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Folk Groups And Folklore Genres Reader

A Reader

edited by Elliott Oring

Publication Year: 1989

Compiled to accompany the best-selling textbook, Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction, the selections in this anthology extend the discussion in diverse directions, alert the reader to new problems, and introduce alternative perspectives. The essays include folklore classics and recent works, and are organized in sections that correspond to the chapter headings in An Introduction.

Published by: Utah State University Press

Title Page

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xii

Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: A Reader is designed to accompany Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction. The thirty-four essays included here are organized according to the chapter headings of that introductory volume. This common organization is meant to simplify the articulation of the essays in the two books. Although the volumes are designed to be used together, they also can be used ...

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Folkloristics: A Conception of Theory

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pp. 1-20

An academic discipline is generally defined by the nature of the materials it studies and the types of questions it explores with respect to these materials. The materials of folkloristics are generally recognized to be traditional ideas, actions, or consequences. Whether traditional materials are defined in terms of mentation, behavior, or product ...

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Herder, Folklore and Romantic Nationalism

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pp. 21-37

English-American folklore studies began as the leisure-time activity of scholar gentlemen intrigued by the quaint body of customs, manners, and oral traditions called popular antiquities —rebaptized folklore in 1846. With the advent of evolutionary anthropology in the second half of the nineteenth century and with its emphasis on folklore items as survivals among the ...

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Tradition, Genuine or Spurious

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pp. 38-42

Like many scholarly concepts, "tradition" is at once a commonsense and a scientific category. In its commonsense meaning, tradition refers to an inherited body of customs and beliefs. In the social sciences, an ongoing discourse has attempted to refine this understanding of tradition as it has proven empirically and theoretically inadequate. Recent efforts to clarify the concept of ...

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The Portal Case: Authenticity, Tourism, Traditions, and the Law

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pp. 43-51

Santa Fe, New Mexico, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year because of its picturesque plaza, its historic role as a Spanish imperial capital, its nearby Indian pueblos, its wealth of museums, and its cultural events-and its ski slopes. It has an image as an Old World haven where one can meet the American Other, the unassimilated Native American ...

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The Letter in Canadian Ukrainian Folklore

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pp. 53-62

One of the main functions of speech is to communicate, to establish contact between an addresser and his addressee. If, however, the barriers of time and space are insurmountable, the verbalized message, once emitted, will fail to be received by the intended addressee-unless, of course, some vehicle such as the telephone is available to transmit the verbalized ...

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Folk Medicine and the Intercultural Jest

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pp. 63-77

This paper is a discussion of six jests collected in Spanish at the lower end of the Texas-Mexican border and presented here in English translation. They were part of several hundred texts recorded in 1962 and 1963, during a series of field trips in search of jests and legendary anecdotes that might reveal attitudes of Mexicans and Mexican Americans toward the ...

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Carnival in Canada: The Politics of Celebration

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pp. 78-86

Celebration often exemplifies one of the central paradoxes of play. 1 From one perspective, it is autotelic and purely expressive, an ideal form of the ludic impulse in the classic sense described by Huizinga.2 From another angle, however, celebration can be replete with studied political maneuvering and other instrumental stratagems. Their polarity notwithstanding, these two aspects of celebration are

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Spacey Soviets and the Russian Attitude Toward Territorial Passage

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pp. 87-97

All cultures establish territorial boundaries and assign special powers to boundary-crossers. This has been generally accepted since the days of Arnold Van Gennep and his Rites of Passage (1909). It is also widely accepted that the special attributes assigned to any "marked" object or person, such as a boundary-crosser, may be either positive or ...

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Brothers and Sisters: Pentecostals as a Religious Folk Group

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pp. 99-113

Pentecostals are acutely aware of the many stereotypes, fears, and apprehensions that non-Pentecostals share about them. They realize that most non-believers find their beliefs and their religious behavior strange at best and abhorrent and primitive at worst. Strong anti-Pentecostal sentiment from outsiders only feeds the fire of Pentecostalism, however, and is ...

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Ethnicity and Citizenship in the Ritual of an Israeli Synagogue

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pp. 114-123

One of the characteristic social developments among many first-generation immigrant groups in Western countries, particularly in the United States, has been the emergence of "ethnic churches."1 In Israel the phenomenon is also common. Of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of synagogues established in Israel in the recent decades of mass immigration, ...

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You Are What You Eat: Religious Aspects of the Health Food Movement

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pp. 124-135

I intend to examine a certain way of eating; that which is characteristic of the health food movement, and try to determine what people are communicating when they choose to eat in ways which run counter to the dominant patterns of food consumption in our society. This requires looking at health foods as a system of symbols and the adherence to a health ...

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Risk and Ritual: An Interpretation of Fishermen's Folklore in a New England Community

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pp. 137-145

Among certain groups and in certain behavioral settings in the United States, there is a greater use of ritual magic than is generally characteristic of the whole society.1 Coal miners and fishermen as well as rodeo performers and gamblers are in occupations and situations that are replete with ritual magic. These groups and situations have in common a high degree of ...

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Tending Bar at Brown's: Occupational Role as Artistic Performance

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pp. 146-157

In the traditional description of the public drinking place, tending bar has largely been characterized as a passive profession.1 The bartender or barmaid has been seen as the distributor of drinks and as the person ultimately responsible for order. In the enactment of either task, they are usually described as peripheral to the existence of the social world of the bar; as persons ...

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The Last Forty-Niner: The Uses of History in the Mother Lode

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pp. 158-167

In a cabin on a little peak east of Tuolumne City, California, lives "The Last Forty-Niner." At least, that is what a San Francisco television station dubbed him in a five-minute segment of a magazine-format program about "real people." If Ben Fullingim were really the last forty-niner, his participation in the California Gold Rush, as fascinating ...

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The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren

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pp. 169-177

Children reinforce the truth by swearing upon their honour, their heart, their Bible, their own life, or, preferably, their mother's. Spitting, linking fingers, holding their hand up to God, and making crosses upon their body accompany their declarations. If this catalogue seems impious it should be emphasized that the asseverations in the following pages (mostly collected ...

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Transformations: The Fantasy of the Wicked Stepmother

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pp. 178-184

There is a right time for certain growth experiences, and childhood is the time to learn bridging the immense gap between inner experiences and the real world. Fairy tales may seem senseless, fantastic, scary, and totally unbelievable to the adult who was deprived of fairy story fantasy in his own childhood, or has repressed these memories. An adult who has not ...

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Strategy in Counting Out: An Ethnographic Folklore Field Study

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pp. 185-195

Though considerable attention has been paid to game activities by travellers, historians, antiquarians, and numerous others for almost two centuries, much of the scholarship of such pastimes, until well into the twentieth century, consisted of little more than gathering and publishing descriptions and the related texts.1 A few scholars attempted interpretation ...

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The Structure of the Turkish Romances

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pp. 210-221

A structural study of folk narrative that challenged type and motif oriented research was designed by Vladimir Propp.1 In his analysis of the Russian magic tale, Propp identified the functions of the dramatis personae as the most constant aspect of tales. My study is an attempt to outline the apparent structure, the compositional structure, of the Turkish romance ...

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The Wife Who Goes Out Like a Man, Comes Back as a Hero: The Art of Two Oregon Indian Narratives

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pp. 209-223

One of the few stories in a North American Indian repertory to receive genuine analysis from more than one writer is a brief, starkly horrifying text in the late Melville Jacobs's collection of Clackamas Chinook literature from Oregon-titled "Seal and Her Younger Brother Dwelt There" 1 —with full and penetrating commentaries on it by ...

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Family Misfortune Stories in American Folklore

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pp. 224-235

Whatever their culture, people have always sought to understand why some individuals live in better circumstances and have greater access to the good things of life than others.1 Generally, scholars have found that explanations for differential living standards are not infinitely diverse and idiosyncratic, but rather that they are neatly patterned into stories ...

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Personal Experience Narratives: Use and Meaning in Interaction

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pp. 236-243

Personal experience narratives have recently begun to attract the attention of folklorists, although there is no general consensus on the admission of such narratives into the canon of traditional folklore genres.1 Up to now, studies of personal experience narratives have tended to concentrate on structure and content in efforts to identify what ...

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A Model for Textual Variation in Folksong

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pp. 245-253

The purpose of this paper is to present a model for textual change in folksong. It is hoped that the model will be useful as a device in at least three ways: first, to bring together the various concepts dealing with textual variation which have been advanced by scholars; second, to clarify the relationships among different types of textual change; and third, to suggest ...

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Oral Formulas in the Country Blues

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pp. 254-266

Anyone listening to a number of country blues songs will have noticed that they share certain basic linguistic and thematic features. Most noticeably, half-lines, lines, and stanzas will be found to recur in the songs of a great many singers. These may be modified, sometimes radically so, but they bear a recognizable relationship to lines and stanzas ...

The Battle of Harlaw

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pp. 267-270

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History and Harlaw

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pp. 271-278

In the introduction to the ballad numbered 163 in his collection, Francis James Child wrote, "A ballad taken down some four hundred years after the event will be apt to retain very little of sober history."1 And with this view most critics have concurred. In fact, it has even hardened into an axiom and on occasion has produced the paradoxical situation where ...

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'Wine, Women and Song": From Martin Luther to American T-Shirts

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pp. 279-290

There exists a long tradition which claims that Martin Luther coined the common proverb "Who loves not wine, women and song, remains a fool his whole life long." Even though the proverb appeared in print for the first time in the year 1775 in Germany, scholars and others have continued to attribute it to Luther.1 But nobody has been able to locate ...

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"Wise Words"; of the Western Apache

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pp. 291-301

The most salient characteristic of metaphor consists in a blatant violation of linguistic rules that results in the expression of a proposition that is either logically false or, in Rudolf Carnap's terminology, "conceptually absurd."1 Walker Percy has put the matter nicely: a metaphor "asserts of one thing that it is something else" and is therefore inevitably ...

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"The Land Won't Burn": An Esoteric American Proverb and Its Significance

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pp. 302-307

In recent years folklorists have urged the abandonment of solely text-oriented approaches to their disciplines.1 Theoretical articles have demanded that various folkloristic genres be seen as vehicles of communication appearing naturally in social contexts.2 Not surprisingly, much discussion has focused on that most prevalent of verbal genres, the ...

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Totemism and the A.E.F. Revisited

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pp. 308-314

In 1924, Ralph Linton called attention to the curious development of a "pseudototemic complex" among the members of the 42nd division of the American Expeditionary Force stationed in France during the First World War.1 The 42nd division (it was said) had been named the Rainbow Division by higher officials because it comprised units from ...

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The Nebraska Round Barn

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pp. 315-319

Round barns - henceforth in this paper a generic term used for both round and polygonal barns-are a traditional feature of American folk architecture, a feature which has been now and again reinforced by extrinsic, sophisticated architectural fashions. In a forward to a New York State Historical Association pamphlet entitled "Octagon Buildings in ...

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The Palauan Story-Board: The Evolution of a Folk Art Style

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pp. 320-328

It is not unusual in academic circles to hear deprecatory remarks about "airport art" when the locals cluster about the newest influx of tourists, hawking their carvings, shell necklaces, and other assorted twentieth century facsimiles of artifacts once vital to aboriginal ceremony and ritual. Indeed, the exuberant purchaser is fortunate if his joy in his recent acquisitions ...

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Objects of Memory: Material Culture as Life Review

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pp. 329-338

Though in the history of folkloristics, biography has served primarily to illuminate folklore, recent work has reversed the relationship to show the extent to which folklore can serve as a primary medium for recovering a life. Traditional singers appreciate the powerful associations of songs with the circumstances of their acquisition and performance because ...

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Mediating Structures and the Significance of University Folk

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pp. 339-349

Triviality stalks folklore studies like an ugly family secret. The everyday use of the term "folklore" as a synonym for "false belief' or "superstition" is a difficult enough prejudice to overcome. But folklore inquiry lends itself to "fun" topics, and a culture that sustains the work/play dichotomy as strongly as does ours tends to devalue work that seems too ...

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The Study of Folklore in Literature and Culture: Identification and Interpretation

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pp. 350-357

Many of those outside the discipline of folklore and even some of those within tend to divide folklorists into literary or anthropological categories. With this binary division comes a related notion that each group of folklorists has its own methodology appropriate for its special interests; hence there is thought to be a method for studying folklore in ...

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Documenting Folklore: The Annotation

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pp. 358-373

Every event, each human behavior, is a unique occurrence brought about by the interaction of particular objects, in particular places, at particular times, and under particular conditions. Since objects, time, place, and circumstance continually change, no two events are ever identical. Everything is utterly singular and new. The human mind cannot comprehend ...

References Cited

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pp. 375-384

E-ISBN-13: 9780874213904
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874211405

Publication Year: 1989