A north american perspective*

Gerald L. Pocius

My remarks today are intended to be largely introductory, outlining broad conceptional developments in North American folklore studies that relate to the analysis of national identity and folklore. My comments are meant to hopefully provide new ways of looking at these issues in the Baltic region. I do this in the spirit of dialogue, for obviously folklore scholarship in both parts of the world has developed in different directions. You know better than I how concepts and methods now prevalent in other countries might or might not be useful in the Baltic context.

The concept of how folklore relates to national identity has been of central concern to researchers ever since theorists in the 19th century began to analyse peasant culture. Folklorists' early writings automatically assumed that all folklore items expressed national identity. The simple equation was posited that once folklore was documented, then there soon would follow a strengthening of the idea of nationhood (for an overall survey of these issues see Dundes 1983:235-261). Folklore, in many instances, then, becomes synonymous with national identity, a national identity based on identity systems.

National identity systems

The entire issue of national identity brings up first and foremost the question of identity systems. In a sense,, all identity deals with the issue of contrast. We can argue that there can be no identity (individual, regional or national) without contrast of other persons or groups. Identity first centers on the individual and how we experience differences among those in our immediate context. Identity on the individual and community levels is based on frequent daily experiences, contrasting each person's behaviour with that of other people in the group. The construction of individual and community identities has as much to do with actual confrontations with "the other" as anything.1

In the larger context - that of the region or nation - the question becomes one of what constitutes an identity system. Identity systems are constructed from the repertoire of the culture under question, taking aspects of that culture and imbuing them with certain symbolic values in which they come to stand for the essence of the entire culture. One writer has referred to this as symbolic appropriation (Chapman 1987:28). Another researcher, Edward Spicer, has pointed out that such identity systems are quite flexible, and new features may replace older ones without the collective identity system of the group itself disintegrating. The continuity of particular items is not important, but rather the adaptive process incorporating new symbolically-meaningful images. Spicer looked at the cultural identity of a number of European and North American groups, and found that they were able to resist assimilation over time in spite of changing social and economical conditions through identity systems similar in their dynamics. Looking at the nature of identity systems of these groups, he outlined the following characteristics:

 "One cannot expect that any universal roster of ever-present symbols, in terms of aspects and traits of culture, will be discovered. (Certain particular ways of behaviours are not always considered distinct). What is most characteristic of these symbol systems is that there is a great flexibility with regard to the cultural element which can be included. One of the bases of the adaptability of this kind of identity system would seem to be that a wide variety of elements may come to have symbolic significance. What becomes meaningful is probably a function of the oppositional process. Where the pressures are focused in the cultural repertoire of the people, there the symbols and their meanings are brought into the identity system, and these pressures change as their interest of dominant people change... The continuity of a people is a phenomenon distinct from the existence of a particular set of culture traits." (Spicer 1971:798).

Identity systems, then, do not necessarily depend on the persistence of certain discrete symbols or items, but rather on the continual adaptation to new symbols or to give old symbols new meaning. If identity systems survived simply because certain items continued to be performed, believed or recited, then cultural decline would quickly set in. As Lauri Honko succinctly commented:

 "It is important to remember that identity systems are more abstract and flexible, able to consume new symbols and process new meanings in accordance with the oppositional forces placing pressure on the group in question. " (Honko 1986:17).  

This brings me to the question of identity system as it relates to the idea of nation, for an identity system surrounding an entire nation can be said to be constructed largely in reaction to who is seen as the oppositional force for the particular group. National identity systems, by their very nature, are constructed to deal with oppositional groups outside the boundary of the particular group in question.

Different types of nation-states obviously influence what kinds of traditions are invented and what types of symbols are necessary to foster a particular national identity. Let me mention several common types. In what may be an almost ideal scenario, we can claim that one particular kind of nation is made up of one particular culture group, and that national identity essentially means portraying various emblems of one group as the sole embodiment of the nation. With the political breakup of much of Europe, we seem to be moving to a situation where nationhood and identity increasingly are assumed to be synonymous with one homogeneous ethnic group.

As well, one particular ideology may come to dominate a particular nation, so that identity symbols reflect the homogeneous nature of the particular ideology, no matter how imperfect it may mirror the actual diversity, that characterizes the nation. Unlike a nation made up of only one cultural group, the cultural homogeneity of a nation dominated by one ideology is more apparent than real.

However, for certain countries where diversity of cultural groups (even ones with the same language and history) is the norm, national systems that by definition are not tied to the specifics of any particular ethnic group within its political boundary need to be fabricated. Often symbols that relate easily to all groups, regardless of language or cultural practices deal with particular institutions. Sport most widely fulfils this role in many countries, including Canada. Hockey is often perceived as one of the only unifying features of the Canadian identity, as it is played by all ethnic and language groups, regardless of origin, in all regions of the country. And most recently, the lengthy series of baseball games that led to the Toronto Blue Jays winning the Baseball World Series received much more national attention than the constitutional referendum debate that would determinate the future of the nation. One politician was quoted as saying that instead of another referendum on national unity, the government should simply spend its money on a baseball team to create a national symbol that could unite the country's diverse interests.

There are times, however, in the construction of national identity that certain minority groups and regions become emblematic for the country as a whole. In Canada, groups - Native Indians, the French-speaking population of Quebec, and Newfoundlanders - that are considered as different from the majority culture (and therefore different from external threats such as American culture) appear as symbols of Canada's distinctiveness. Canadian art and music displayed to outsiders often features native, Francophone or Maritime creations, making these expressive forms different from what is seen as the potential national identity coming from the United States. A similar phenomenon occurred in the case of Dalecarlia in Sweden where a regional identity became enlarged into a national identity. Because of its scenery and lifestyles, this region was perceived to be the place where the essence of Swedish culture still flourished. Today it is promoted to the world as a microcosm of authentic Swedish identity (Rosander 1986).

In many instances, when a particular region becomes a symbol for an entire national identity, it is often because it is perceived as a place where what is believed to be older beliefs and practices untouched by the outside world survive. Newfoundland sometimes plays this role within Canada because its everyday life is seen different - and therefore more authentic -than the areas of urbanized central Canada that more closely resemble the United States. Songs are sung, dialect words abound, calendar customs are practised - all are seen in archaic forms of survival from pre-Industrial peasant era. But what becomes important is the defining of Canadian identity in contrast to the United States, and therefore searching for regions that are most significantly different. Canadian practices that resemble those of the United States would have little importance as identity symbols; they only become important if they are perceived as an opposition to certain symbols in the United States.

National identity systems may attend to play on the very diversity that characterizes a nation, attempting not to emphasize any one particular group as the dominant one, but rather putting forward a diverse range of symbols. In theory, this is the nature of Canada's national identity system, which attempts to foster the notion that the beliefs and practices of all ethnic groups are equally valid and important throughout the country. Using the word "multiculturalism," the federal government actively promotes the cultural products of all minority groups, from the funding of films and books to the presentation of multicultural festivals and celebrations. The official government rhetoric is to promote Canada as a cultural mosaic, with each immigrant group being encouraged to maintain as much of its cultural heritage as is possible within the Canadian context.

The official Canadian Government policy, however, may be seen in part as reaction to the nearby American context, and therefore, like so many identity systems, a response to what is perceived as an outside force. For so many years the official rhetoric of American cultural policy was to promote what was always referred to as the melting pot theory of American culture. Simplistically this notion meant that various immigrant groups coming to the United States would leave their culture behind in order to become a part of the greater American culture where all citizens shared the same language and the same set of values. As early as the 1960s, American writers were disputing the claim that such a view of American culture was possible (Glazer-Moynihan 1963). Given the large number of immigrant groups that have retained much of their language and culture, such a view is obviously deficient. But this has not changed Canada's view of American policy. In the view of many Canadians, creating a multicultural society is a more enlightened alternative to the American pattern - however inaccurate the perception of the realities of that pattern.

With regard to multiculturalism, the irony of much official Canadian Government policy is that it has reversed the majority culture/minority cultures relationship found in so many other countries. Canadian multicultural policy means a focus on minority cultures and what symbols these groups feel are important to present and preserve. This policy, however, applies only to minority ethnic groups; the two largest cultural groups in the country - English and French - are not covered under this programme. What this has meant is that French culture within Quebec has been fostered primarily by the provincial government within that region. Because of this, French culture has increasingly been seen as not necessarily Canadian, but instead the culture of a minority group that has been oppressed within the larger state. For many Quebecois, there are no national Canadian symbols with what they can identify, only the traditions that they perceive as distinctively French within their region. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau introduced a national policy of bilingualism, making most official institutions as well as day-to-day businesses bilingual (English and French). However, obviously making the French language one of the national symbols of the country has been insufficient to make residents of Quebec relate to the idea of Canada as a meaningful entity. Language itself has not become the sole identity symbol (for recent issues in Quebec see Handler 1988).

The other impact of the Canadian multicultural policy is the general neglect of the majority English-speaking cultural group within the country. Given the historical economic and political domination of this group over other groups within the country, government policy may be redressing many of the imbalances in the past. This cultural policy has encouraged a colonial mentality that has marked Canada's (and so many other country's) history. Often the dominant group's attitude is that identity symbols generated by minority groups are important because they give these minority groups the false sense of power within the political system. In this respect, the majority group feels that its beliefs are not those needed for national identity; its beliefs are perceived as those that govern the world and therefore not in need of symbolic appropriation. Yet, this neglect of the cultural majority has led to the resentment among dominant English speakers of government policies in which minority immigrant groups are perceived to be getting too much money and too much attention. Such an impulse has led to a feeling that Canada's majority groups should dominate cultural policy, and like other countries such as the United States, Canadians should share only one set of symbols relating to their national identity. If the national identity of a nation becomes increasingly a collage of minority symbols, then the cultural majority holding power becomes gradually dissatisfied with such systems.

National identity and folklore

National identity has to be based on symbols that are meaningful to all groups within the nation, no matter how diverse these groups might be. National identity is created through what Spicer has labelled a collective identity system. He outlines what he feels are the characteristics of such systems:

 "A relationship between human individuals and selected cultural elements — the symbols — is the essential feature of a collective identity system... In addition to land and language symbols, common constituents of identity systems are music, dances and heroes. What makes a system out of identity symbols is not any logical, in the sense of rational, relationship among them. The meanings that they have fit into a complex that is significant to the people concerned. The meanings amount to a self-definition and an image of themselves as they have performed in the course of their history. " (Spicer 1971:796, 798).  

What Spicer is talking about are the kinds of behaviours that folklorists have often labelled as tradition and ordinary individuals often think of as things that make their culture distinctive.

Folklore items seem to have been associated with national identity in two particular circumstances. Nations have turned to folklore in periods of both inferiority and superiority. The inferiority complexes that certain countries have experienced led to an interest in folklore, items perceived to be in need of both documentation and celebration. On the one hand, the development of folklore studies has occurred in small countries like Ireland and Finland that had experienced domination of foreign powers (Alver 1989:19). In fact, the very presence of folklore studies in a particular region or country indicates that there is a felt-need to try to determine the unique identity of that people, a desire that a nation is struggling to "know thyself (Herzfeld 1982:144). In Canada, both Quebecois and Newfoundlanders, for example, have always believed that their identity within the Canadian political and economic context is being threatened, and it is no coincidence that the only two folklore graduate programmes in Canada are located in Quebec and Newfoundland. (See Köngäs-Maranda-Henderson-Carpenter 1978; Henderson-Carpenter 1979; Greenhill 1987; Canadian... 1986-87.)

However, as Alan Dundes pointed out, small nations have even engaged in the fabrication of various materials considered as folklore that are thought to be expressive of the perceived national identity. (This discussion comes from Dundes 1985.) James Macpherson published his Fragments of Ancient Poetry va 1760 as supposedly genuine poems of the orally-circulating Ossian cycle. Obviously combining oral materials with his own writings, Macpherson's work certainly could be considered by academic folklorists as inauthentic material, but it immediately had an impact on interests in national Scottish literature.

Likewise, the Grimm Brothers altered their texts to produce a work that was more in tune with their own aesthetics. And in 1835 Elias Lönnrot published the first edition of Kalevala, again largely rewritten poetry that had been collected in various regions and pieced together. In these cases, then, we have examples of composite texts created by researchers - invented traditions, traditions fabricated because of nationalist motives. These works soon became collective identity symbols, in Spicer's words, that became associated with the essence of the nation. As Dundes points out, the forces of romanticism and nationalism were so strong that people believed - and do believe - that creations as the Kalevala are true folk epic, no matter how much foreign or indigenous folklorists argue otherwise. In such periods of national insecurity and inferiority, there may be a felt-need to actually invent traditions that relate to the desire to have specific symbols of national identity.

Folklore can also become involved with national identity when some nations achieve a new-found superior status. When a country reaches the stage of political or economic domination, then national symbols are sometimes needed to justify and explain this new-found status. Nazi Germany probably provides the best example of how certain folklore items were symbolically appropriated to fit into Hitler's mythology of a pure Teutonic race uncorrupted by other outside forces. As well, under Soviet regimes, folklore scholarship played a prominent role in promoting particular ideologies (Kamenetsky 1972; Oinas 1978).

In the 1920s and 1930s, the United States focused on a series of folklore symbols to help define its role as a new world power after World War 1. Popular books containing folklore materials that were largely rewritten for mass audiences became increasingly popular, feeding America's desire to determine what exactly was the essence of American culture. (For examples, Botkin 1944; 1947; 1949.) This was also a period in America's culture when vast numbers of European immigrants threatened the white Anglo-Saxon domination of that culture. It is no surprise that it is during this period that the melting-pot theory of culture achieved dominance, partly to guard against this foreign threat. But if immigrants had to become Americans, then Americans needed to create symbols of what they themselves were.

Popular literature became filled with mythical folklore figures that supposedly played heroic roles in America's past.2 Personages such as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett began to appear in story cycles. Collections of American folk songs began to appear, published by collectors like John A. Lomax, that tried to capture the essence of what is meant to be an American (Lomax 1934). Objects related to the American past were for the first time seen as important as those found in the mother country of England. Pioneer museums and collections of American antiques now gave a sense that the American identity was not simply a derivation of something British, but something different and distinct. In all, these popularized collections of folklore - however inaccurate the academic might judge them -contributed to the collective identity system of the United States.

In all of these examples, when folklore becomes used for national identity, there is usually some attempt to create a continuity - perceived or real -with a certain kind of past. When folklore is collected, there is frequently a feeling that during the particular past golden age, a specific type of culture flourished which reflected the true essence of a people. External forces - be they military, political or economic - often have been thought to have corrupted and altered this culture, so that folklore items become the sole vestiges of this earlier state. Folklore is assumed to devolve, to have gradually been eroded by outside forces (Dundes 1969). The work of folklorists, then, becomes a salvage operation in the name of nationalistic feelings. Collectors see it as their mission to rescue these archaic forms before they disappear, to use them to revitalize some tarnished identity of the particular culture. The Norwegian context is a typical example of the romantic nationalistic stance:

 "Realizing that the folklore was fast disappearing, the folklorists pleaded for haste in collecting the stories while there was yet time " (Falnes 1933:254).  

Continuity with a particular past somehow has to be established through the focus of what is presented to the public as authentic folklore. There are various ways of making a link with the past through folklore, so that certain kinds of folklore can then become symbols of the entire culture. Let me briefly mention these folklore links.

A certain historical era may become enshrined as the formative period in shaping what is perceived to be a people's inherent identity. For example, in Australia the earliest generation of settlers of the late 19th century have been transformed into the national mythology: a pioneer myth peopled with outlaw-heroes (the bushrangers), and heroic settlers who tamed the wilds of a new continent, transforming a foreign ecology into pastoral landscape. Thus, national Australian folklore deals eagerly with this first generation of European settlement, and persons connected with it (Ward 1958).

Besides specific eras, specific personages may also be focused upon as evidence of some glorious cultural period. As already discussed, figures like Paul Bunyan or Davy Crockett become mythical heroes that embody what a new world power wants to think of as its inherent characteristics: strength, ingenuity, and the ability to endure harsh environments. Particular heroes - surrounded by story cycles describing particular traits - become the national symbols of the culture.

Finally, for many cases where folklore is used to create national identity, it is obviously particular items or genres that are often considered as folklore that become symbols for the nation. In Canada, government policy of multiculturalism have often meant that the customs of certain groups (such as the Ukrainians) or certain musical styles found throughout the country (such as fiddle music) become symbols of the nation as a whole. Performance items can quickly and easily be appropriated by the collective as meaningful symbols. Let me briefly conclude one Canadian example from Newfoundland that demonstrates this last category, but in doing so I can illustrate many of the points that I have been discussing.

Newfoundland was a small independent nation that did not become a part of Canada until in 1949. In many ways, it was like so many other small European states at the time that were incorporated into larger political entities. Unlike most, however, Newfoundlanders voted to voluntarily give up their independent status and become Canadians. During the first 25 years of this union, Newfoundland essentially tried to emulate many of the popular trends found in other parts of North America, although most of its economy was based on a small-scale fishery.

Yet, during the 1970s, spurred largely by various levels of cultural inferiority, a cultural awakening began in the province, much like the waves of romantic nationalism that characterized so many small nations in the 19th and 20th centuries. (The following discussion comes from Pocius 1988.) A wide range of arts - painting literature, plays, as well as folk arts - began to flourish, all based on Newfoundland themes. Part of this feeling of cultural inferiority had led to the establishment of a Department of Folklore at Memorial University several years before. Such an academic interest in folklore studies came partly from wanting to stress to researchers the province's unique aspects - in this case, folklore - while at the same time perceiving folklore in the province to be on the decline and largely in need of preservation and documentation before it completely disappeared (Halpert-Rosenberg 1974:31-32). As in all cultural revivals where folklore is appropriated, academic experts would place their imprimatur on what they would perceive as authentic materials.

Performers and revivalists rather than academics often come into the forefront of any use of folklore for national identity, and this certainly was the case in Newfoundland. A local theatre group had decided that they wanted to introduce to Newfoundland some type of play that would be based on an aspect of its cultural heritage rather than drawing on external notions. This theatre group focused on the phenomenon of mummering.

The practice of mummering or mumming has a long history in Newfoundland, with roots in the British Isles and similar forms found all over Europe. (For an introduction see Halpert-Story 1968.) It is essentially a house visiting custom involving a group of disguised adults going from house to house during the twelve days of Christmas (December 26 until January 6). During this visit, mummers often sing or dance, while owners of the house try to guess identity through prodding the disguised visitors, or recognizing parts of their clothing.

The oldest form of this visit throughout the British Isles and Europe seems to be that just described, a simple house visit, ending with food and drink being served by the hosts. This is the custom that was brought to Newfoundland in the 17th century. However, much of the house visit behaviour degenerated into rowdiness and sexual teasing, and social reformers in the British Isles obviously tried to control what they saw as excesses. This was accomplished, it seemed, by introducing a formal play as a focus for the custom, so that disguised visitors would have particular roles to play once inside a house, especially those of the wealthier classes. The use of the mummers play in the 18th century Britain tended to channel the house visit activity into much more acceptable forms of behaviour. This play, then, became widely known throughout the British Isles, and became a focus of revival by middle-class intellectuals there in the 1960s.

It was this British revival play that the Newfoundland theatre artists knew about when they were trying to discover some type of indigenous art form in Newfoundland. They believed, as well, that the mummer play rather than the house visit was the oldest form of this custom, and that the simple house visit was a form of degenerated and devolved play. Wanting to champion what they saw as purer forms, writers and actors created a professional mummers play that would be performed publicly, as well as in individual houses, in the hope of reviving what they saw as genuine expression of Newfoundland culture, but which, in fact, had never existed.

In the meantime, a number of scholars at Memorial University had begun to research this custom as something they considered as distinct to the province. Foreign academics from the United States - again, outsiders frequently play a role in a particular culture's search for identity - began to focus on what Newfoundlanders themselves up to this point considered a simple ordinary holiday activity, which was not different from so many other elements of daily life. Academics saw this house visit as a vestige of a once flourishing folk culture on the island, while others felt that its complex symbolic messages was the very key to understanding Newfoundland culture. In any case, through seminars and publications these academic experts gave mummering an aura of uniqueness, while raising its profile in the public eye.

Yet although academic experts looked upon mummering as something unique to Newfoundland culture, and a local theatre group attempted to revive a particular version of that practice (a play) that may not have been widespread, it was a popular musical group that instantly transformed this particular local practice into a symbol of Newfoundland identity. A band by the name of Simani decided to write a Christmas song in late 1984 that dealt with the practice of mummering. The "Mummers Song", as it became known, was simply a description of the typical mummering house visit that so many Newfoundlanders grew up with. The song was an instant success. During the first Christmas (1984) stores could not keep the record stocked.

Obviously, because of the influences of academic experts and artists, the custom itself had been pushed from an ordinary activity to something receiving wider attention. However, it took a popular song using contemporary musical styles - a blend of country and western as well as traditional Newfoundland accordion - to elevate mummering to a pervasive symbol of Newfoundland identity. Today, the song itself has been incorporated into Christmas mummering by the playing of the composition on tape players carried by the mummers. And now a national Canadian publisher has contracted a children's book to be written using the text of the mummers song as its basis. The practice of mummering and its glorification in a particular song is now redefining this symbol from one of Newfoundland regional identity to perhaps one recognizable to all Canadians. If Canadian culture thrives on symbols of diversity, then Newfoundland mummers may be added as one more example of multicultural ideology.

Mummering and the mummers song, then, demonstrate many of the points that I have raised during my discussion. The particular activity was no different from so many familiar to local people. When folklore is alive among a people, there is no need to revive or invent it. People are living their culture on a day-to-day basis, and they find no need for collective identity symbols to unify the group around some common image. And there is usually no felt need to establish academic frameworks, such as Folklore Departments, to actively record and research common activities.

When a culture feels threatened, however, as Newfoundland did by the 1970s, there soon becomes a felt-need to enshrine certain cultural items as distinctive, and to invent new cultural forms that reflect what is perceived to be distinctive. These periods when national identity symbols are created are generally times when elite experts - be they artists or academics - take the lead in designating certain forms of behaviour as unique (whether in truth they are or not). In Newfoundland's case, academics at the university became interested in mummering because it may have been a rich source in which to pursue the symbolic anthropological and folklore theories of recent interest, while artists may have seen it as a medieval survival worthy of revival. Each group brought the practice of mummering into the forefront of public consciousness but neither group, perhaps, had the ability to make a wide cultural impact. Both groups took an ordinary activity and intellectually turned it into something special.

Yet, mummering could become the identity symbol it is today only after the creation of a song which was simply a description of the old custom. The use of the medium of popular music by one of the most widely listened-to recording groups meant that mummering instantly achieved a symbolic status that is now synonymous with Newfoundland culture. When things uniquely Newfoundland are thought of today, mummering is probably the most commonly cited activity. No amount of academic or artistic argument would have had the impact of the presentation of such material through the popular media. The practice of mummering, and the song itself, are now central identity symbols in what is perceived to be distinctly Newfoundland culture.

In Canada and in Newfoundland, folklore used for national identity did not develop simply through the attention of experts such as academics who might point out items or activities thought to be unique. Rather symbols of identity are spread by popular forms such fashioned by contemporary artists, writers and musicians, recreating, rewriting, inventing - in short drawing on the culture but creating new forms using themes and materials of interest to the general public. Identity, then, cannot be created through the mechanical teaching of what are considered "pure" and "accurate" conceptions of the indigenous culture, but often through the contemporary forms of expression prevalent at the time.

Folklore used in the formation of a national identity has as much to do with what a particular people perceive at a particular point in time as what is genuine and authentic. Whether items or attitudes have particular time depths, whether they have existed for long or relatively short periods of time does not seem to matter. Whether such items or attitudes were found among a certain ancestral group is also irrelevant; if the populace assumes that they characterize the particular group, then their symbolic meaning will be enhanced. We academics can encourage certain aspects of culture as somewhat distinctive, but we often can do little more than suggest. We are researchers of culture, not politicians who formulate ideology. Nor are we painters and poets who take inspiration from our past to promote our own personal images of the future. National identities will always continue to be fashioned out of folklore, no matter how old or new, accurate or invented it is. Those skilled in popular art forms will take what we have discovered and weave it into new forms that appeal to the general public.

Our role, then, is a quiet one, to step back and watch from our analytical distance the constant invention and reinvention of our national identities. In such analysis, we realize that we all continue to question and requestion exactly what it is that we are.

Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John's, Canada


*. I would like to thank Philip Hiscock, Martin J. Lovelace, James Moreira, and Neil V. Rosenberg for various bibliographic references, and Iona L. Bulgin for labouring over several drafts of the essay. The concept of "folklore" in this essay is used in the North American sense, i.e., it covers both the oral materials studied by Baltic folklorists, as well as the spiritual and material traditions researched by ethnographers.

1. Creation of "the other" is one of the fundamental tasks of ethnographic field-work (see Fabian 1983).

2. Richard Dorson argues that certain historical periods produce particular types of folklore, depending on how a nation perceives itself (see Dorson 1959; Wilson 1989).


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