Folklore Info PPT (1).ppsx

Popular Antiquity
Pop Culture, Elite Culture, Folk
 These are the three types of culture used in the world
today. Can you tell which picture belongs to which
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.
Fairy Tales (think “Once Upon A Time” or “Grimm”)
Folk tales
Urban legends
Ghost stories
 This is the oldest form of written folklore we have. It is a
question with an unexpected answer. (The Riddle of the
 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
 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 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,
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
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
 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!
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
 Examples include Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyon, and John
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.

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