Categories of stories
- Folkloric tale from oral tradition
- Fable (written form of the above)
- Fairy tales
- Folklore in general
- Old wives’ tale
Folktales are generally passed down from one generation to another and often take on the characteristics of the time and place in which they are told. Folktales speak to universal and timeless themes, and help folks make sense of their existence or cope with the world in which they live.
What is a folktale? (folk tale)
A folktale is a story or legend forming part of an oral tradition. Folktales possess many or all of the characteristics listed below.
- Are generally part of the oral tradition of a group.
- Are more frequently told than read
- Are passed down from one generation to another
- Take on the characteristics of the time and place in which they are told
- Sometimes take on the personality of the storyteller
- Speak to universal and timeless themes.
- Try to make sense of our existence, help humans cope with the world in which they live, or explain the origin of something.
- Are often about the common person
- May contain supernatural elements
- Function to validate certain aspects of culture
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