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					Folklore is
-- short fiction stories that attempt to explain something about the real world.
-- traditionally handed down through the years by re-telling.
-- eventually written down, but usually with no identifiable original author.


Folklore includes
   Fables, Folktales, Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Myths, &
Legends.

Fables are very short stories with a stated moral or lesson. Characters are
objects or animals that act like humans (talk, etc.). The characters do not change, they
simply learn a lesson. (examples: Aesop’s Fables & Kipling’s Just So Stories)


Folktales are fictional stories that were handed down by re-telling, with no
known original authors, thus creating different versions. These stories contained the
beliefs and customs of a region or country. They are set in an unnamed location or time
(once upon a time), and often containing repetition of language, the numbers 3 or 7,
transformations, and a plot of good v. evil (with good winning). The characters perform a
task, using their own ingenuity and perseverance, often aided by magic and trickery.
(examples: African Anansi tales, The Gingerbread Man, or Chicken Little)


Fairy Tales are a special type of folktale (see above). Stories may contain
an unreal setting and elements of royalty, magic, enchantment, and the supernatural. They
are sometimes called “wonder tales,” since many do not contain fairies. Fairy tales are
written tales, often original or made-up stories, with a single, named author and a fixed
text. Most “fairy tale” authors are actually collectors, compilers, or translators, not actual
authors. The Grimm brothers rewrote stories as told to them. Hans Christian Andersen
wrote most of his own stories, though some were tales he heard as a child. (other
“authors”: Joseph Jacobs, Andrew Lang, and Charles Perrault)


Tall Tales are stories often based on a real person, with realistic details, and
much exaggeration created through re-telling. In tall tales, problems are solved in a
humorous way, by a larger-than-life or superhuman, heroic main character with a specific
job. The tales are often set in a geographic region of the United States, but can take place
in other countries. (examples: Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett, or Master Man: A Tale of
Nigeria)
Myths are stories told as if they are fact, and usually involving gods, goddesses,
and supernatural powers. Myths are regarded as sacred by the culture in which they are
told. They are set in the remote past, in the otherworld or an earlier world, with gods or
animals portraying human emotions and qualities. To explain the world and people’s
behavior in it. May use personification to present cosmic forces. Myths often deal with
the creation of the world and it’s habitants and the origins of natural events. (examples:
King Midas, Icarus, or Pandora’s Box)


Legends are set in the historic, less-remote, past. They are based on a real life
hero and his or her mighty deeds. Legends are generally not religious, and take place in
our world. Usually, humans, not gods, are main characters of a legend. (examples: Robin
Hood, William Tell, Pied Piper, or Native American pourquoi (how-and-why) stories)

				
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