The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122508 Message #2688760
Posted By: Jim Carroll
28-Jul-09 - 10:49 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: What is Folklore?
Subject: RE: Folklore: What is Folklore?
Ring-A Roses - Green Man - Sheela na gig - mistletoe
Do the practitioners of what we call 'folklore' claim antiquity for their practices? Not in my experience, or where they do it is the direct result of 'academic' misinformation.
If you asked any old person around here why they bring a bunch of gorse (The May Bush) into the house on the May the First, you will almost certainly be told - 'because it brings good luck for the rest of the year' - the nearest claim to 'antiquity' you'll get is "We've always done it; so did our parents".
Ancient Druids, The Plague, what have you have invariably come from romantic scholarship and hack journalism of the type you'll find in Ireland's Own. I think folklore as a discipline for study has moved on considerably from The Golden Bough.
I'm neither supporting or debunking the academics; I'm suggesting that what is in short supply in our understand of 'folk', be it song, music, tale, lore, custom, is information from the horse's mouth and we really need to make us of what little we have rather thantreating our informants as 'interesting ignoramouses'.
Who is Karl Popper? Didn't he invent the stud fastener?