FOLKLORE: Folklore reveals and helps us understand our humanity. Communities throughout time and space have created stories, songs, dance, music, rituals, customs, festivals, and various material artistic genres (a small sampling of what folklorists study) to make sense of and to celebrate the world and the human condition. Our expressions flourish when tradition connects communal wisdom with innovative inspiration. As its name indicates, folklore involves both "folk" (a group of people) and "lore" (creative expressions). Hence folklorists study "artistic communication in small groups" (Ben-Amos 1972) or "creativity in its own context" (Glassie 1999) - see folklore definitions link below. As an academic discipline folklore shares concerns, methods, and insights with literature, anthropology, art, music, history, linguistics, philosophy, and mythology. The unique contribution of folklore is to strive to focus on systems of  interrelationships between people and their artistic productions -- we consider both the folk and the lore and how they influence each other. Most contemporary folklore study involves fieldwork, often in local communities. 

KEY WORDS AND CONCEPTS IN THE STUDY OF FOLKLORE
Click on the link for more information (all written by Mary Magoulick)

Culture

Genre

Performance & Fieldwork

Culture (shorter)

Humanity and Folklore

Popular Culture (& Women)

History of Folklore

Myth

Recommended References 

Fairy Tales

Narratives

Toelken's Schools of Folklore

Folk Art

Native American Verbal Art

Tradition

Folklore Definitions

Native Americans

Trickster

Folklore Fieldwork (guidelines)

Oral Poetry

Bibliography (for all written entries)

FOLKLORE LINKS

University Folklore Programs
National Organizations
Folklore Sites of Popular Interest
Mythology Sites
Urban Legend Sites


GO TO HOME PAGE - Folklore Connections

Introduction to Folklore (IDST 2115) Syllabus