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Types of Folklore


The folklore of a culture includes the stories, songs, and poems that people pass along from generation to generation.  Works that survive by word of mouth become part of a culture’s oral tradition.  When it first appeared in print in the mid 1800s, the word folklore meant “the Lore of the People.”  It included all rituals, customs, traditions, and beliefs of unknown origin that expressed the concerns of ordinary people.


Interest in the collection and study of folklore blossomed in Europe in the nineteenth century.  Many consider the brothers Grimm, authors of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812-1822), to be pioneers, because they began collecting stories from oral instead of written sources