Folklore Or Popular Antiquity Pop Culture, Elite Culture, Folk Culture These are the three types of culture used in the world today. Can you tell which picture belongs to which culture? Pop culture The media passes it down Short life span Author is traceable Fine Culture Media passes down Author is known Long Life span Folk Culture Roots of the other two Passed along orally, rarely by media Usually told among friends Passed by visual perception EX: grass mowing No known author Lives basically forever Elements of Folklore Folklore is the traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs and dances of a culture. It is an oral tradition and is based on the lives of the common people. The following are examples of folklore that is used in modern day literature. Riddles Fairy Tales (think “Once Upon A Time” or “Grimm”) Proverbs Folk tales Legends Urban legends Ghost stories Superstitions Riddles This is the oldest form of written folklore we have. It is a question with an unexpected answer. (The Riddle of the Sphinx) There are 3 major parts to a riddle: 1. Description 2. The block 3. The answer EX: A riddle a riddle, a hole in the middle. What am I? Answer: A doughnut Proverbs Oldest form of oral genre, but has passed into literary works Definition Brief popular saying in a relatively fixed format Cannot be a single word- such as “fiddlesticks” Examples: “Get your ducks in a row” “A rolling stone gathers no moss” Several use similes “sweet as sugar” or are ironic “clear as mud” Superstitions Superstitions are beliefs of the ignorant because they have not factual basis. Some people actually believe them to be true. Most superstitions have a counteractive part that will fix whatever the belief is to make it better. Examples of Superstitions It is bad luck if a black cat crosses your path unless you put 3 Xs in the air as it does. If you break a mirror, it is 7 years bad luck-unless you throw the parts into running water (like a river). It then gives the bad luck to the person that cuts their foot on the shard of glass. If you sweep over a person’s foot with a broom, someone is going to die the house that night. If you hear an owl hoot outside your window, you are going to die. You hear of teams wearing the same shirt or socks for each game as if that is why they win. Players do not shave their beards for the playoffs, etc. Folk Tales An anonymous, traditional story passed down orally long before it was written down. Folktales include animal stories, tricksters, fairy tales, legends, myths and tall tales. Trickster tales are the ones like Br’er Fox and Br’er Rabbit. Fairy Tales Fairy tales have some sort of fairy element to them. These are not the modern day “Tinkerbell” style creations. Fairies are like myths. They were once believed in and were used to explain the negative or unexplainable things that happen to people. For example: If two dark haired parents have a child that is blond, we understand that genetically that can happen. The people of old believed the fairies came and switched their real child with a fairy child (a changling), and they would throw the baby into the fire to return it to the fairy parents. Murder? Not in those days Fairy tales continued Fairies were used to explain negative things as well. If a young person got thin and quit eating, the people of old claimed he or she must have eaten fairy food and will now waste away. The truth? It was probably some form of cancer or other disease. Milk soured? Kobolds did it! Water in a pan by the fire disappear? The pixies drank it! Mushrooms grow in a circle in your yard? Fairies danced there the night before. That is called a “fairy ring” Blankets all kicked off the bed at night? You have a boggart living in your house! Kobold Boggart Pixies TROLLS Parents told their children about trolls and the bogey man to keep them from going outside or away from them at night. They used the tales to keep the kids safe. Tall Tales A tall tale is a story in which the exploits of a character are exaggerated. When you read one, you expect to find ridiculous and unlikely situations narrated seriously, as if the events are true. They rely on certain elements: a hero for the people, deeds that are unbelievable, and character traits that are wildly exaggerated. Examples include Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyon, and John Henry. P E C O S B I L L PAUL BUNYON AND HIS BLUE OX, BABE JOHN HENRY What is the purpose of tall tales? Why do you think people told them? Urban Legends Some of these may seem more modern because you have heard them from your parents. They are stories easily passed down through the internet. Examples include Bloody Mary, The Hook Story, or even something as simple as if you see flashing headlines, you’ll get shot. Rules to follow with urban legends-the people telling them believe they are true. It ruins the fun if you tell them it is not.