Free Essay

Philippine Folklore

In: English and Literature

Submitted By tclimacosa
Words 5046
Pages 21

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Philippine mythology is derived from Philippine folk literature, which is the traditional oral literature of the Filipino people. This refers to a wide range of material due to the ethnic mix of the Philippines. Each unique ethnic group has its own stories and myths to tell. While the oral and thus changeable aspect of folk literature is an important defining characteristic, much of this oral tradition had been written into a print format. University of the Philippines professor, Damiana Eugenio, classified Philippines Folk Literature into three major groups: folk narratives, folk speech, and folk songs. Folk narratives can either be in prose: the myth, the alamat (legend), and the kuwentong bayan (folktale), or in verse, as in the case of the folk epic. Folk speech includes the bugtong (riddle) and the salawikain (proverbs). Folk songs that can be sub-classified into those that tell a story (folk ballads) are a relative rarity in Philippine folk literature.[1] Before the coming of Christianity, the people of these lands had some kind of religion. For no people however primitive is ever devoid of religion. This religion might have been animism. Like any other religion, this one was a complex of religious phenomena. It consisted of myths, legends, rituals and sacrifices, beliefs in the high gods as well as low; noble concepts and practices as well as degenerate ones; worship and adoration as well as magic and control. But these religious phenomena supplied the early peoples of this land what religion has always meant to supply: satisfaction of their existential needs. These needs were both material needs and psychic needs; the longing for a fuller life, for a deeper and more satisfying communion with one another, the desire to surpass the human condition, to break out the bounds of space and time; and to contact the deity.[2]
The Philippines had cultural ties with India through the other Indianized kingdoms of Southeast Asia for a considerable amount of time prior to the 16th century. Ancient Filipino literature and folklore show the impress of India. The Agusan legend of a man named Manubo Ango, who was turned into stone, resembles the story of Ahalya in the Hindu epic Ramayana. The tale of the Ifugao legendary hero Balituk, who obtained water from the rock with his arrow, is similar to Arjuna's adventure in Mahabharata, another Hindu epic. The Ramayana have different versions among the many Philippine ethnic groups. The Ilocanos have the story of Lam-Ang. The Maharadia Lawana is the Maranao version of the Ramayana. A lot of indigenous beliefs and mythology were either influenced by Sanskrit terms used in Hinduism (whether superimposed onto similar indigenous beliefs or imported into the belief system), or indirectly influenced by Hinduism via neighboring Southeast Asian kingdoms.[3]

Among the Philippine folk literature, I would like to focus my research on the belief system involving the Engkanto/ Engkantado or Engkantada. Diwatas/Engkantada (from Spanish: encantada, "enchantress, charmed") or engkanto (from Spanish: encanto, "spell, incantation, charm") are fairies, nymphs, goddesses or enchanted persons who are believed to guard natural creations such as forests, seas, mountains, land and air. Diwata’s are said to reside in large trees, such as acacia and balete. They are the guardian sprits of nature, bringing blessings or curses upon those who do well or harm to the forests and mountains. Engkanto (sometimes spelled Encanto) is an umbrella term for most supernatural beings. The common connotation is that they are fairies who reside primarily in the forests and the sea. They can also be called encantado (male) or encantada (female).[4] Throughout the time of my research, I have found out that there are very few persons who tried to study, write a book, or did a field research on this topic. This research will focus on the existing resources as well as the interviews that I have conducted with the Filipino sisters of my present community and my Filipino classmates at the Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia. The main source of this paper is taken from the work of Fr. Francisco Demetrio, S.J, “Engkanto Belief: An Essay of Interpretation” of his book, Myths and Symbols: Philippines.


ENGKANTO BELIEFS IN THE RURAL AREAS “Rural peoples of the Philippines believe in the existence of, as well as the influence exercised in the human lives by, superhuman beings called engkantos. The belief is found in Luzon quite common in Bisayas and in Mindanao.”[5] I could say that in my hometown, the idea about these beings is so prevalent that almost everyone has something to say about them. “Though engkantos are said to have male and female sexes, though there are children, young people, adults, and aged among them, though they get sick and even die, yet they are a class of beings quite removed, different from ordinary humans. Their name suggests this; Engkantado from which Engkanto seems to be derived is the preterite perfect of the Spanish verb “ encantar” and it means “ bewitched”, spell- bound” or “enchanted”. Though the native names may not especially stress their mysteriousness, still the further characterization given them by the Bisayans, give justice to their identity. For them, the engkantos are said to be “dili ingon nato” or dili ta parehas which means “people who are not like us or similar to us.”[6] Our elders used to tell us that we are not alone in this world. In every tree, river or mountains, there are unseen beings that are not like us but have a great influence in our daily living. “Their dwelling places to the naked eye are mere boulders, large rocks or holes in the ground, or mounds on the earth, or trees like the Balete but to their human friends who are empowered to see them, these are magnificent places and mansions.”[7] Great awareness is planted in our consciousness by our parents with regard to the habitat of the engkantos. We were not allowed to play near a mound of earth or do anything bad with it. We believe that if we kick the mound, the engkantos will punish us with a swollen foot. There are certain times of the day when we are restricted to go out and play. This also applies with particular places. We were not allowed to play and swim in the bodies of water at 12:00 noon and at six o’clock because these are the hours of the day that the engkantos take their bath. We might get a skin disease if we insist. We cannot play outside in the night even during a full moon because the engkantos are out and if we accidentally hit them, they might slap us or cause us unusual pain.
According to popular beliefs of rural folks, Engkantos are said to be angels who revolted with Lucifer against the Lord. When the angels of God drove them out of heaven, some fell on earth. Those who fell in the forest or thick woods and lived in trees are the engkantos. Hence, they possess some extraordinary powers but are limited.
Courtney says that “the modern belief in pixies, or in fairies, arose from a very ancient Celtic or pre-Celtic belief in spirits. Just as among some savage tribes there is belief in gods and totems; here there was belief in little spirits good and bad, who were able to help or to hinder man. Belief in the supernatural, in my opinion, is the root of it all." [8]

ENGKANTOS AS SUBJECT OF TREPIDATION We have many restrictions with regard to our dealings with these beings. Primarily because they are unseen and that they interfere with our everyday affair, we need to watch out on our every action so that no one will be hurt. “Engkantos are sometimes associated with the dead ancestors and are therefore objects of dread. They are unpredictable, amoral and capricious that is why people are careful not to disturb them.”[9] There were many stories of human beings who were taken by the engkantos. They disappear for many days; others suffer from delirium and fits of madness. My grandmother told us about her brother who was believed to have suffered from the hands of these beings. She said that when her brother was possessed, he could do amazing things like climbing the tallest tree in their place, run swiftly and overcome a number of men with his unusual strength. I used to tell my grandma that her brother must have skipped meals and his hunger affected his head, but the belief of engkantos was deeply written in her so it was useless for me to insist. I might be wrong and my grandma was right. There are things that can be explained by science but there are still many things that are difficult to explain. I grew up with such an orientation so it was also difficult for me to reconcile science and intuition.
ENGKANTOS AS SUBJECT OF ENTHRALLMENT The engkantos to the Filipinos are “fascinating beings”. Whoever sees them reports of their beauty that exemplifies the Spaniards in the past and the Americans in the present.[10] As a kid, I used to imagine them as characters in the popular fairytales that I see in the television. Their world is so brilliant and attractive. They are princes and princesses in a beautiful kingdom. However, I could not avoid thinking of the horror that is present in that virtual place because of the bad engkantos that also co-exist with the good ones. There is one thing that is also special in their situation; the kind of food they eat. It is first class but contains no salt.”[11] This is a crucial thing because aside from having an unlikely taste, it is also used as a trap to the human beings. The local folk said that when a person is invited to a banquet with the engkantos, he/she should not ask for salt if he/ she find the food blunt because the host will get angry and that’s the end of the visitor. The engkantos will not allow the person to return to his/ her home. The relatives could only regain that person if they do a ritual with the faith healer who will command them to make a lot of noise outside the suspected habitat of the engkantos. When the engkantos can no longer withstand the noise, they will return the prisoner back to his/her relatives. These engkantos though “beautiful and fair-skinned, are said to be romantically attracted to a brown-skinned girl or boy.”[12] When the engkantos fall in love, they are extra generous. They use to give precious gifts to their beloved and make him or her prosperous but if the object of their affection refuses to love them in return, they will punish him or her terribly or even think of taking them by force. There are persons in our locality which common folk considers as offspring of an Engkanto and a human parent. The elders used to remind us not to sleep alone in the hut especially during noontime. The local folk believe that malevolent engkantos used to room around at noon and rape the sleeping girls whom they are attracted to. This union usually results in a mysterious pregnancy and an unusual offspring. The mestiza Engkanto doesn’t appear as expected. I mean, not as beautiful as we imagine them to be. They are usually very fair- skinned and filled with prickles, blonde hair including the eyelashes and they have a difficulty of seeing things at day time. When I was in high school, I learned that this kind of persons has abnormality in their genes and this condition is called albinism. It is a condition in which a person is experiencing a “congenital absence of pigment in the skin, eyes and hair.” [13] Modern Science describes this condition as a deficiency but local folks believe that this is a living proof that Engkanto’s exist.
A classmate of mine, Sr. Antonieta Sitoy shared with me the story of her mother and her first husband. An engkantada fell in love for the man who happened to be her childhood friend. This beautiful nymph appeared to him several times from childhood. When the man got married and had his own family, the Engkantada showed herself to his wife. She offered to her a pot of gold in exchange of her husband. The wife refused because of her love for her husband but the Engkantada warned her that by all means she will take away the love of her life. After a month, the first husband of Sr. Antonieta’s mom died while the Engkantada never showed herself to the wife again. Her mother taught that the Engkantada took her husband away from her.

· MARIA MAKILING Descriptions of Maria Makiling are fairly consistent. She is a breathtakingly beautiful young woman who never ages. Lanuza describes her as having "light olive skin, long shining black hair, and twinkling eyes." It is said that the abundance and serenity of the enchanted mountain complements Maria's own persona. She is also closely associated with the white mist that often surrounds the mountain. While in just a few stories either her skin or hair is white, in most tales, it is her radiant clothing which makes people who have seen her think that perhaps they just saw a wisp of cloud through the trees and mistook it for Maria. Unlike Maria Sinukuan and Maria Cacao who live in caves in their respective mountains, Makiling is often described as living in a humble hut. In some stories, this hut is situated in the village, amongst the people, where Maria Makiling lived before she fled to the mountains after having been offended for some reason. In other stories, the hut is up in the mountain, and can only be found if one is allowed by Maria to find it. Because stories about Maria Makiling were part of oral tradition long before they were documented, there are numerous versions of the Maria Makiling legend. Some of these are not stories per se, but superstitions. One superstition is that every so often, men would disappear into the forests of the mountain. It is said that Makiling has fallen in love with that particular man, and has taken him to her house to be her husband, there to spend his days in matrimonial bliss. Another superstition says that one can go into the forests and pick and eat any fruits one might like, but never carry any of them home. In doing so, one runs the risk of angering Maria Makiling. One would get lost, and be beset by insect stings and thorn pricks. The only solution is to throw away the fruit, and then to reverse one's clothing as evidence to Maria that one is no longer carrying any of her fruit.[14] As far as I am concerned she is the only Engkantada that I have known and heard about. She is very famous because she is often a subject of Philippine fairytale books and even Engkanto tales in the Philippine movies. I admire her for her great love and dedication for the earth. We consider her not only as the guardian of the forest but even more as the Mother Earth herself.
Kapre is a filthy, dark giant who likes to smoke huge rolls of cigars, and hide within and atop large trees, particularly the balete and old acacia or mango trees. A Filipino Bigfoot, it scares away little children who play at night. If you're stuck in a place and you keep going around in circles, you're said to be played around by a Kapre. To escape its control, you must remove your t-shirt, and wear it inside-out.[15] I remember of a story about my father as a young boy. He and his friends used to play hide and seek at night during the full moon. My father decided to climb unto a coconut tree beside their house because it was the most convenient place to hide and at the same time a favorable look out for the “it” of their game. He was so amazed with his idea only to realize that the tree he is holding into does not seem to be a coconut tree because it was so hairy. Then, he realized that the only coconut tree they had beside their house is no longer one but three. With this realization, he ran for his life and told his friends and mother about what had happened. After that incident, my father was no longer allowed by my grandmother to play outside even during full moon. As an aftermath, I and my brother and sister was also forbidden to play outside in the night. Was it really true or only a make-believe story made by my father in order to explain his restrictions? I don’t know the answer. However, I understand that my father want us to be away from all the dangers and uncertainties that the darkness bring.

· Tikbalang
Tikbalang or tigbalang (demon horse) is a half-man and half-horse creature. It has a horse's head, the body of a human but with the feet of the horse. It travels at night to rape female mortals. The raped women will then give birth to more tikbalang. They are also believed to cause travelers to lose their way particularly in mountainous or forest areas. Tikbalangs are very playful with people, and they usually make a person imagine things that aren't real. Sometimes a Tikbalang will drive a person crazy. Legends say that when rain falls while the sun is shining, a pair of Tikbalangs is being wed. Since horses only arrived in the Philippine archipelago during the Spanish colonization (thus, the borrowed term 'kabayo'), there is a theory that the image of a half-horse, half-man creature was propagated by the conquistadors to keep the natives afraid of the night. There are stories claiming that the Tikbalang are actually half-bird, half-man creatures, much like the Japanese tengu. [16]

· Sirena
Sirena is a mermaid, a sea creature with a human upper body and a fish tail instead of lower extremities. They attract fishermen and tourists. Sirenas are reportedly often seen ashore by fishermen, especially in the towns bordering the Pacific Ocean. Siyokoy are mermen, sea creatures that have a human form and scaled bodies. The Siyokoy is the male counterpart of the Sirena. The lower extremities of a Philippine merman can either be a fishtail or scaled legs and webbed feet. They could also have long, green tentacles. They drown mortals for food. Siyokoys have gill slits, are colored brown or green, and have scaly skin, comparable to that of a fish.[17] Stories about them are very common especially in the local television series. People enjoy watching them and are very much interested in their kind of life. We believe that these creatures in the sea are kindred spirit. They love the sea and all that is within it. They will do everything to protest its beauty and life. There were several stories about sinking boats and people who were drowned because of using dynamites for fishing and they attributed this phenomenon to the mermaids who disagree of the greed and insensitivity of the fishermen. · Duwende Duwende are goblins, hobgoblins, elves or dwarfs (Spanish: duende "goblin, elf, charm" < "duen de (casa)", owner of the house). They are little creatures who can provide good fortune or bad fate to humans. They frequently live in houses, in trees, underground, termite like mound or hill, and in rural areas. They are known to be either good or mischievous, depending on how homeowners treat them. They usually come out at 12 noon for an hour and during the night. Filipinos always mutter words ("tabi-tabi po" or "bari-bari apo ma ka ilabas kami apo") asking them to excuse themselves for bothering the Duwendes. Filipinos would leave food on the floor, so that the Duwende residing (or guarding) the house would not be angry with them. They also take your things, and laugh at you when you try to find it. They give it back when they feel like it, or when you tell them to please give it back.[18] Duwende in the houses are the primary reason why there is a ritual done before the owner of a newly built house settles down. It is believed that in order to avoid bad luck and diseases, the owner must first ask permission from the unseen dwellers of that house and land by offering some cooked food as well as blood sacrifices of animals before the whole family can move in.

My classmate at ICLA told me of an interesting story about her grandmother and these cute but mischievous beings. One afternoon, her Lola was sweeping in their backyard when she felt a burning sensation in her stomach. They immediately brought her to the hospital because the pain was unbearable and it did not allow her to sleep. The hospital did all the necessary procedures including an ultra sound but they could not figure out what is really happening. The doctor diagnosed her as normal and healthy and she was sent home. As was expected, her pain still lingers on and disrupts her sleep so they have to consult a traditional doctor. After an hour of ritual, the Mananambal (traditional doctor) told them that her grandmother has incidentally hurt a Duwende while sweeping. In order to appease the Duwende, her Lola has to ask for forgiveness. She needs to keep 8 eggs in each corner of the backyard, and then walk around with a lighted candle while mumbling a prayer for forgiveness dictated by the Mananambal. After the ritual of asking forgiveness and a series of treatment using the coconut oil, (which was taken orally and was used as a massage ointment for her whole body) her grandmother was healed. [19] Based on her story, I understand that it cost them a lot for incidentally hurting a Duwende. However, the incident brought all her Aunts and Uncles together and gave them an opportunity to take care of their aged mother. Though they were not so sure of the authenticity of the traditional doctor, they were still grateful because their mother was healed.

A BRIEF BACKGROUND OF FOLKLORE: Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The word 'folklore' was first used by the English antiquarian William Thoms in a letter published by the London Journal in 1846. Folklore can be divided into four areas of study: artifact (such as voodoo dolls), describable and transmissible entity (oral tradition), culture, and behavior (rituals). These areas do not stand alone; however, as often a particular item or element may fit into more than one of these areas.
Folklore can contain religious or mythic elements; it equally concerns itself with the sometimes mundane traditions of everyday life. Folklore frequently ties the practical and the esoteric into one narrative package. It has often been conflated with mythology, and vice versa, because it has been assumed that any figurative story that does not pertain to the dominant beliefs of the time is not of the same status as those dominant beliefs. Thus, Roman religion is called "myth" by today's dominant religions. In that way, both "myth" and "folklore" have become catch-all terms for all figurative narratives which do not correspond with the dominant belief structure.
"Folktales" is a general term for different varieties of traditional narrative. The telling of stories appears to be a cultural universal, common to basic and complex societies alike. Even the forms folktales take are certainly similar from culture to culture, and comparative studies of themes and narrative ways have been successful in showing these relationships. Also it is considered to be an oral tale to be told for everybody.
Folklore can be used to accurately describe a figurative narrative, which has no sacred or religious content. In the Jungian view, which is but one method of analysis, it may instead pertain to unconscious psychological patterns, instincts or archetypes of the mind. This may or may not have components of the fantastic (such as magic, ethereal beings or the personification of inanimate objects). These folktales may or may not emerge from a religious tradition, but nevertheless speak to deep psychological issues. The familiar folktale, "Hansel and Gretel", is an example of this fine line. The manifest purpose of the tale may primarily be one of mundane instruction regarding forest safety or secondarily a cautionary tale about the dangers of famine to large families, but its latent meaning may evoke a strong emotional response due to the widely understood themes and motifs such as “The Terrible Mother”, “Death,” and “Atonement with the Father.”[20] Indeed, Filipinos love stories and this is evident in the time we spend together just to listen about each others stories. As a kid, as I presume that most of the kids do, love to hear stories as well as create stories. We create stories in order to amuse or frighten others or even frighten our own selves. I even have interesting but untold stories in my in my dreams both at night time and in the day. I used to dream of having a special power to fight against the monsters in my dreams especially when the first part of my dream is really scary. As a teenager, handsome princes and pretty princesses are subjects of my fantastic adventures. I used to imagine myself as a beautiful lady who is an object of affection for all the gentlemen in town. Part of my daydreaming is the hope that I could befriend a powerful Engkantanda so that she can turn me into someone I dreamt of becoming.
I believe that the fantasy as well as the dreams and aspirations of every Filipino are one of the reasons of the existence of these supernatural beings. On those days of Spanish colonization, when a brown- skinned Filipina saw for the first time the Spanish women who are so regally dressed, beautiful in her long blonde hair and fair skin, she cannot help of dreaming to have the same as that Spanish lady had. Even in this present day, Filipina’s spend a great amount of money to make their skin fair and smooth.
There can be both a moral and psychological scope to the work, as well as entertainment value, depending upon the nature of the teller, the style of the telling, the ages of the audience members, and the overall context of the performance. Folklorists generally resist universal interpretations of narratives and, wherever possible, analyze oral versions of tellings in specific contexts, rather than print sources, which often show the work or bias of the writer or editor.[21]
Folklorist William Bascom states that folklore has many cultural aspects, such as allowing for escape from societal consequences. In addition, folklore can also serve to validate a culture (romantic nationalism), as well as transmit a culture's morals and values. Folklore can also be the root of many cultural types of music. It can also be used to assert social pressures, or relieve them, for example in the case of humor and carnival.[22] On those days of Japanese colonization, when fear and dread surround every town, my Grandmother told us that all they did was to hide. It was on those times that dreadful stories about monsters where prevalent in order to keep the kids from playing in the open. Until now, those stories of dread was preserved by the entertainment industries who continue to supply us with frightening movies based on those creatures of the dark.

In the case of embracing the Catholic faith as was experienced by my family later in time, the first one to be banned in our lives was our beliefs of the supernatural beings around us. The church considers these beliefs as evil worship so it has to be cut off from us. If someone will ask me now if that belief has been completely banished in my consciousness I would certainly say not. It was planted deep within me that even if my catechism classes denounce this beliefs, my consciousness does not depart from it. Yes, with my mouth I denounce such a thing but when I am confronted with the particular situations and places, it comes back automatically. When I throw water outside especially in the night, I still say: ‘tabi, tabi po’ (excuse me). I don’t consider it as an evil worship, what I am holding into is the values that is contained in that belief. Everyone on earth deserves to live happily and at peace. Everyone and every created reality deserve our respect. The nature, the humankind, the cosmos is interrelated. Every life has a spirit deep within. There may be a supernatural being in that particular tree or sea or any mound or there may be not, everything is worthy of our respect. “In our Filipino theology, the native supernatural beings are thought to be unconcerned with the moral affairs of the mortal folks. As the folklore shows us, what the diwatas (fairies), the kapres (ogre) and nunos sa punsos (old pixies) loathed were not the sinful man, but the reckless wanderer who, intentionally or unintentionally, had irritated them or who had raised some havoc in their sylvanian habitations.”[23] Many times in our recklessness and insensitivity of the co- existence of other creatures around us, we destroy or hurt others and in turn destroy or hurt ourselves. Jesus has given us the golden rule which says: Do not do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you. Whatever we throw unto others will come back to us. The important value that I learned from this research is to ‘respect’ everyone and everything as well as the awareness of our ‘interrelatedness’ in this earth.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

“Do You Believe in Philippine Mythology and Folklore?”

...A POSITION PAPER IN PHILIPPINE LITERATURE “DO YOU BELIEVE IN PHILIPPINE MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE?” IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF REQUIREMENTS IN COMMUNICATION SKILLS II SUBMITTED BY: ROWEL M. MOJECA PRESENTED TO: MRS. GRACE ARANDA DR.FELIMON C. AGUILAR MEMORIAL COLLEGE OF LAS PIÑAS MARCH 2O11 TABLE OF CONTENTS Overview 1 Definition of Terms 2 Introduction 4 Point of View 5 Evidences and Proofs 9 Conclusion 12 Works Cited 13 OVERVIEW Philippine mythology and folklore include a collection of tales and superstitions about magical creatures and entities. Some Filipinos, even though heavily westernized and Christianized, still believe in such entities. The prevalence of belief in the figures of Philippines mythology is strong in the provinces. The country has many islands and is inhabited by different ethnic groups, Philippine mythology and superstitions are very diverse. However, certain similarities exist among these groups, such as the belief in Heaven (kaluwalhatian, kalangitan, kamurawayan), Hell (impiyerno, kasamaan), and the human soul (kaluluwa). Filipinos also believed in mythological creatures. The Aswang is one the most famous of these Philippine mythological creatures. The aswang is a ghoul or vampire, an eater of the dead, and the werewolf. There is also the (Agta) a black tree spirit or man.......

Words: 2637 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Mythology in Literature: the Sword of Shanarra

...Mythology is the study of myth, but how does the study of ancient myth guide today’s modern myth? Mythology has been brought to life through art, film, and theatre, but those are just a few ways myths have been transformed through time. In some cultures myths are still passed down through oral tradition, with an expectation from the listeners to be wowed and awed at the telling. This essay we will look at Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. Brooks’ work is done in the literary art form, but how does his work relate to our world view of myth? What is used in his work as mythic symbolism? Is it modern myth or old myth presented in a new light? These questions will be addressed in this essay. In the Sword of Shannara, Brooks takes the reader into world that resembles ours today, but is indeed very different. Brooks weaves a tale that could be seen as a past long forgotten or a look into the future, where mythological creatures are no longer myth, but living breathing beings that coexist in the human world. The myth in his work is not the characters he has created, but the legend and tale of an ancient sword, which symbolizes the truth that not all beings can accept about themselves. Brooks’ tale parallels the everyday life and thoughts that exist in the world today, but outside of the normal bounds that one would be used to. Common across myth throughout time and seen here again in Brooks’ work. Brooks introduces the young man who is on a quest, but with a......

Words: 752 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Hahahaha Novels

...LEGEND * A traditional story or group of stories told about a particular person or place. Formerly the term legend meant a tale about a saint. Legends resemble folktales in content; they may include supernatural beings, elements of mythology, or explanations of natural phenomena, but they are associated with a particular locality or person and are told as a matter of history. * Some legends are the unique property of the place or person that they depict, such as the story of young George Washington, the future first president of the United States, who confesses to chopping down the cherry tree.  EPIC * A long narrative poem recounting heroic deeds, although the term has also been loosely used to describe novels, such as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and motion pictures, such as Sergey Eisenstein’sIvan the Terrible. In literary usage, the term encompasses both oral and written compositions. * The prime examples of the oral epic are Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Outstanding examples of the written epic include Virgil’s Aeneid and Lucan’s Pharsalia in Latin, Chanson de Roland in medieval French,Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando furioso and Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata in Italian, Cantar de mio Cid in Spanish, and John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene in English. PROVERB * A succinct and pithy saying in general use, expressing commonly held ideas and beliefs. Proverbs are part of every spoken language and are related to......

Words: 723 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...Children’s Literature on Folklore Folklore originated as stories told around the campfire and passed down by word of mouth. Because these stories originated orally, many times they have no known authors. These stories were almost always fantasy and involved magic or animals that talked. There are six subcategories that fall under Folklore in Children’s Literature. These subcategories are: folktales, tall tales, fables, myths, epics/ballads/legends and religious stories. One subcategory that falls under Folklore is Folk tales. A folk tale is a tale or legend originating among a people or folk, especially one forming part of an oral tradition. Folk tales are often part of the oral tradition of a group and are usually told rather than read. They are passed down from one generation to the next. They may be stories that grew out of the lives and imaginations of people. Folk tales can take on the personality of the storyteller and the story can take on the characteristics of the time and place in which the story is told. The themes are universal and timeless and may contain supernatural elements, imaginative characters, focus on action, have a simple sense of justice, have happy endings and contain fundamental wisdom (Chen, 2009). There are seven types of folk tales, each with their own characteristics to set them apart from one another. Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott is a beast tale. It is a beautifully illustrated folk tale from......

Words: 1483 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Characteristics of an Urban Legend

...false Albeit synonymous in common parlance with "false belief," the term "urban legend" is meant to denote a more subtle and complex social phenomenon, namely the emergence and transmission of contemporary folk narratives — narratives which are indeed usually false, but which also, on occasion, turn out to be 99.99% true. The critical factor is that it's told as true despite the absence of confirming evidence. As many versions as tellers of the tale The phrase "urban legend" entered the popular lexicon in the early 1980s with the publication of folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand's first book on the subject, The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings (New York: W.W. Norton, 1981). Urban legends are a type of folklore, defined as the handed-down beliefs, stories, songs and customs of ordinary people ("the folk"). One way to differentiate them from other narrative forms (e.g., popular fiction, TV dramas, or news stories) is to compare where they come from and how they're propagated. Unlike fiction or drama, which are usually produced by individual authors, urban legends emerge spontaneously and are rarely traceable to a single point of origin. And again unlike fiction or...

Words: 469 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

The Foundations of Mythology

...I think that the word “myth” means something legendary or traditional. Some people say “it’s a myth” because they don’t think that it is true. According to, it states that “a myth is something that is a traditional or legendary story that is told to others”. Myths are also things that people don’t think that is true or real and want to prove it. To me, I think that the word “myth” means something legendary as I explained in the beginning. Some things that people claim to be a myth goes as following: the Greek Gods, the loch ness monster, and La Llorona. Myths come in all different types of cultures because it depends on what you believe. Some of the most common mythological themes that come across the different cultures would be: Arabian, Armenian, Celtic, Christian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Islamic, Japanese, and many more. According to, it states “there are more than just two types of cultures. There are many more than you can imagine”. People just think there are only a few types of mythology, when different types of cultures have their own style. The relationship between belief, knowledge, mythology, and religion is somewhat tied together. Knowledge is something that consists of acquired information, such as facts, truths, stories, etc. Belief is the assertion that something is true without having necessary proof, evidence, or facts to back it up. A myth is a fictional story, usually with a hero or an event,......

Words: 297 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...Mythology Short Answers HUM/105 09/01/2013 Mythology Short Answers How is the word myth used popularly? For example, what does the statement, “It’s a myth” mean? In contrast, how is the word myth used in the academic context? After considering the definition in your textbooks and course materials, write a definition in your own words. Myth is story or a legend to explain past times in a cultures history. When others tell a myth they are telling a false sense of truth to the type of story, which may have happen with some unexplained events to help teach a moral or lesson. However academically myth is used to address what is real or a false sense of truth in the context of the myth itself. A definition of the word myth does vary from person to person; a myth in this narrator’s sense is a story that cannot be proven to be true or false. For instance some Greeks had sighting of the Greek Gods themselves but cannot be denied or proven because there is no hard evidence. Myths leave the human mind open to explore different possibilities, because nothing is impossible in this world. There are however myths that are created to help children understand changes as Santa Clause or the tooth fairy, these myths were created to give children hope.   Why do myths from different cultures around the world address such similar or universal themes? Think about how myths explain the unknown and the tribulations of mankind. As in every culture there are similarities, similar......

Words: 796 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Greek Mythology Research Paper

...A long time ago people lacked knowledge on why certain things would occur. Without scientific answers, like we have today, the Ancient Greeks created their own answers about the world and what their place was in it. Over 2000 years ago the Greeks created the names and ideas of a myth and mythology. What they created were tales that are now known as myths. “A myth is a story based on tradition” (“Myths and Heroes” PBS.). Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines myth as, “a usually traditional l story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.” (Def.1a). These myths described the values and feelings that bounded members of society. The stories explained, “the environment in which humankind lived in, the natural phenomena they witnessed and the passing of time through days, months, and seasons”(Greek Mythology”(Ancient History Encyclopedia). Early Greeks had faith the gods ruled the earth. These myths became the base for the Greek religion. This type of religion was very accepting to Greek society because of the numerous amounts of gods and goddesses that represented almost every aspect of life. This allowed people to worship whoever they chose. The Greeks were able to associate their local gods as long as they were still willing to participate and honor the higher gods and the traditions that came with them. The religion incorporated every aspect of the Greek society and the life......

Words: 1162 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Myth In Song Of Solomon By Toni Morrison

...In Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko also provides us with stories in her book. Some useful to the characters and some not. Useful or not all the stories have a meaning behind them. The characters were told stories which then helped them throughout their lives. Tayo was one of the main characters which was told stories and myths throughout his journey. Many of the myths and stories he was told throughout his journey were helpful to him. They helped him continue his journey and understand. In “The Language Must Not Sweat” Toni Morrison says “the flying myth” in Song of Solomon. It means Icarus to some readers, fine; I want to take credit for that. But my meaning is specific: it is about black people who could fly. That was always part of the folklore of my life; flying was one of our gifts. Morrison is trying explain that the meaning of the flying myth is not relating to people being able to fly with wings as some people may think. The myth is more relating to the black people who were able to be and have freedom. Flying was a gift to some black people. In Song of Solomon, Milkman discovers at the age of four that only birds and airplanes could fly. He begins to lose interest in himself because he feels he does not have the ability to be free and that freedom wouldn’t be an option. This is an example of how people may think the flying myth might mean Icarus to some readers. The flying myth made some of the characters including Milkman believe that they would never have the......

Words: 1396 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Disney Movies: A Fictional Story Of A Memoir

...A memoir a memory written in the form of a story, fictional story is not always true, but aren’t all stories not true. Everyone who reads loves a good story the juicy but maybe fake details that add emotion and tone to a once dull story, captivate all readers. Fictional stories are just that, stories. A princess banished to a tower lets her long hair down for Prince Charming to climb up and they fall in love and get married. Fairytale stories don’t happen in real life. Disney movies are based off of gruesome tales that they made happy and filled with love stories with lots of augmented details. Memoirs are usually written about a soldier’s war experience or a life changing moment. Memories of these events become embellished over time, details...

Words: 407 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

'The Babysitter And The Man Upstairs'

...The chilling voice of the man-made goosebumps all over my body, “The children...have you checked the children..” the man said. It was too late. The screams of them still remain. Urban Legends are stories that cause fear in those who know no better, the stories could be a crazy phenomenon with serial killers or even ghostly figures that disappear into oblivion. These stories can be passed down generation to generation, it’s like a game of telephone but the game last for years. The fear for children is a commonly exploited fear in most of these Urban Legends. Examples of these could be in the story “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs”, The story of “Gravity Hill”, and even the story of “Bunnyman’s bridge” with the fear for children in each of these. The story “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs” explores the fear for children by having the children upstairs become the victim of the serial killer in the house. The moral of the story is; don’t leave children unsupervised in a big house. This moral can make parents or babysitters scared of leaving children unsupervised in your house for too long. In the story, the man on the phone with the babysitter says to the babysitter “Have you checked the children…” from The Choking Doberman. That line could indicate that the children are in danger and should be brought to safety quickly considering there is a man upstairs. Next, the story of “Gravity Hill” has the fear for children by having said children dying on the bottom of the hill...

Words: 583 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ancient Mythology: The Punishments Of Gods

...To explain why the last words people shouted out at an open area were repeated, ancient civilizations created stories to decipher the most unknown events of the Earth. Mythology by definition, is a set of stories and beliefs associated with the history of an event. Many myths depict a higher power creating events that occur on earth as well as giving a story with morals. The characteristics of gods are one way people explain certain events. The myths also depicted gods having fights, alliances and interactions with each other as well as humans to create things such as the ''Echo''. The Punishments of gods were also another way the stories in myths clarified why specific experiences occur. One of the main functions of mythology Explainable natural phenomena by using characteristics of mythological higher powers, the interactions they make with humans and gods alike, and by symbolizing the punishments in these stories. The gods interactions with humans themselves were a way for the people to explain natural phenomena. In the myth narcissus, about a man too self invested his own looks, that he stared at a reflection of himself in the water for years. As a punishment, the author wrote when narcissus died, "But when she came with the nymphs to lament over his body, it was nowhere to he found. Instead, over the pool bent a new flower," (Narcissus Pg.226). Narcissus was arrogant and only cared about him self which led to the gods growing weary of his actions. They interacted with......

Words: 1273 - Pages: 6

Free Essay


...18. Animal symbolism in different cultures Many cultures through the ages have regarded specific animals as representing gods, power, the supernatural, and in the cases of Native Americans, used in names. It can be noticed in proverbs, folklore, attitude to gifts with some animal symbolics. First let’s speak about omnicultural symbols. So, the dove symbol takes its roots from the Bible legend about Noah. It returned to his ship with an olive branch, indicating the land nearby, and represents God's forgiveness. Also they say, mutual-affected people resemble doves. Sheep are also from Bible and symbolize naïve, frustrated, in need of guidance. Lambs had been slaughtered for sacrifice from time immemorial. Thanks to that appeared American set-phrase ‘Naïve as sheep Dolly”. The snake means infinity thanks to leisure plasticity of its shape, it’s Satan in Heaven, here’s a proverb “to keep a snake in one’s bosom” – otherwords, to be deceived. But somewhere this meaning is vice versa – snake twining a cup is the worldwide medical emblem. Its venom can cure. It is important to the Druids, and is found on much old Celtic jewelry. The goat has plenty of symbols. In Europe is the scapegoat, according to Latin myths. To reciprocate, to be free from sins, citizens exiled the goat from the city, battering him to death. In Asia the goat represents fertility. The peacock in Greece is the God’s bird, Junona’s symbol, her meat is eternal. In India they live near temples. What’s......

Words: 343 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Urban Legends

...Urban Legends Urban legend is any modern fictional story passed on from person to person told us truth. Urban legend as often false but sometimes they are inspired by an actual event but evolved into something different from person to person. Urban legends are characterized by combination of humor, horror, warning, morality or appeal to empathy. Urban legends are passed on from friend to a friend. It’s human nature to go to spread this feeling to others as people lore to till good story. In past 10 years there has been huge surge of urban legends on internet. The most common is forwarded e-mail. Here the story is not reinterpreted by each person who passes it on. Having the original story gives e-mail legends a felling of legitimacy. It will always be a human nature to tell bizarre stories and there will always be an audience waiting to believe them. No matter how much information technology we develop’ human being will be drawn in by unsubstantiated rumor. The urban legend is a part of our makeup. One urban legend was about Katie and Paul once paked at Ecliobay came access news about a rapist killer who escaped from prison. Instead of a right hand he had a hook. When Katie and Paul went home and opened door they saw a hook hanging on door handle. For decades “The Hook” story appeared as a genuine letter in “Dear Abby”, newspaper advice column and many students heard this story in grade school. Another urban legend is about “Kentucky Fried Rat”. It’s about a woman did......

Words: 573 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Synopsis of the Rikham Pada the Folk Dance of the Nyishi Tribe

...SYNOPSIS OF THE RIKHAM PADA THE FOLK DANCE OF THE NYISHI TRIBE Rikham Pada means giant, handsome, undefeatable and matured man Rinyam Yami means young and handsome looking boy  Both Rikam Pada and Rinyam Yami were two brothers. They (Rikham Pada & Rinyam Yami) were attire with beautiful traditional dresses which adding up their handsomeness, the most beautiful girls of the universe were after them. So marriage proposals were impending like shooting star, flowing of pure and milky river water,  Rikham Pada was man of principle, therefore he rejected them. So their imagination of marrying to Rikham Pada was depicting in the form of song and dances. So, this is the introductory folk song & dance of Nyishi Community which performs during the festival, important functions and other social ceremonies.  2. This dance express that one should not undermined or underestimate any individual as the temperament of an individual lies inside. It is conveying message that we should respect each other. 3. Chirping of birds, howling of animals and beautiful atmosphere of our surroundings inspiring  the heart and soul of women folk which induce them to embark on song and dance. 4. In this song the lady put across her happiness over her baby who is in her lap and lady out of joy compare her baby with a beautiful flower ‘ Opu nga Ama nga”. The anxious mother is worried and enquires where her baby is to deliver ask herself if it will be wise and suitable place to give......

Words: 380 - Pages: 2