Folklore 2000

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Grayson Jackson

Who’s Folklore Is It Anyway?

I really feel that folklore in its raw form is a history of human kind and humanity in its essence. It has the potential to explain cultures like no other individual can. The open the mind to rituals and paths of thinking that normally wouldn’t be possible unless you was actually living in their specific environment. It also exposes the some of the prejudices that exist among humankind. When people thrive in ignorance towards another set of individuals or group’s racism and bigotry strive. In a way folklore brings the people together and educates them. Expands their minds and opens them up to new experiences.

Culture in itself is the essence of the people. It is the identity that all that embrace it find it a familiar comfort. This should be showcased and praised, as well as put on display. When a culture is embrace that is the only road to true understanding. With understanding comes a harmony and unity. Folklore such as Alex Haley’s writings gave an in depth look into the struggles of blacks from a first hand view of the a accounts learned from this man’s family story. This may or may not be factual accounts of history.

In folklore my personal view is that your personal view is apart of the in richness of the stories being told. The worry of indifference and prejudice to the subject is foreign to me. Only in my ideal world, that is not subject to the scrutiny of academia would this ideal thrive. However, now more than anything people are worried with the small factual relevance’s of folklore writings instead of the essence of the message. Which is the shear beauty of the genre. The fascination in The Anguish of Snails was passion in which the writer showed towards the western native American culture. In the prologue he specifically asks for a less than standard reverence for the academic world.

My knowledge of folklore in the beginning was limited. Soon after I began to read folklore did I realize that folklore is all around us. The only thing that is different from the folklore of the early years and now is how we take in folklore. No longer is it being shared over campfires and bed time stories. We now have mass media. Which in turn makes you wonder the unlimited nature of folklore in the future. Folklore is forever changing with the people and is constantly reinventing itself with every passing moment.

So with an ever-flowing movement of culture, originated in the tales of the old mixed with tales of the new you also expose the hunger and ambition of people to understand foreign cultures. This at times can be to a fault. I feel like this was exposed when I saw Couple in a Cage. This in itself spoke to me in so many ways. This is where answers to humanities behavior and their need to base worth on a class system are in blaring view. This is where the true question of who’s folklore is it anyway is applied.

From my personal view the reactions of the people that came to see these actors in a cage where surprising. However, is hard not to see that the ones being observed’ were doing just as much observation from the inside of the cage as much as the observations were being made from the outside. Then there was this sense that the Americans were trying to show their dominance over other cultures once again by parading them around in a cage all over the world. This was reflected in the Hindu Holy Man as well. Which made me ask the question; does there really have to be a dominant culture in order for human kind to strive?

The first thing done when you conquer a nation is change the culture of the nation to a more nationalize identity. Culture in the word is hard to define but is just that more difficult in manipulating. However when the culture changes the people follow and gravitate to it. Without it people as whole lose direction and focus. Culture in a way gives a people purpose. It explains where they come from where they are trying to go. It...
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