Types of folktales
The folklore of a culture or large group includes among other things legends, proverbs, jokes, fairy tales, stories and tall tales. Humour is into many folktales. People who study folklore may be referred to as folklorists. Folklore and mythology are linked.
A folktale may or may not have connotative meanings to ponder, and may or may not have mysterious content. It depends in part on the interpretations made. Many tales are presented and understood to have very little formal, religious content, or be a bit sacrilegious. But other tales are express religious, pious. Legends stand out among them.
Many types of folktales have been classified in a big work (Uther, 2004), that is, given a "skeleton" to describe or hint at each classified tale, and a classification number called ATU now, and AT before 2004. Even though many types of folktales and motifs are not included yet, this classification catalogue often makes it easier to compare tales of different countries, compare motifs, and see how themes have developed over centuries.
Moral is a lot in some forms of tales
Folk beliefs may elaborate on moral sentiment, on what to do or not to do, and what may happen if (something). The telling of stories appears to be a cultural universal, common to basic and complex societies alike. Ancient Greek and Roman literature contains much folklore and popular beliefs, often with counterparts in later folktales and later legends.
A folk narrative can have both a moral and psychological scope, as well as entertainment value. It may or may not derive from a printed source. Contemporary legends are called urban legends.
Types of folktales
A search to get to grips with life is into some folktales. Folklore can serve to validate a culture and transmit a culture's morals and values. Folklore can also stimulate arts, both visual arts, performed (opera, ballet), and music. Folklore is at times used to assert or relieve social pressures, by its well adapted humour.
How many folktales are built up along large lines
Vladimir Propp's study Morphology of the Folktale (1928) disclosed underlying structures of Russian folktales collected by Alexander Afanasyev. His work influenced later research, and scholars like Algirdas Greimas adapted Propp's scheme to other tales than Russian ones.
Rhetoric grasps include some of those who have been detected in the folklore-linked cartoon Han Ola og han Per from the US Midwest, first published from 1918 to 1935. [More]
Forms of entertainment - conveying traditional stuff
Much is planted into a life through folklore. It has many forms, such as anecdotes, archetypes, ballads, child lore, counting rhymes, fables, fairy tales, festivals, folk arts, folk beliefs, folk magic, folk medicine, folk narratives, folk plays, folk rhymes, folk songs, games, ghost stories, holiday customs, idioms, jokes, legends, maxims (sayings), mythology, myths, parables, proverbs, riddles, sayings, superstitions, tall tales, taunts, urban legends and weather lore.
In the list, fables and also legends rise high among traditional means to entertain and convey moral. In education, they are tolerated too. The same goes for many forms of fairy tales - leaving out the unsound and unfit ones.
Folklore works have given rise to other pieces of art in the form of music, paintings, ballets and operas. Besides, more recent mass media like cartoons and films often use folkloric motifs to entertain well. Thus, if folklore parts of life were taken away, wouldn't life be poorer, less entertaining? I would say so.
Social sciences address social problems. Some forms of research tend to give rise to findings, such as conclusions. In earlier times, people wallowed in given conclusions too, but lacked statistical means to help them verify how correct their various assertions (proverbs, sayings) were under typical and varying conditions. Also, lessons from the struggle to get at good life conclusions were blended with jokes and cryptic cunning too.
This is to say that not all forms of proverbs and sayings can be trusted in blindly: It often happens that one proverbs is gainsaid by one or more other proverbs, for people did not agree in their views and conclusions (including proverbs), then as now.
Great caution is needed to handle proverbs of former times well in today's society, for some are fit for life today's world too, and others are hardly so. Yet the entertainment value of blunt, wrong proverbs may be missed in today's world too, like frolic and friendly overstatements called hyperbole. One may mistake the very assertive saying for a truth-saying, so a few neat candid reservations are rarely out of place at all times, now as in earlier times.
Different forms of folklore may also be handled as testimonies of days past - for example of how people thought about and accomplished things - that is, as historical evidence. That folk song and folk dance went into the training of civil rights activists in similar ways.
Beneath the surfaces of various forms of folklore one can glimpse or study how people in former times addressed social issues, how they regarded herbalism and other issues of public health, for example.
Today, some folklorists have begun to work as consultants in city planning and in other fields.
[A source: WP, "Applied folklore"]
Different aspects of folklore are handled in the following books. Some are for surveys, some talk of ancient roots, some (e.g. Bruner 1996) show they are likely to serve cultural transmissions and the like, and then there are recent adaptations to mass media. And some tell of the art of storytelling.
Alexander, Bryan. The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2011.
Anderson, Graham. Greek and Roman Folklore: A Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006.
Ashliman, D. L. A Guide to Folktales in the English Language. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.
Ashliman, D. L. Fairy Lore: A Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006.
Bottigheimer, Ruth B. Fairy Tales: A New History. Albany, NY: State University of New York, 2009.
Bruner, Jerome. The Culture of Education. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996.
Brunvand, Jan Harold, ed. American Folklore: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, 1996.
Dundes, Alan. The Meaning of Folklore: The Analytical Essays of Alan Dundes. Ed. Simon J. Bronner. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2007.
Engelstad, Irene. Fortellingens mønstre: En strukturell analyse av norske folkeeventyr. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1976.
Green, Thomas A., ed. Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1997.
Greene, Ellin. Storytelling: Art and Technique. London: Libraries Unlimited, 1996.
Greimas, Algirdas. Strukturel semantik. Odense: Borgen, 1983.
Haase, Donald, ed. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales. Vols 1–3. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008.
Hodne, Ørnulf. The Types of the Norwegian Folktale. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1984.
Kvideland, Reimund, and Henning K. Sehmsdorf, eds. Scandinavian Folk Beliefs. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1988.
Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale. Austin: University of Texas, 1968.
Sherman, Josepha, ed. Storytelling: An Encyclopedia of Mythology and Folklore. Vols 1-3. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 2008.
Sundland, Egil. "Det var en gang – et menneske" Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk Forlag, 1995.
Uther, Hans-Jörg. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography Based on the System of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Vols 1-3. FF Communications No. 284-86, Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2004.
Zipes, Jack. Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion: The Classical Genre for Children and the Process of Civilization. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2006.
Zipes, Jack. Speaking Out: Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2004.
Zipes, Jack. Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture. London: Viking Penguin, 1991.
Zipes, Jack. The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre. Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2012.
Zipes, Jack, ed. The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Paperback ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Zipes, Jack. Breaking the Magic Spell. Reprint. New York: Routledge, 1992.
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