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Folklore and sayings

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by skip.knox, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: the Internet Archive is a great treasure of human endeavor. Here's another example.

    The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore; the folklore of North Carolina, collected by Dr. Frank C. Brown during the years 1912 to 1943, in collaboration with the North Carolina Folklore Society : Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
    It's a collection of folklore from North Carolina. I know, I know, but hear me out.

    The collection was assembled in the 1920s and 1930s by a professor who traveled all across the state. Now, especially in the mountains, North Carolina had a strong influence from Celtic countries, so much of the folklore is descended from Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. And it's not just stories, as you might think. Picking through the tables of contents (it's five volumes!) we get proverbs, riddles, beliefs and customs, folk songs, ballads, games and rhymes, tales and legends, speech, and superstitions.

    For those so inclined, it's a trove of ideas. It's also worth saying that while the provenance is North Carolina, folklore has such commonality of form that you could go most anywhere in the world and hear echoes. And each section has its own bibliography! That's one big rabbit hole.
    CupofJoe likes this.
  2. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing Skip. That's a true treasure trove I intend to look through. :)

    I was listening to an interview with a Scottish historian talking about the migration of the Scots across the ocean. Many passed through Philadelphia and then, because by the time they arrived there were less opportunities in already established Northern cities and states, they continued on to settle much of the Appalachian foothills and into the Carolinas. His research had shown that you could trace the migrations, by generation, through the folk songs and pinpoint where each generation of arriving Scots had settled. It was interesting to hear the blend of Appalachian banjo with distinct Scottish drum, vocalizing/accent and structure in some of these songs recorded in the last century.

    Also recently read something about a cluster of small towns located among a group of foothills in Nebraska informally known as the "Bohemian Alps" or "Little Alps" that were settled by Czech and German immigrants in the 1800's. (And there's even a Nebraska town called Prague.)

    I've come to find our local library has a vast online resource for such things. Small, out of print booklets and the such that really focus on regional folklore and beliefs. Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, etc and a good bit of regional American too. I find them interesting in their own right but they can offer the perfect material to draw from for creating legends and cultural foundations for fantasy writing.

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