Category: Folktales

Illustrated Guide to Updated Fairy Tale Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

How is a gingerbread house tempting if you've gone gluten-free? Who needs pumpkin coaches when there's Uber? It's a question worth considering - how can fairy tales still impart wisdom in these…

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Fairies and the Folklore Society: 1878-1945

The great Victorian fairy fascination held its grip over culture into the early 20th century. In the wake of the Cottingley photographs, the dark folkloric sprites had seemingly transformed into benign nursery…

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Easter Folklore: Spring Festivals and Forecasts

With the renewal of the natural world in spring comes the celebration of Easter, when many ancient traditions are still kept alive today.

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Living at the Edge of the World: Austronesian, German and East Asian Roots of Taiwanese Folklore

closer look at Taiwanese lore reveals the true international, eclectic and intercultural roots of Taiwanese folk culture.

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Old Folktales: The King of the Cats

The story of the 'King of the Cats' can be found in folklore from a number of regions and countries. In this tale, cats appear to have the power to speak to…

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Archaic Living Religion: Mythology’s Residence in the Dark Hinterland of the Collective Psyche

This piece aims to present the inter-connection between folk tales and myths, and psychology. I then show how this connection is used in psychotherapy and helps towards personal development.

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Rashiecoats: A Traditional Scottish Story

Here is my version of Rashiecoats a traditional Scottish story, about a princess who came from a land of towers near a marshland, a long, long time ago...

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On Gifts and Giving: International Folklore Life Hacks for the Christmas Season

It seems valuable lessons can be learned from Ukrainian, Russian, and Ingush folktales. Here are Daria Kulesh’s top tips from folklore.

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Erotic Folktales: The Yule Buck and the Girl

Simon Hughes examines erotic folktales—a less well known, and often censored, area of folklore—and presents a self-translated example from his work.

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An Inuit Folk Tale: The Blind Boy and the Loon

Children's author Angela McAllister presents "The Blind Boy And The Loon", a folk tale from her new book "A World Full of Animal Stories".

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Winter Folklore: The Creatures of Christmas

From the animals that witnessed the Nativity, to the robins on our greetings cards and Santa’s reindeer, the creatures of Christmas truly animate the magic of the festive season.

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British Legends: The Mabinogion – The Dream of Macsen Wledig

The Dream of Macsen Wledig from the Mabinogion tells the story of how the Emperor of Rome experienced a dream in which he travelled to Wales.

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Dog Folklore: Companion Dogs as Seers, Healers, and Fairy Steeds

When considering dog folklore, we generally think of those stories which feature the Grimm, the Gytrash, or other sinister black dogs roaming the moors in the North of England. But there is…

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Dragon Legends: Myth or Half-Truth?

Dragons play a popular role in legend, Where might their origins have begun, and can we see parallels between them and other creatures, mythical and real?

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The Top 3 Japanese Ghosts

19th century Japan was obsessed with ghost stories. These stories are so influential that they serve as direct inspiration for today’s horror films.

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Folkore of Wales: The Skeleton Tree, Derwen Ceubren yr Ellyll

Derwen Ceubren yr Ellyll, which means “The Hollow Oak, Haunt of Demons” or “The Blasted Oak of Spirits” was a real tree. Its story is dark and terrifying.

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Philippine Folktales and Legends: Catalina of Dumaguete

Even the wild people who once roamed the remote mountains spoke of Catalina with love. As the wind howled they would tell the story of Catalina of Dumaguete.

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Folklore of the Welsh Lakes: Reflecting on Faerie Brides, Drowned Towns, and the Otherworld

There are may lakes scattered around Wales, each with their own unique characteristics and history. Many also have the most amazing legends and folklore.

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Beauty and the Beast: From French Folklore to Victorian Romance

A tale with a handsome prince cursed to live as a monstrous beast and a courageous beauty who consents to be his prisoner in order to save her father.

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What Lies Beneath: Legendary Creatures from the Seas

Deep below the depths of the ocean, creatures from myth, legend, and lore, stalk our nightmares and give us chills, but we are always wanting more.

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Meet the Hulders (Whether You Want to or Not)

The Norwegian hulder-folk pursue Christian-folk - kidnapping their children, making them their partners and servants, and getting their help to steal food.

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Folklore of the Welsh Lakes: The Legend and Legacy of the Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach

In Wales, legends of encounters with the Otherworld are never far away. One such legend is associated with Llyn y Fan Fach, a lake in Carmarthenshire.

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Folklore as a Mode of Tyrannical Resistance

Folklore can be said to flourish in times of unrest and oppression, and can be seen as a powerful and imaginative means of resistance to social tyranny.

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Trows, Changelings and Wise Women in Early Nineteenth Century Kirkwall

A nineteenth century autobiography written by the minister William Leask offers a fascinating insight into supernatural belief in contemporary Orkney.

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Off the Grid: The Epic Tale of The Dun Cow, or… How Now Brown Cow?

There was once a bright-white cow which travelled round the world, giving milk enough for all comers. Whoever drank of her milk immediately became wise.

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50 Shades of Red: Sexuality and Loss of Innocence in Little Red Riding Hood

Of all the folk and fairy tales known to us, the tale of Little Red Riding Hood is perhaps one of the most enduring and provocative.

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Tongue, Pen, Ear, Page — Collecting and Performing Folktales and Ballads

How do writers collect and re-tell regional folktales? Kevan Manwaring explains his influences, methods, and inspirations for his work in this area.

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A Very British Book: The Road to ‘Tales of Britain’

Author Jem Roberts explains the genesis of Unbound Publishing’s 21st Century roadmap of British folktales.

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The Fairy Midwife and the Magic Ointment

An old woman in the cottage gave the midwife a box of ointment and asked her to anoint the baby all over, but to not get any of the ointment in her…

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Animal Folklore: Chasing Hares Through Stories, Myth, and Legend

Hares are widespread geographically, so hare stories are widespread culturally. But hares take on a surprising variety of roles in folklore, myth & legend.

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Fairy Folklore: Come Away, O Human Child

To be led astray, Peter Pan style, by a fairy – ‘pixie led’ – is an old fear from isolated communities where weather and terrain seemed to judge and punish.

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The Medieval Robin Hood: Folk Carnivals and Ballads

Robin Hood is known by everyone as the English outlaw hero, dashing through the greenwood with his band of merry men to rob from the rich and give to the poor, before…

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Georgian Folklore: The Prince Who Befriended the Beasts

This is a story collected in Michael Berman’s book Georgia Through its Folktales. The book explores the shamanic possibilities held within folk tales.

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Stories from the Arabian Gulf: Bu Draeyah, Um Homar and the Survival of Qatari Folktales

Two popular folktales of the Arab world tell of Bu Draeyah, a cruel sea creature, and Homarat Al-Guyla, a half-woman, half-donkey, who eats children.

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Zombies: Through Folklore, Film and Fiction

When one hears the word “zombie” various images come to mind: usually that of flesh-eating, brain-devouring monsters; that is just our modern perception.

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The Shadows and Light Folktale Series: Discovering Story-Power

For a writer whose most famous book is about the biology of animal faeces, it may seem like a stretch to be creating stories with their roots in folktales.

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Folklore of the Welsh Lakes: The Legend of the Bride from the Red Lake

A Welsh legend from the Red Lake tells the story of a doomed marriage between a mortal farmer and a beautiful Otherworld maiden who emerged from the lake.

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Japanese Folklore of the Ocean: The Ama Divers, Sea Demons, and Ise Jingu

Mie is home to the ama divers, an ancient tradition of women who breath-dive for abalone, and Ise Jingu, the most sacred Shinto shrine in the whole of Japan.

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Mermaid Folktales: A 19th Century History

During the nineteenth century, mermaids regularly appeared in art, literature, and music, as well as in the news, with reported public sightings recorded.

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The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales

Like many people, I thought the Grimm brothers had lived long ago & travelled around Germany collecting stories from old women hunched over spinning wheels.

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