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Folklore, Fairy Tales, Mythology, & Customs

Free web sites.

FOLKORE & URBAN LEGENDS

Trickster Coyote

  • American Folklore
    This folklore site contains retellings of American folktales, Native American myths and legends, tall tales, weather folklore and ghost stories from each and every one of the 50 United States. You can read about all sorts of famous characters like Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Jesse James, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and many more. Check the Story Index if you need it.

  • Aarne-Thompson Classification System
    According to Wikipedia, "The Aarne–Thompson tale type index is a multivolume listing designed to help folklorists identify recurring plot patterns in the narrative structures of traditional folktales, so that folklorists can organize, classify, and analyze the folktales they research. First developed by Antti Aarne (1867–1925) and published as Verzeichnis der Märchentypen in 1910, the tale type index was later translated, revised, and enlarged by Stith Thompson (1885–1976) in 1928 and again in 1961. The Aarne–Thompson tale type index is an essential tool for folklorists because, as Dundes explains, “the identification of folk narratives through motif and/or tale type numbers has become an international sine qua non among bona fide folklorists”.[1] Since the tale type index concerns the motif structures of folktales, it focuses more on the morphology of folktales than on the details of their characters' actions. The Aarne–Thompson tale type index organizes folktales into broad categories like Animal Tales, Fairy Tales, Religious Tales, etc. Within each category, folktale types are further subdivided by motif patterns until individual types are listed. The tale-type index is not to be confused with the motifs which are the building of these tales. Aarne and Thompson indexed folktale motifs separately in their Motif-Index of Folk-Literature." See below for the Motif-Index

  • At the Edge
    Sponsored by the Heart of Albion Press, this site contains an archive of articles originally published in At the Edge and its predecessor, Mercian Mysteries, between 1989 and 1998. In 1998 At the Edge merged with 3rd Stone magazine, which in turn ceased publication at the end of 2003. Exploring new interpretations of past and place in archaeology, folklore and mythology, this archive includes about 90 online articles.

  • British Columbia Folklore Society
    Folklore, folk songs, some social customs, with tips on how to collect your own family folklore.

  • Celtic Foklore
    From the site: "Some of these books and texts are translations of Celtic legends and sagas; others are retellings of the material, folklore, or literary works based on Celtic themes. During the 19th and early 20th Century there was a resurgence of interest in the folklore of Ireland, Wales and Scotland. This was reflected in a huge amount of literature based on the rich Celtic mythopoetic heritage, most of it very faithful to the original material, some in a more modern voice."

  • Ethnographic Resources related to Folklore, Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, and the Humanities
    A Collection of Resources in Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Folklore, and Folklife: presents resources in ethnographic studies, which includes anthropology, ethnomusicology, folklore, and folklife. Includes links to directories, scholarly programs, archives and archival collections, grant information, journals and newsletters, societies, fieldwork information, indigenous peoples' resources, folksongs, and mythology and narrative sites. Links to the home pages of the U.S. Library of Congress and the American Folklife Center, which is a component of the Library.

  • Foamy Custard
    A British site which aims to explore the areas where folklore, mytholology, cultural studies and related disciplines come together. Drawing on their different strengths helps us to understand better popular culture, politics, religion, and many other aspects of modern life. Sponsored by Heart of Albion Press, authored by Bob Trubshaw.

  • Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts
    D. L. Ashliman from the University of Pittsburgh has created a fast-loading, full-text electronic collection that is international in scope but especially impressive in Nordic/Germanic selections. It includes around 800 original texts with other collections, plus Aarne-Thompson tale types for individual stories. Links are included to Folk & Fairy Tales and Germanic Myths, Legends, & Sagas.

  • Folktales from Japan
    Eight folktales collected by Professor D. L. Ashliman.

  • Folklore of Britain and Ireland
    This site is still building a Folklore Archive. Meanwhile, you can view Active Forum Topics, such as the Headless Horseman of Dungee Corner, and the (serious? really?) question, "Where can I find fairies in Aberdeenshire?"

  • Moonlit Road
    Ghost stories and folktales of the American South, told by the region's most celebrated storytellers, some in audio form.

  • Motif-Index of Folk Literature
    Stith Thompson's full title is Motif-index of folk-literature : a classification of narrative elements in folktales, ballads, myths, fables, medieval romances, exempla, fabliaux, jest-books, and local legends. The full version is 6 volumes. According to Wikipedia, many of the source texts in Thompson's Motif-Index are no longer currently in print. Dr. Margaret Read McDonald's Storytellers Sourcebook refers readers to stories in current books that also use motifs of folk literature. For example, Disney’s Cinderella contains many of the same traditional motifs that Read MacDonald points out in her preface to The Storyteller’s Sourcebook (e.g., Glass slipper, Cruel Stepmother, and Three-fold flight from ball). For more information see the next link

  • Motif (folkloristics)
    Describes Thompson's Motif-index and other indices.

  • Official Darwin Awards: Urban Legends
    Features a collection of fictitious urban legends, compiled as part of DarwinAwards.com. The Darwin Awards commemorate individuals that die in an humorous and unevolutionary-wise manner.

  • Snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference Pages
    Urban legends and hoaxes covering Top 15 Legends; What's New; Hot 25; and Submit a Rumor. If someone tells you something that seems too good, bad, or goofy to be true, check here first before passing it on!

  • Superstitions: Old Wives Tales, Folklore, Bizarre Beliefs, Taboos, Omens, Lucky & Unlucky Things
    Besides general superstitions, links lead to Death Superstition, Dreams: Meanings & Superstitions, and Wedding Superstitions. Do not look at this site if you are at all suggestible!

  • Tricksters
    No, not the scam artists, the folklore about the "mischievous or roguish figure in myth or folklore who typically makes up for physical weakness with cunning and subversive humor," including tales from three cultures: Native American, African American, and European American. For more Tricksters, see the Indigenous Peoples category.

  • Urban Folklore
    Covers urban legends and FAQ from the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup (AFU)

  • Urban Legends
    About.com's page contains top urban legends, urban legends in the news, rumors, and some folklore. Not all articles deal with urban legends--some information listing company legends also include company history and sites. The commercialism of this site can be annoying, however.

  • Urban Legends and Hoaxes Resource Center
    Lists popular urban legends and email hoaxes. If you want to protect yourself from cunning scammers, you can subscribe free to Scambusters--this is not a scam!

  • Urban Legends and Superstitions
    Topics include animals, celebrities, death, Disney, movies, religion, science, sex, and television, dating from August 2013.

  • World of Tales
    Folktales and fairy tale collections are included. Folktales are from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Also includes Fables from Aesop and Le Fontaine.

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