By Jan Harold Brunvand
Comprises over 500 articlesRanging over foodways and folksongs, quiltmaking and desktop lore, Pecos invoice, Butch Cassidy, and Elvis sightings, greater than 500 articles highlight folks literature, tune, and crafts activities and vacations tall stories and mythical figures genres and kinds scholarly ways and theories areas and ethnic teams performers and creditors writers and students spiritual ideals and practices. The alphabetically prepared entries differ from concise definitions to particular surveys, every one followed through a short, up to date bibliography.
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Extra info for American Folklore: An Encyclopedia (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities)
By the 1980s, many began to prefer a designation that specified the country of origin. Since then, “African American” has been the preferred label. The founders of the American Folklore Society connected Negro folklore with the institution of slavery. They rationalized that efforts to collect Negro folklore must be undertaken before all of those who had experienced slavery died. The presumption seems to have been that traces of slave tradition would not be evident in the repertoires of the descendents of slaves.
A-Z 15 Of course, European influences on African American folklore are undeniable. English is the first language of African Americans and, like their African ancestors, African Americans enjoy and value imitation. By the same token, the folklore traditions of Americans of European descent reflect borrowings from Black traditions. Most folklorists agree that African American folk traditions are syncretized. Blacks have retained many West African aesthetic principles and wedded them to those from other cultures to which they have been exposed.
In a similar way, members of hazardous occupations (like deep-sea fishermen and American folklore 2 firefighters) adopt the beliefs and customs passed on by several generations of coworkers, thus availing themselves of an accumulation of experience, know-how, and psychological aids that they do not have time to discover on their own before being in danger. Student customs extend far beyond the issues of academic anxiety, however. Collectors of student folklore have noted extensive drinking games (“Cardinal Puff,” “Fuzz-Buzz”), theme parties, engagement and marriage rituals (passing a candle around a group of sorority women to announce an engagement), clothing and personal-decoration variations (especially at sports events and at graduation), and the use of obscene songs as unofficial expressions of membership in clubs, fraternities, sororities, and sports teams (especially rugby).
American Folklore: An Encyclopedia (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities) by Jan Harold Brunvand