales, myths, and legends are only one part (the literary part) of a folk's lore. Folktales are a society's narratives, stories, and literature. They are the stories that have been handed down from generation to generation.
The science of folklore was born when collectors ("folklorists") began collect-ing items to preserve the lore and his-tory of various people groups. The birth of this science began in the early 19th century and is most often attributed to the Brothers Grimm, known best for their collection of what are now well-known fairy tales: Red Riding Hood, Snow-White, Hansel & Gretel, Rapunzel, etc.
EXAMPLES OF FOLKLOREHow do you cure the hiccups?What do you do at a birthday party?What is done with the brides bouquet at a wedding?How can you magically predict the gender of an unborn baby?
EXAMPLES OF FOLKLOREHow do you make smores (somemores)?How do you build a snowman?What do you say when you smile for a picture?
WHAT IS A FOLK TALE?A folk tale is a story with no known author that usually teaches a lesson. Examples of American folktales include: Brer Rabbit, Paul Bunyan, Three Billy Goats Gruff, etc.
A myth is a story that usually explains something about the world and involves gods and other superhuman beings. Examples include: Medusas Head, Prometheus Bringer of Fire, Iliad & Odyssey
WHAT IS A MYTH?
WHAT IS A LEGEND?A legend is a story often believed to be true and in which the characters are usually considered historical by some. Examples include Robin Hood, King Arthur, and Pecos Bill.
MOTIFS IN TRADITIONAL LITERATUREA motif is a recurring thematic element. lt is the smallest element in a tale having the power to persist in tradition. ln order to have this power, it must have something unusual or striking or universal about it.
SOME COMMON MOTIFS:Magical powers TransformationMaking a deal with the devil
THREE WAYS MOTIFS APPEAR IN LITERATURE:CharactersExample: The "underdog" brother (or sister), Prince Charming, the damsel in distress, etc.
THREE WAYS MOTIFS APPEAR IN LITERATURE:Plot lncidentExamples: The magic kiss, the long sleep, the journey, the difficult task, etc.
THREE WAYS MOTIFS APPEAR IN LITERATURE:ObjectsExamples: Hair, ring, water, magic cooking pot, flying carpets, etc.
VoiceThread QuestionsDo to-days youngpeopletellstories?Dochildrenstillenjoyhearingstories?Do youthinkthese people are telling stories orjust goofing around & partying?Is this story tell-ing? Why or why not? How doesit differfrom faceto facestory tell-ing?
What about mythsfolktaleslegendsAs a culture, do we still believe them? Tell them? Pass them on to other generations? Should we? Why do we or dont we?
Myths are stories, and we find meaning in our lives through the stories we tell.Myths are not true or untruethey're living or dead.--Phil Cousineau Once & Future Myths
DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE? WHY?...
WE FIND MEANINGWE TELL STORIES
Myths are stories and we find meaning in our lives through the stories we tell.