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Folk Tradition The traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs, and dances of a culture. Folklore is based on the concerns of ordinary people and is passed.

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Presentation on theme: "Folk Tradition The traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs, and dances of a culture. Folklore is based on the concerns of ordinary people and is passed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Folk Tradition The traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs, and dances of a culture. Folklore is based on the concerns of ordinary people and is passed down by word of mouth. Oral Tradition Literature that passes by word of mouth from one generation to the next. Oral literature was a way of recording the past, glorifying leaders, and teaching morals and traditions to young people. LITERARY TERMS

2 Genres of folklore: How many do you recognize? folk tales*myths* fairy tales*epics* tall tales*legends* fables*parables* spirituals*proverbs* folk songs (including ballads)* *In future slides, any word containing an asterisk means that the term is a genre of folklore.

3 Science fiction meets parable: “He—y, Come on Ou—t!” (pp. 1014-1017, blue textbook) A parable* is a brief and simple story that is intended to teach a lesson about human behavior or society. In Western European-based cultures, the most famous parables are those told by Jesus in the Bible, such as “The Prodigal Son” (pp. 25-26, green textbook), or the wise builder versus the foolish builder. Parables and fables often contain a moral, which is a practical lesson about right and wrong conduct. wise builder versus the foolish builder

4 “Echo and Narcissus” “The Story of Daedalus and Icarus” (pp. 7-9 and 12-14, green textbook) A myth* is a story that explains objects or events in the natural world as resulting from the action of some supernatural force or entity, most often a god. Every early culture around the globe has produced its own myths. The best-known myths are related to ancient Greece and the Romans. Arachne (Greek myth, where spidersGreek myth come from)

5 “The White Snake,” by the Brothers Grimm (pp. 19-21, green textbook) Fairy tales* are stories that deal with mischievous spirits and other supernatural occurrences, often in medieval settings. The name generally is applied to stories of the kind collected by the Brothers Grimm in Germany or told by Hans Christian Andersen of Denmark. Examples: “Cinderella” and “The Little Mermaid.” Brothers Grimm

6 “Goha and the Pot,” a North African folk/trickster tale (p. 30, green textbook) Folk tale*: A brief story passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. One Thousand and One Knights, from the Islamic Golden Age (about 750 through 1250 C.E., or Common Era), is one of the more popular collections of folk tales. Remember Aladdin? Trickster tale: A folk tale that usually involves deceit, or a trick of some kind. The trickster figure, most often a clever underdog, outwits another character who isn’t as smart. One of the oldest of such tales is “Jack and the Beanstalk,” which is believed to have been an oral legend brought to England by the Vikings.“Jack and the Beanstalk,”

7 “The Fox and the Crow,” by Aesop (p. 34, green textbook) “Coyote and Crow” (Native American legend) (p. 956, blue textbook) What characteristics do we often associate with crows, foxes, and coyotes? Why do you think people attribute human characteristics to animals? The above two stories are part of these two genres:

8  A fable* is a brief story, often with animal characters, told to express a moral. Famous fables include those of Aesop (such as “The Tortoise and the Hare”) and Jean de La Fontaine.“The Tortoise and the Hare”  A legend* is a story often based on real events or characters from older times. Unlike myths, legends are popularly regarded as historical, but they may contain elements that are fantastic or unverifiable. Examples of legends are George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and St. Nicholas/Santa Claus.

9 Folk song: “John Henry” (pp. 46-49, green textbook)“John Henry” Folk songs* are traditional or composed songs typically made up of stanzas, a refrain, and a simple melody. A form of folk literature, folk songs are expressions of a culture’s commonly shared ideas. They are anonymously authored songs that have been passed down orally. Stanza: A group of lines in a poem or song. Refrain: A line or group of lines repeated in a poem or song.

10 A long story, often told in verse, involving heroes and gods. Grand in length and scope, this genre provides a picture of an entire culture, of the beliefs, values, laws, arts, and ways of life of a people. hero: An epic’s hero is an inspiring character who represents a culture’s ideals of courage, intelligence, etc. In early literature, a hero is often part divine and possesses remarkable abilities, such as magical powers or superhuman strength. Epic*

11 Examples of epic heroes: Odysseus from The Odyssey (Greek epic poem by Homer, about 600 B.C.E.) Beowulf from Beowulf (Old English epic, unknown author, 700 C.E.)

12 Proverb* A proverb, or adage, is a traditional saying that offers an idea of a culture’s values and beliefs. Some well-known proverbs include: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” “A dog is man’s best friend.” “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” The graphic above shows the words that are used in English proverbs, with the size of each word indicating how often it occurs.

13 Spiritual* Religion-based songs from the African-American folk tradition that were created largely by enslaved men and women of African heritage in the United States. Many of these songs also contain political undertones, such as “Go Down, Moses” (green textbook, pp. 56-57), which reminds people about the bad things that happened to the pharaoh who refused to free his slaves, the Hebrews, in ancient Egypt.songs“Go Down, Moses” Tall Tale* American folk tales that are often light-hearted and humorous, and contain highly exaggerated, unrealistic elements, such as Paul Bunyan singlehandedly digging and creating the Great Lakes, Pecos Bill riding on a tornado as if it were a wild horse, and Johnny Appleseed planting trees throughout the U.S.

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