Category: Regional Folklore

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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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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Folk Healing & Hypnotism: Arthur Spray, ‘The Mysterious Cobbler’ of Bexhill

Arthur Spray, known as 'The Mysterious Cobbler of Bexhill', wrote an autobiography in 1935 which detailed his famed powers in healing and hypnotism.

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Welsh Lake Legends and Folklore: Llyn Barfog, the Female Dwellers of Annwn and King Arthur and the Afanc

In Wales, legends and folklore of King Arthur and the Otherworld are never far away, and lakes are often the settings for such stories.

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The Duality of Modern Haitian Vodou

When the traditional Vodun religion of West African slaves collided in the Caribbean with the incoming Christianity of colonists, Haitian Vodou was born.

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Welsh Lake Legends and Folklore: Llyn Cwm Llwch and the Door of the Tylwyth Teg

Welsh lake legends from the Brecon Beacons: A strange and dangerous old woman, an invisible island and an otherworldly guardian.

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How to Sell Your Wife …

How do you rid yourself of a wife who no longer pleases you? Sell her, of course.

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Ezekial Bone: Harnessing the Spirit of Robin Hood

The world needs heroes. Ezekial Bone explains why the time has come to put Robin Hood on the pedestal he deserves.

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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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Dumplings and Dragonboats: The Chinese Duan Wu Festival

When I was a little girl, I used to watch with open-mouthed admiration and puzzlement as my mother prepared the ingredients for the making of zong zi (rice wrapped in leaf). She…

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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 Folklore of Bells

Folklore shows that bells were not just used to call to prayer or to make an announcement, but also played a role in healing, superstition, and protection.

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From Generation to Generation: An Exploration of Myth and Landscape in the Work of Alan Garner

The emotional and spiritual dimension of being in place, in the work of Alan Garner, powerfully reminds us of our connection to the land and stories.

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Wobbly Poets: Joe Hill, Signe Aurell, and Scandinavian-American Laborlore

The songs and poetry of the American labor movement are an example of occupational folklore or 'laborlore', which records worker voices and traditions.

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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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Death Omens: How Well Do You Know Them?

We might all lay claim to some superstitions to guard against bad luck, but an ingrained belief in death omens is another matter.

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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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Harbingers of Heaven: Chinese Dragons of Earth and Sea

Chinese dragons are believed to be symbols of good luck and wisdom, bearers of immense power, and controllers of the sea and the weather.

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Breton Folklore: Death, the Devil and Other Good Stories

Brittany has a strong storytelling tradition, and the wealth of varied Breton folklore surviving today reflects a society which highly values its past.

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The Pishtaco: Fat-stealing Ghoul of the Andes

This legendary fat-stealer stalks indigenous communities in the rural Andean highlands. In the Peruvian Andes, they say he wanders the roads at night.

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Folk-Ore: The Magical Power of Blacksmiths and Their Enduring Stories

The folklore of iron and smithing has been common since prehistory, and one of the oldest folktales tells of a blacksmith forging a deal with the devil.

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Angels and Devils: The Legend of the Holy Mountain

The Skirrid Fawr Hill near Abergavenny in Wales is no ordinary hill, but a place of myth, legend, strong religious connection, and black deeds.

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Animal Legends: The Wild Wolves of Ancient Rome

Wolves played a vital part in Roman myths. A defining symbol of ancient Rome is the image of the twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf.

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English Folktales: Fox Robin’s Ghost and the Buried Treasure

Fox Robin was a crotchety farmer from Westleigh in Greater Manchester, whose antics in life and death are told in many stories.

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More Than a Woof: The Rarity of Black Dogs That Talk

Reports of Black Dogs that speak are incredibly rare in modern times and, in fact, very unusual in older accounts. But they do exist.

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Drowned Towns and Sunken Cities: The Legend of Lake Bala, Wales

Lake Bala is also known as Llyn Tegid, and in Welsh folklore is known for its legend of having a sunken town beneath its surface.

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The Meadow Dandelion, a Chippewa Folktale

Storyteller Amanda Edmiston retells a First Nations folktale, from the Chippewa people, that originally appeared in a book she recalls reading as a child.

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The Clarke Charm Collection: Of Witch Bottles, Witch Cakes and Hag Stones

Clarke’s charm collection reveals a range of uses, including cures for sore throats, the protection of seafarers from drowning, and good luck charms.

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Fighting Magic With Magic in Italy: The Good Walkers

The Benandanti were a surprising third party in the fight of good versus evil in Medieval Italy; one that not even the Holy Inquisition could make sense of.

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Gifted by Second Sight

Second Sight is a perplexing subject, both respected and feared in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. For some who possess it, it can seem like a curse.

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Spring in Southeast Asia: Diasporic Chinese New Year Folklore

Here are a couple of folklore and stories associated with Chinese New Year. I have grown up with these stories as they are part of tradition and culture.

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A Thousand Years Before Tolkien: The Original Evil Magic Ring

An evil magic ring, associated with dwarf and dragon – what a great idea Tolkien had for his books! But he actually borrowed it from ancient Viking legends…

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Redwings and Bramblings: A Gap in the Lore of Our Winter Migrant Birds

Each autumn thousands of migrant redwings, fieldfares and bramblings visit the UK from their Scandinavian breeding grounds

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What is First-footing and Can It Improve Your Year?

First-footing as a New Year custom is most common in Scotland and the north of England, but it does have regional, and international, variations.

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Kissing under the Mistletoe? Not in Medieval Herefordshire

Mistletoe is the stuff of folklore. It is found in Norse, Greek and Roman mythology, a plant of power and magic.

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Íslensku Jólasveinarnir: the Yule Lads of Iceland

On the evening of 11th December, Icelandic children place shoes on the sills of their windows, before they go to bed.

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Il Gatto Mammone: The Italian Legend of the Cat King (Or Cat Demon?)

The Gatto Mammone is an influent folktale that very few people remember.

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The Bunyip: Australia’s Mysterious Man-eating Swamp Beast

Folklore is filled with tales of man-eating beasties and Australia is no exception, home to the dreaded Bunyip.

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Slavic Mythology of Zmaj and Vila: Dragons, Nymphs and Legendary Monsters

Serbian storytelling tradition is among the oldest and richest in Europe.

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