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Jones saw the stories as a coastal variation of Joel Chandler Harris's inland dialect tales and sought to preserve their unique language and character. Through Jones' rendering of the sound and syntax of nineteenth-century Gullah, the lively stories describe the adventures and mishaps of such characters as "Buh Rabbit," "Buh Ban-Yad Rooster," and other animals. The tales range from the humorous to the instructional and include stories of the "sperits," Daddy Jupiter's "vision," a dying bullfrog's last wish, and others about how "buh rabbit gained sense" and "why the turkey buzzard won't eat crabs."
Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore
Culture and Medicine in Modern Health Belief Systems
Scholars in folklore and anthropology are more directly involved in various aspects of medicine—such as medical education, clinical pastoral care, and negotiation of transcultural issues—than ever before. Old models of investigation that artificially isolated "folk medicine," "complementary and alternative medicine," and "biomedicine" as mutually exclusive have proven too limited in exploring the real-life complexities of health belief systems as they observably exist and are applied by contemporary Americans. Recent research strongly suggests that individuals construct their health belief systmes from diverse sources of authority, including community and ethnic tradition, education, spiritual beliefs, personal experience, the influence of popular media, and perception of the goals and means of formal medicine. Healing Logics explores the diversity of these belief systems and how they interact—in competing, conflicting, and sometimes remarkably congruent ways. This book contains essays by leading scholars in the field and a comprehensive bibliography of folklore and medicine.
History, Genre, Meaning
"The most comprehensive account of its subject now available, this impressive study lives up to the encyclopedic promise of its title." -- Choice
The Hebrew Folktale seeks to find and define the folk-elements of Jewish culture. Through the use of generic distinctions and definitions developed in folkloristics, Yassif describes the major trends -- structural, thematic, and functional -- of folk narrative in the central periods of Jewish culture.
In contemporary America, myths find expression primarily in film. What's more, many of the highest-grossing American movies of the past several decades have been rooted in one of the most fundamental mythic narratives, the hero quest. Why is the hero quest so persistently renewed and retold? In what ways does this universal myth manifest itself in American cinema? And what is the significance of the popularity of these modern myths?
The Hero and the Perennial Journey Home in American Film by Susan Mackey-Kallis is an exploration of the appeal of films that recreate and reinterpret this mythic structure. She closely analyzes such films as E.T., the Star Wars trilogy, It's a Wonderful Life, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, Field of Dreams, The Piano, Thelma and Louise, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Elements of the quest mythology made popular by Joseph Campbell, Homer's Odyssey, the perennial philosophy of Aldous Huxley, and Jungian psychology all contribute to the compelling interpretive framework in which Mackey-Kallis crafts her study. She argues that the purpose of the hero quest is not limited to the discovery of some boon or Holy Grail, but also involves finding oneself and finding a home in the universe.
The home that is sought is simultaneously the literal home from which the hero sets out and the terminus of the personal growth he or she undergoes during the journey back. Thus the quest, Mackey-Kallis asserts, is an outward journey into the world of action and events which eventually requires a journey inward if the hero is to grow, and ultimately necessitates a journey homeward if the hero is to understand the grail and share it with the culture at large. Finally, she examines the value of mythic criticism and addresses questions about myth currently being debated in the field of communication studies.
Texas Hunting and Fishing Lore
What would cause someone to withstand freezing temperatures in a cramped wooden box for hours on end, or stand in waist-high rushing waters, flicking a pole back and forth over and over—in many cases with nothing whatsoever to show for his efforts? Why is it that, into the twenty-first century, with the convenience of practically any type of red meat or fish available at the local supermarket, we continue to hunt game and fish on open waters? The answer is that no matter how sophisticated we think we are, no matter how technologically advanced we become, there is still something deep within us that beckons us to “the hunt.” This desire creates the customs, beliefs, and rituals related to hunting—for deer, hogs, and other four-legged critters, as well as fish and snakes, and other things that perhaps aren’t physically alive, but capture our interest as much as the prey mentioned above. These rituals and customs lead to some of our most treasured stories, legends, and practices. This volume of the Publications of the Texas Folklore Society includes serious, introspective articles on hunting and fishing, as well as humorous tall tales and “windies” about the big ones that got away—all lore that reminds us of that drive that calls us to become predators again.
Peter Buchan and His Secret Songs of Silence
In 1832 the Scottish ballad collector Peter Buchan of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, presented an anthology of risqué‚ and convivial songs and ballads to a Highland laird. When Professor Francis James Child of Harvard was preparing his magisterial edition of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, he made inquiries about it, but it was not made available in time to be considered for his work. On his death it was presented to the Child Memorial Library at Harvard. Because of its unseemly materials, the manuscript has languished there ever since, unprinted, though referred to now and again, and a few items have from time to time made an appearance.The manuscript has now been transcribed with full annotation and with an introduction on the compiler, his times, and the Scottish bawdy tradition. It contains the texts (without tunes) of seventy-six bawdy songs and ballads, along with a long-lost scatological poem attributed to the Edinburgh writer James "Balloon" Tytler. Appendices give details of Buchan's two published collections of ballads. Additionally, there is a list of tale types and motifs, a glossary of Scots and archaic words, a bibliography, and an index. The High-Kilted Muse brings to light a long-suppressed volume and fills in a great gap in published bawdy songs and ballads.
Popular Music and Social Change in Urban Ghana
Highlife Saturday Night captures the vibrancy of Saturday nights in Ghana—when musicians took to the stage and dancers took to the floor—in this penetrating look at musical leisure during a time of social, political, and cultural change. Framing dance band "highlife" music as a central medium through which Ghanaians negotiated gendered and generational social relations, Nate Plageman shows how popular music was central to the rhythm of daily life in a West African nation. He traces the history of highlife in urban Ghana during much of the 20th century and documents a range of figures that fueled the music's emergence, evolution, and explosive popularity. This book is generously enhanced by audiovisual material on the Ethnomusicology Multimedia website.
The Poetics and Anthropology of Oral Literature
It would be difficult to imagine what human life would be like without stories—from myths recited by Pueblo Indian healers in the kiva, ballads sung in Slovenian market squares, folktales and legends told by the fireside in Italy, to jokes told at a dinner table in Des Moines—for it is chiefly through storytelling that people possess a past.
In Homo Narrans John D. Niles explores how human beings shape their world through the stories they tell. The book vividly weaves together the study of Anglo-Saxon literature and culture with the author's own engagements in the field with some of the greatest twentieth-century singers and storytellers in the Scottish tradition. Niles ponders the nature of the storytelling impulse, the social function of narrative, and the role of individual talent in oral tradition. His investigation of the poetics of oral narrative encompasses literary works, such as the epic poems and hymns of early Greece and the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf, texts that we know only through written versions but that are grounded in oral technique.
That all forms of narrative, even the most sophisticated genres of contemporary fiction, have their ultimate origin in storytelling is a point that scarcely needs to be argued. Niles's claims here are more ambitious: that oral narrative is and has long been the chief basis of culture itself, that the need to tell stories is what distinguishes humans from all other living creatures.
Music, Community, Culture
Demonstrating the intimate connections among our public, political, and personal lives, these essays by Robert Cantwell explore the vernacular culture of everyday life. A keen and innovative observer of American culture, Cantwell casts a broad and penetrating intelligence over the cultural functioning of popular texts, artifacts, and performers, examining how cultural practices become performances and how performances become artifacts endowed with new meaning through the transformative acts of imagination. Cantwell's points of departure range from the visual and the literary--a photograph of Woody Guthrie, or a poem by John Keats--to major cultural exhibitions such as the World's Columbian Exposition. In all these domains, he unravels the implications for community and cultural life of a continual migration, transformation, and reformulation of cultural content.