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Folklore

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Folklore

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  1. Folklore Jessica Dockter University of Minnesota 2009 Adapted from Beth Brendler, 2008

  2. Folklore • “The oldest of stories” • Nursery rhymes, folktales, myths, epics, legends, fables, songs, and ballads • Passed down by story tellers – oral tradition

  3. Folklore • Folklore provides an opportunity for increasing multicultural understanding. • It reflects the values, hopes, fears, and beliefs of many cultures.

  4. Folklore • By recognizing the recurring themes in folklore from around the world, we create a bridge between peoples. • Universality of human values • Learning archetypes

  5. Evaluating Folklore • Sounds like spoken language, with rich natural rhythms • Reflects the cultural integrity of early retellings • Preserves the simple, straightforward plot structure of oral stories

  6. Evaluating Folklore • Explores significant universal themes • Illustrations • serve as examples of artistic excellence • compliment and extend the narrative • reflect the cultural heritage of the tale

  7. Characteristics • Derives from oral tradition • Heroes and heroines triumph over adversity by employing such traits as: • cleverness • bravery • supreme silliness

  8. Characteristics • Short plots • Little character development • Straightforward moral

  9. Characteristics • Stories contain very little ambiguity • good is good • evil is supremely evil • Conflict is identified early • Resolution is decisive

  10. Characteristics • Themes express the values of the people who created them • Language is direct • vivid vernacular • Setting is geographically vague • Time is vague

  11. Characteristics Taken from: http://pixel.fhda.edu/Content/Dept/InstrDev/Examples/Robert/Engl8/Lesson05/L5Learn.html

  12. Characters Heroes • Unusual births • Required to go on a quest • Have magical help • Must prove themselves through many trials • Richly rewarded for their heroism

  13. Characters Good mother (fairy godmother) vs Bad mother (wicked stepmother, witch)

  14. Literary conventions Story frame • Helps readers generalize the patterns • Once upon a time….they lived happily ever after • Long ago and far away

  15. Literary conventions Western cultures • Repeated use of the numbers 3 & 7 • 3 adventures, 3 tasks, 3 trials, 3 wishes, • 3 blind mice, 3 pigs, 3 bears • 7 dwarfs, 7 swans, 7 at one blow

  16. Literary conventions Native American cultures • Repeated use of the number 4 • 4 cardinal directions • 4 sacred colors East = Red = success or triumph North = Blue = defeat or trouble West = Black = death South = White = peace or happiness

  17. Motif A recurring element, repetition of a word or phrase, objects, ideas, characters.

  18. Motifs Cinderella stories • often contain a small shoe • a flight from a ball • a young sister who is mistreated • a prince • a wicked stepmother Yen Shen– Chinese – one of the oldest documented Cinderella stories

  19. Motifs Characters • Gods, witches, fairies, tricksters, stepmothers • Behave in stereotypical ways so readers can predict how they will behave • A representative human can be used to stand for a character trait

  20. Motifs Magical Objects, spells, curses, enchantments, and wishes • Snow White • Sleeping Beauty • Beauty and the Beast • Jack and the Beanstalk

  21. Motifs Trickery, tricksters • Anansi (a spider man) • Africa and the Carribean • Rabbit • West African tales • Tales from the South (Brer Rabbit) • Iktomi • Plains Indians

  22. Themes Enchantment tales • Good and evil is a metaphoric struggle between surface & deep qualities of goodness & beauty • The Beast is a prince that was enchanted because he was unkind. Beauty is able to see the goodness that lies beneath his brutish exterior.

  23. Themes Quest • Search for happiness or lost identity • Hero succeeds only after repeated trials, suffering, separation • Exhibits courage, sacrifice, gallantry, and cleverness

  24. Types of Folklore • Nursery Rhymes • Folk verse • Intended for very young children • Baa, Baa, Black Sheep • The Farmer in the Dell • Fables • A brief tale that presents a clear moral • The moral of the story is explicitly stated • The Tortoise and the Hare • The Ant and the Grasshopper

  25. Types of Folklore • Folktales • Cumulative Tales – each incident grows from a preceding one • The House that Jack Built • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly • Talking Animal Tales – animals talk with each other or with human beings • Brer Rabbit, • Anansi • Uncle Remus

  26. Types of Folklore • Folktales cont. • Noodlehead Tales – characters who are pure hearted but lack good judgment • The Three Sillies • Ole and Lena • Fairy Tales – magical tales with supernatural beings like trolls, giants, dragons, elves, ogres, fairies • Cinderella • Snow White

  27. Types of Folklore • Folktales cont. • Tall Tales – indigenous to the United States • combination of history, myth, and fact • John Henry • Johnny Appleseed

  28. Types of Folklore • Folktales • Hero Tales: Epic and Legends – stories focus on the courageous deeds of superhuman mortals and their struggles against each other or against gods and monsters • Illiad and the Oddessy • King Arthur • Gilgamesh • Epics are usually written in verse and consist of a cycle of tales that center on a legendary hero

  29. Types of Folklore • Folktales • Hero Tales: Epic and Legends – • Hero tales that are not epics are called legends • La Llorona/The Weeping Woman • Fractured Fairy Tales and Literary Folklore – • True Story of the Three Little Pigs • Big Momma Makes the World • Cinder Edna • Folk Songs

  30. Types of Folklore • Mythology • Stories developed to help humans interpret natural phenomena and human behavior. • Archetypal themes • life and death • love • revenge

  31. Types of Folklore • Mythology cont. • Creation myths • Pourquoi stories • Explain why or how something happened or came to be • Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears

  32. Types of Folklore • Mythology cont. • Greek and Roman Mythology • The Illiad • The Oddessy • Norse Mythology • The Death of Balder • Thor’s Hammer

  33. Types of Folklore • Mythology cont. • African Mythology • Anansi the Spider : a Tale From the Ashanti • The Leopard's Drum : an Asante Tale from West Africa • Native American Myths • Turtle's Race With Beaver : a Traditional Seneca Story • The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

  34. Variants of Folktales • Cinderella • over 700 variants • Charles Perrault, Brothers Grimm • Persian, Irish, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Creole, etc. • Sleeping Beauty • Briar Rose • Good Sister – Bad Sister • Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter • The Talking Eggs

  35. Variants of Folktales • Rumpelstiltskin • Duffy and the Devil • The Girl Who Spun Gold • The Rumpelstiltskin Problem • Trit – a- Trot in Ireland • Whuppity Stoorie in Scotland • Jack and the Beanstalk • English folklore • Jack Tales - American folklore