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McDaniel professor talks German folklore and heavy metal

McDaniel professor talks German folklore and heavy metal | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
McDaniel College professor of German Mohamed Esa has made a career of examining the symbolism of German folklore and fairy tales and said he sometimes sees those symbols, such as gold and poisoned apples, popping up in unlikely places. Even places as unlikely as the music of German heavy metal band Rammstein.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Now there’s a headline you don’t see every day!

 

The music of Rammstein is hard to study without a working knowledge of German. They are indeed smart and philosophical musicians. As in literature, there is no happenstance in the meaning of words and lyrics. The band name itself is derived from the American military base, Ramstein, in Germany.

 

We don’t have to look far to find literary and folklore references in music of any genre. Some examples come to mind of Iron Maiden’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Flight of Icarus,” or “Calypso” by Suzanne Vega, and “Home at Last by Steely Dan (both based on The Odyssey).

 

I think it’s also important to note the role of music urban legend folklore, like that Elvis & Tupac live, Gene Simmons has a tongue implant, or that lyrics played backwards reveal subliminal messages.


Folklore is very much a part of popular culture music today, on so many levels. All you have to do listen!

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Soul of Bengal

Soul of Bengal | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Jasimuddin (1903-1976) is one of the most famous poets from Bangladesh. The rendition of Bengali folklore and rural culture in his poetry earned him the name “The Country Poet (Palli Kobi)&r...
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Jamalpur Jubo Dal is an important figure in preserving Bengali folklore. Our world is changing fast and many of our old stories are dying. To be the keeper, documenter, and distributor of stories is an enormous responsibility. I believe that his greatest and most unique contributions to the field of folk studies as a whole is a collection of rural jokes and his collection and documentation of more than 10,000 folk songs. 

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Indie horror Weep regales the terrifying legend of the Weeping Woman

Indie horror Weep regales the terrifying legend of the Weeping Woman | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
This new film reinvents the classic trope of the child catcher in a horrifying take on the Spanish myth.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

And here’s another movie I won’t watch. This time it’s just because I don’t do horror.

 

The weeping woman (a.k.a. La Llorona, or the woman in white) is a huge part of Hispanic cultures. The premise is that she committed infanticide and is doomed to wander. She sometimes kidnaps stray children.

 

In modern accounts the woman in white often seems to appear right before or during bad events, like a car crash. Descriptions vary greatly. Sometimes she dons a tattered gown, other times she looks very elegant and rich.

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Folklore and politics | Opinion | Oped

Folklore and politics | Opinion | Oped | Folklore Today | Scoop.it

 

Nepali folklore studies is a precious way of saving the real, creative and meaningful existence of people in this...
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

This is an incredibly interesting article which highlights the agenda of a folklore society in Nepal, which is a great representation of what folk studies encompasses. Folklore has a bad reputation of being one of those “soft” and perhaps useless fields of studies, filled with the women in skirts, and men in hemp, dancing in ritual circles, or some such silly stuff.  In actuality, a folklorist is well-versed in many fields of expertise such as humanities, literature, languages/linguistics, sociology, anthropology, economics, food ways, history, and so much more. In the university we have such clear boundaries in the areas of study, but in practice these boundaries are blurry and discretionary at best.

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Ledbury solicitor busts "myths" about co-habiting couples

Ledbury solicitor busts "myths" about co-habiting couples | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
A 'MYTH which has passed into folklore’ surrounding the rights of couples living together is causing anguish and chaos in people’s lives, warns a Ledbury family law expert.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Here’s an example of what folklore is not… common knowledge that becomes popular belief, no matter rather or not it is accurate. Many times terms like “myth” and “folklore” are used out of context, even in academic settings.

 

I  remember when I was in high school we had a mythology unit. The teacher explained, “a myth is just a lie. This is just stuff someone made up a long time ago.” What a gross simplification and misunderstanding of mythology. The literary definition of mythology is a traditional story of early people explaining natural events and phenomenon. In popular culture a “myth” is just a widely held false belief; and I dislike this. Myths weren’t created to spread false information, but rather to preserve and transmit knowledge in the best terms in which people knew to describe the world around them.

 

Folklore on the other hand is a tricky word to define. Every scholar has a differing definition as to what it encompasses. In short, I think we have to identify folklore as communal belief.

 

I believe the right word this fellow was looking for was “urban legend.”   

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Russian Standard ‘Folklore’ edition launched

Russian Standard ‘Folklore’ edition launched | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Copenhagen Airport is staging a promotion for a new travel retail exclusive – Russian Standard vodka ‘Folklore’ edition
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

This is so pretty! A beautiful firebird (an element of traditional Russian folklore) on a vodka bottle (also very traditionally Russian). There are so many different avenues to appreciating art, culture, history, and folklore. And certainly not exclusively in museums or cultural centers!

 

Look around your own home. You might be surprised at how many representations of folklore you see. Perhaps on a box of Lucky Charms (leprechauns) or Count Chocula (vampires). Maybe you even have a crystal skull of vodka!

 

If you have a quilt from a relative, look at the pattern. American quilt patterns often tell stories. During the 1930s a vocabulary of hobo symbols emerged which gave instructions to others who passed along the same path, marking places where food, work, and shelter were available. These symbols often migrated into popular quilting patterns.

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U-M folklore class paid off for 'Vampire Academy' author

U-M folklore class paid off for 'Vampire Academy' author | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
When Richelle Mead took an undergrad class in Eastern European mythology and folklore at the University of Michigan, she didn't know the stuff about vampires would come in handy eventually.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

I have so many students who pass through my class as authors, or aspring authors. I am delighted they all say how much our content is helpful in shaping their own ideas and creativity. Folklore studies are a good choice for writers!

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Group unveils Satan statue design for Oklahoma

Group unveils Satan statue design for Oklahoma | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

This is insanely weird, and there are a lot of different angles one could comment on, but I am only going to comment on this from a folklore perspective.

 

It seems that there is far more narrative of the devil archetype in popular culture than there is in the actual religious texts. I think the image here is a good representation of the power of symbols in our society. The horns and baphomet rendering of "Satan" along with the pentagram denote a very dark and sinister meaning. I wonder how we construct these shared acceptances of what symbols mean (think DaVinci code). 

 

It is important to remember that while we see the very clear message of the image as it pertains to today, symbols change. The pentagram itself has had different historical connotations. It began as a Sumerian cuneiform symbol for corners, later a symbol of the 5 wounds of Christ on the Cross, in the Medieval Ages it was associated with paganism. (Note, pagan means anything outside of the world's major religions; it is not synonymous with devil worship, as this is the popular culture understanding today.) The pentagram can also represent the five elements. Context determines a lot on how we interpret symbols.

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Where the wild things aren't

Where the wild things aren't | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
October 2013 will go down as a bittersweet watershed in the curious field of cryptozoology.
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Have you ever wondered if the folklore of bigfoot, Nessie, or the yeti are true? Perhaps cryptozoology is for you!

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Gifts or Creatures Play at Short's Brewpub

Gifts or Creatures Play at Short's Brewpub | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Gifts or Creatures is the musical pursuit of husband-wife Brandon and Bethany Foote. The couple fuses a blend of midwestern folklore, old world history and cin…
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

It is great to see modern musical interpretations of folklore. Gifts of Creatures have a really interesting sound. I like their concept. http://giftsorcreatures.bandcamp.com/

 

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Krampus Creatures Parade In Search Of Bad Children

Krampus Creatures Parade In Search Of Bad Children | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
HAIMING, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 01: Members of the Haiminger Krampusgruppe dressed as the Krampus creature approach onlookers prior to the annual Krampus night in Tyrol on December 1, 2013 in Haiming, Austria.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

These costumes are beautiful! Wouldn't it be scary to have a visit from the Krampus?

 

I would love to see more holiday movies based on European Christmas traditions. Like the Krampus, Befana the Italian Christmas Witch, or the Norweigan eleves.

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Steven Moffat Is Tinkering With DOCTOR WHO Folklore | Unleash The Fanboy

Steven Moffat Is Tinkering With DOCTOR WHO Folklore | Unleash The Fanboy | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

I think that this is particularly notable because Dr. Who is an excellent example of modern folklore. I am sure that in the future, DW will remain in the eye of popular culture as a sustained literary piece with common allusions. DW also demonstrates how folklore is emerging in new mediums.

 

What other television shows do you think are generating folklore status? Lost perhaps? American Horror Story? We'll see...

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Moon rabit, no more a folklore: China to send 'jade rabbit' to Moon - Hindustan Times

Moon rabit, no more a folklore: China to send 'jade rabbit' to Moon - Hindustan Times | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
China will land its first probe on the moon in early December which will deploy a buggy to explore its surface, an official said today, marking a major milestone in the country's space ambitions.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

I love how folklore inspires imaginations. The ways in which we find modern relevance of "old" stories is endless. I wonder if in the future we will see folklore and technology emerge even more. In 100 years, could a Facebook wall of today become great-grandmother's life narrative? So many possibilities!

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More IP concerns for genetic resources

More IP concerns for genetic resources | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Protecting genetic resources was a heated topic of discussion during the 26th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) in Geneva, Switzerland last week.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Did you know that folklorists play a huge role in science? Advisory groups such as the ICG help determine laws and ethical standards of practice in scientific communities. ICG’s focus is to “towards the development of an international legal instrument or instruments for the effective protection of traditional cultural expressions and traditional knowledge, and to address the intellectual property aspects of access to and benefit-sharing in genetic resources.”

 

Having a folklore presence in these councils provides a most valuable perspective, and many times a voice for minority groups. It is because of the standards of practice in the global scientific community that indigenous peoples are permitted to be left alone and be untouched by civilization, or that the patents don’t inhibit native agriculture.

 

Folklore is a deep and complex field of study. While it certainly does encompass literature and fairy tales, its application of culture and preservation of ideas and ways of life have great societal value.

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Surfing the Decades - local folklore on display - ABC Sunshine & Cooloola Coasts Qld - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Surfing the Decades - local folklore on display - ABC Sunshine & Cooloola Coasts Qld - Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Folklore Today | Scoop.it

This is a great example of how new folklore is made. People form groups, officially or unofficially. In the past many times our cultural identity was dictated by ethnicity, but in our multicultural world people tend to affiliate more strongly with personal interests over heritage. Cultural groups are rarely official, but rather are a connection of people are sharing the same interests.


The link here demonstrates a collection of artifacts from a culture and lifestyle based on surfing, which is something very new. I wonder how many other ways we will see folklore emerge from interest based groups, and from which ones?

Riding the wave of local surfing nostalgia is the main aim behind the 'Surfing the Decades' exhibition now on display at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

This is a great example of how new folklore is made. People form groups, officially or unofficially. In the past many times our cultural identity was dictated by ethnicity, but in our multicultural world people tend to affiliate more strongly with personal interests over heritage. Cultural groups are rarely official, but rather are a connection of people are sharing the same interests.


The link here demonstrates a collection of artifacts from a culture and lifestyle based on surfing, which is something very new. I wonder how many other ways we will see folklore emerge from interest based groups, and from which ones?

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‘47 Ronin’ — Japanese folklore tale a bit much for first time director

‘47 Ronin’ — Japanese folklore tale a bit much for first time director | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
As the film, “47 Ronin” translates from Japanese to English as “47 Samurai Without a Leader,” so does the film itself seem to often be headed in different directions. This is a feature film debut for director Carl Rinsch, who has previously done advertising and one short film. This fantasy/costume drama may have been too much of a reach for him to cut his directing teeth. Rinsch seems far more interested in the special effects than the dialogue, the CGI than the editing.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Okay, full disclosure, I haven’t seen this movie, and I probably won’t. I love movies that build on folklore, incorporate it, or reference it. But when a movie has too much folklore it’s bound to be far too interpretive for my tastes. I mean really, folklore is just not a Hollywood blockbuster with CGI. And that’s one of the many things I love about it.

 

But that’s just my two cents.

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Haia disrupts folklore performance | Kingdom | Saudi Gazette

Haia disrupts folklore performance | Kingdom | Saudi Gazette | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
The tone of truth and moderation
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

A very strange story. It seems a Saudi group was stopped by officials in their performance at a cultural festival because of using instruments. Although there seems to be a question here as to whether or not the performers were indeed using musical instruments, we see music referenced in other Middle Eastern folklore. One example that pops to mind is at the end of One Thousand and One Nights, when the slaves come to meet the two kings with “instruments of music.” I wonder what the controversy is here?

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Rediscovering the farmer's almanac | SeacoastOnline.com

Rediscovering the farmer's almanac | SeacoastOnline.com | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
There's a hole punched in the corner of The Old Farmer's Almanac for 2014. It's a nostalgic remnant of the homestead where it hung on the outhouse wall for reading material and toilet paper.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:
The Farmer’s Almanac was always a staple around the house growing up. It’s infinitely fascinating. Have you ever wondered what a waxing or waning moon was? How many ounces equal a dram? What the Golden Rule is in eight different faiths? The difference between hominy and polenta? Or why is a Fiddlehead called a Fiddlehead? This, my friend, is the book for you. It intertwines astronomy, agriculture, folklore, and history into one handy guide. If you see one at the supermarket checkout pick it up. It’s worth a thumbing through!
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Historian shares tales of food folklore | The Andalusia Star-News

Historian shares tales of food folklore | The Andalusia Star-News | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Eating is something we probably don’t think about much. But, when you look at it in a larger context, it is indicative of a larger custom and folkway! Have you ever sat down at someone else’s table and dug in before grace, or paused for grace only to see the forks fly? We emulate our own family traditions and customs without even knowing it, or thinking about it.

 

This reminds me of an old anecdote from one of my favorite teachers. It goes like this… a young woman gets married and always cuts the ends off her meatloaf before she puts it in the pan. Her husband asks her why she does this and is angry because he thinks it is wasteful. She responds that she simply does it that way because it is the way her mother did it, and she always made wonderful meatloaf.

 

She calls her mother and asks her why it is important to cut the ends off. Her mother responds that she doesn’t know. She does it that way because that’s how her mother did it!

 

The young woman then calls her grandmother. Grandmother laughs and explains, I cut the ends off because I only had one pan and it was never big enough for the entire loaf.

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Creepy new PS4, PS Vita horror game detailed with teaser trailer

Creepy new PS4, PS Vita horror game detailed with teaser trailer | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Carnivore Studios has revealed some fresh information on the official PlayStation Blog about its stylish PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita horror game, Kodoku.
Romain Toutain, founder of the London-based independent studio, describes Kodoku as a "horror and exploration game set on a...
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Modern video games draw heavily, very heavily, from history and folklore. Games like World of Warcraft build their own folklore right into the games. Other games like Battlefield 1942 and Call of Duty draw on historical battles. By studying folklore and history it can enrich the gaming experience measurably!

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The Befana Regatta On The Grand Canal

The Befana Regatta On The Grand Canal | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 06: Rowers dressed in costume race along the Grand Canal for the "Befana" Regatta on January 6, 2014 in Venice, Italy.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

What a juxtaposition of culutre! We have Santa Clauses and Befanas-- the Italian Christmas witch. Befana delilvers her gifts to children on Epiphany Eve (January 5th).

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Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

Neil Gaiman is a modern folklorist by all accounts. I expect that in the future his works, most notably American Gods, will be considered canon in folk studies.

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Camels Compete in Beauty Contest at Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra Festival (PHOTOS) - weather.com

Camels Compete in Beauty Contest at Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra Festival (PHOTOS) - weather.com | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
A beauty contest for camels is one of the highlights of Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra Festival.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

How fun would it be to experience a camel pageant!

 

When we examine our festivals we often see folklore interwoven in the event. Events like these should be the highlight of any travel itinerary. What a great way to experience folklore and culture!

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Japanese Art and Folklore: Mystery of the Tengu and Kyosai

Japanese Art and Folklore: Mystery of the Tengu and Kyosai | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
Japanese Art and Folklore: Mystery of the Tengu and Kyosai Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The Japanese artist Kawanabe Kyosai is extremely fascinating because of his individualistic spirit and t...
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

I love the role of art in folklore. It's such an imaginative medium that brings to life the ideas found in our stories. It also is a great window into the way in which cultures view and interpret their own stories.

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Dance like your great-grandma: Keeping traditions alive at Folklore Village : 77-square

Dance like your great-grandma: Keeping traditions alive at Folklore Village : 77-square | Folklore Today | Scoop.it
From barn dances to hip hop, Folklore Village near Dodgeville is dedicated to linking generations.
Brandy L. Ross's insight:

I love this quote from Rolfsmeyer, which sums things up so nicely... “And that’s really what Folklore Village is all about — it’s that thread, that thread that went from your grandparents to your parents to you, and then someday to your kids and your grandkids. That’s one of the neat things about this place: It represents that thread that bridges the generations.”

 

I think these threads are getting lost in our modern society. It is paradoxical. On one hand, we are all far more connected with one another in the present than ever before. But on the other, we are losing a lot of connection with our families, cultures, and heritages.

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