The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42171   Message #611607
Posted By: George Seto -
17-Dec-01 - 11:29 AM
Thread Name: What is a Folklorist? Same as Collector?
Subject: RE: What is a Folklorist? Same as Collector?
I'm thinking Uncle Jaque's message is prety well right on. I think of a collector as the one out there getting the material from the informant, but the folklorist would have to do more with the material. For instance, Helen Creighton of Canada was a folklorist in the true sense of the term, although there was no such person during the majority of her active years in the field. She has been acknowledged to be one of the foremost collectors of folklore(she collected EVERYthing, not just songs), but had no university degree in any way. She'd be classed as an amateur folklorist by some people, I'm sure. But the Lomaxes and Folkes thought highly of what she did. She had good relations with many people such as Pete Seeger. However there were problems in some respects, due to her politics, and the fact she was a female of high society. Some informants would not be passing on to her, nor would she, I suspect, have promoted the naughty songs. Dr. Helen Creighton was against communism, and would not collect union songs therefore.

Despite these shortcomings, she, singlehandly, assembled one of the largest collections of folklore in North America in her lifetime.