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Transcript of Folklore Lesson
Folklore is the traditional art, literature,knowledge, and practice that is disseminated largely through oral communication and behavioral example.
What is folklore?
How to find Folklore while reading
Myths, a type of folklore, consists of the naming of Gods and Goddesses. For example,
"The baby Heracles lay fast asleep. Two serpents slithered around his crib and reared their ugly heads. Before they could strike, Heracles woke up, grabbed the giant snakes and strangled them.
The hero of Greece had just performed his first famous feat.
Heracles was the son of the great god Zeus and a mortal woman. This made him a powerful enemy: Zeus's wife Hera. It was she who had sent in the serpents. When Heracles grew into manhood, the jealous queen smote him with a frenzy of madness. The hero committed the unthinkable crime: he killed his wife and children." -Heracles
Terms to know
Mythology: A collection of myths especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.
Legends: A traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but the author is unknown.
Fables: A short story typically with animals as characters conveying a moral.
Tall Tale: A humorously exaggerated story about impossible events.
When analyzing text to find out if it is in the folklore genre, you should look for these key things:
1. Does it have a moral, or lesson, in it?
2. Does it have the names of Gods and Goddesses?
3. Does it include talking animals?
4. Does it have extreme exaggerations?
Ichabod was a kind and thankful creature, whose spirits rose with eating as some men do with drink. He could not help rolling his large eyes round him on the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea table in the sumptuous time of autumn. Such heaped-up platters of cakes and crullers of various kinds, known only to experienced Dutch housewives! And then there were apple pies and peach pies and pumpkin pies, besides slices of ham and smoked beef; and, moreover, delectable dishes of preserved plums, and peaches, and pears, and quinces, not to mention broiled shad and roasted chickens; together with bowls of milk and cream, with the motherly teapot sending up its clouds of vapor from the midst. Ichabod chuckled with the possibility that he might one day be lord of all this scene of almost unimaginable luxury and splendor
If the story has any of these things, it is in the folklore genre!
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me."
The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."
"That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all the way."
"Keep your boasting till you've won," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"
So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race.
Then the Tortoise said: "Slow but steady progress wins the race."
A Wisconsin Tall Tale
retold by S.E. Schlosser
There is a tale once told of a Mississippi riverboat captain who called all of the passengers to the top deck in the middle of the night. When the announcement was made, everyone hurried topside, wondering fearfully what had occasioned the disruption in their sleep.
Once all the passengers were present, the captain stood atop a crate and looked over the half-dressed, shivering crowd.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I fear that our ship has struck a snag and is sinking," he announced.
This statement was greeted with gasps of horror from those assembled.
"I wonder," the captain continued solemnly, "if there is anyone among us skilled in the art of prayer?"
The frightened passengers nodded wisely to one another. Yes, a prayer at such a perilous time was a very good idea.
After a moment's hesitation, a young clergyman stepped forward. "I have some skill in praying," he said.
"Excellent," said the captain. "You stand here and pray, while I hand out the life vests. We're one short."