Folklore is the traditional customs, beliefs, and stories of a community, passed down through generations. Legends are traditional stories sometimes regarded as historical but unauthenticated. Myths are traditional stories, one concerning the early history of people or explaining some social or natural phenomenon. It typically involves supernatural beings or events. Fairy Tales are children’s stories about magical or imaginary beings and lands. Canadian Folklore is traditional material passed down through generations either as oral literature or “by custom and practice.
It includes jokes, legends, proverbs, rhymes, superstitions and practices such as food and craft-making. Legends are most heavily concentrated in Canadian Folklore. Folklore was originally introduced in England in 1846, thus creating many stories or legends to be passed down. One of the most important values in Canada is multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is heavily represented in Canadian Folklore. Oral tradition and folklore is a significant part of history because it carries on and tells about aged traditions or stories.
The oral tradition of folklore helped shape Canadian culture by having the opportunity to be changed or retold however it was desired to be. It also helped by giving aged values and traditions the opportunity to be passed down through generations. Colonial laws strengthened Canadian folklore by making it crucial for Canadians to orally transmit their traditions through generations. Oral tradition helped folklore evolve by constantly passing the stories down through generations. Without doing so, certain traditions and stories would be lost forever.
Oral tradition is important for the growth of a community because without it, certain knowledge about past happenings or events would be lost. Without oral tradition, culture would be less exhaustive. People would walk around only knowing the life they live that exact day. Their knowledge of the culture they live in would be less profound. It wouldn’t even be considered a culture without oral tradition because stories and little pieces of history would not be passed down. Without folklore, myths, legends and fairytales would be lost.
No one would know of the scary past of the town they live in or about Bloody Mary. We would have less movies because most of them now focus on or incorporate old tales. American folklore or oral tradition has come a long way. We now have hip-hop and scary movies. Stories of our past have brought us a long way from our usual beliefs. Not all old American traditions were good. “The Loup- Garou” is a legend of a boy named Andre who meets a werewolf who can change from human to wolf whenever he pleases.
This legend is used for scaring children into listening. The Devil at the Dance” is a legend of a family who won’t let their daughter date a boy because he is a Christian. They say they’d rather her date the Devil. A week later, the Devil shows up at their door for the daughter. A priest comes to help convert the family and the boy and girl end up together. Both legends are dealing with creatures and would be considered supernatural or mythical. The creatures are the Devil and a werewolf, making the Devil supernatural and also mythical to some as well as the werewolf being mythical. Both legends have a scary background or have something to do with family.
Both stories are scary because they deal with creatures who are meant to hurt people. They reflect the value of family by having something to do with children who won’t listen to their parents. The value of family is evident in each. “The Loup- Garou” is used to scare children into listening to their parents. “The Devil at the Dance” deals with obedience to your parents. “The Loup- Garou” is a French legend. It is a werewolf who can change whenever they please. It is said if you come into contact with him, you become one. If you stay quiet, you can go back to your human form.
The Loup- Garou is used to scare children into listening. The original version of “The Devil at the Dance,” is a Texan girl who is excited to go to the dance. Her mother tries to stop her because the preacher says the dance is going to be for the devil, but the girl goes anyway. At the dance, the Devil forces her to dance with him, and when she does, he spins her all the way to Hell. In “The Loup- Garou,” nothing changed, except some added details about a boy who met the werewolf and what his name was. In “The Devil at the Dance,” the story is completely altered.
In one story, the parents refuse to let the girl date a Christian boy. In the other, the parents refuse to let the girl go to the dance because they believe it is for the Devil. “Sedna, Goddess of the Seas” is the myth of a girl who runs away to marry a man that her father does not approve of. The man turns out to be part bird. The day that Sedna finds out, her father comes looking for her and they leave. When they are going home, the sea started to go crazy. The only way to save himself would be to throw Sedna overboard, so her father did.
Sedna fought o hold onto the sides of the boat, so her father broke her fingers with his paddle. Each one turned into a seal animal. That night, Sedna’s father set up camp on shore, and a wave drug him into the water, keeping him and Sedna there forever. She is now the ruler of the seas. Anyone who dies passes through her kingdom. “Talk No More” is a story about a man, The Great Father, who was the protector of all the animals. There was a flood coming, so the man built a raft for the animals. Since all of the animals could talk, once they were all on the raft, they complained the whole time.
The man grew very tired of their complaints and said, “talk no more. ” From then on, animals could not talk. Both myths have something to do with the sea and animals. Sedna and The Great Father are both on a journey in the sea. The Great Father cares for animals and Sedna’s fingers become them. These myths reflect the Canadian culture by expressing the need to protect your children. However, in the end, the protectors affect them in a negative way. The value of family is evident in each. In “Sedna, Goddess of the Seas,” Sedna’s father comes to save her from a man he does not approve of.
However, he ends up killing her. In “Talk No More,” The Great Father is protecting his animals because it is his duty. In the end, he takes away their ability to talk. To this day, Canadian Inuit Hunters believe in Sedna and pray for her to release the animals that were born to her in hopes that they may eat. They believe that if men are swept away at sea, they are taken down to comb Sedna’s hair and if they do it well, she releases a whale, walrus, or seal. There is no other religious information on the story “Talk No More. It is only stated that it is retold by Dez Quarrell. Myths are based mostly on religion. It is almost impossible to verify one because of this. A myth can be made of any belief about a God or religion. Being based on religion would make it impossible to verify because religions were believed to be created before human time or in early human time.
Oral tradition contributed to the belief that Gods walk among man because of the ability to strengthen the stories however you want. The ability to change a story or put emphasis on a certain part strongly contributed to the elief that Gods walk among men as well as other things. “The Loyalist Cow” is a story about a cow who got separated from her home and swam across Niagara to get back. “Here Comes Raven Who Sets Things Right” is a story about a white Raven who tells a story so his friend will fall asleep then drinks all of the water from his spring. When the raven’s friend wakes, he tries to catch him. He gets out through the chimney, thus, turning him black. The raven goes to where the people are and spits out the water all around so they will have it to drink and bathe in.
Both tell a story about having a yearn for something and doing anything you can to get it. The Raven wishes to give water to the people who do not have it and The Loyalist Cow does everything she can to get home. Canadians are very materialistic and want everything they can get in life. Both Fairytales tell stories about animals who want something extra and they work hard to get it. The values of having a lot of stuff or having something you really want are evident in each story. One Canadian value is to have a lot of stuff.
Whether that be having a house or stuff to fill it with. Here Comes Raven Who Sets Things Right” originates with the Indians. The Indian’s version is longer and says that the Raven brings food and sticks to a village before bringing water. “The Loyalist Cow” has no other searchable origins other than the author, Dez Quarrel, who retold the story in 1998. The oral tradition of Fairy Tales contributed to the widespread belief in imaginary creatures or magic because they are often only told to children. Children will believe a story about talking animals or magic easier than an adult will. However, they may not have always been this way.
Small details change through generations as they are retold to fit someone’s preference. The belief in magic is readily accepted by the masses because children often times don’t know better than to believe what they are told. Other times, with adults, they know the truth but choose to “ignore” it because the story is a big part of their culture. An archetype is recurring patterns of human behavior, symbolized by standard types of characters in movies and stories.
The hero’s journey is the ordinary world, the call to adventure, refusal to the call, meeting with the entor, crossing the threshold, tests, allies and enemies, approach, the ordeal, the reward, the road back, the resurrection, and return with elixir. The purpose of the hero’s journey is to show you how your life is meant to be lived. It is in all great stories in literature and in all great movies. The archetypal hero’s journey fits into folklore by covering a broad part of tales that involve a hero going on an adventure, winning and coming back changed. In “Here Comes Raven Who Sets Things Right,” the Raven’s call to adventure is when he saw the spring and knew he had to get the water.
The test is when he is waiting for Ganook to fall asleep and making sure he is asleep. The allies and enemies, the approach, and the ordeal is when he is fighting with Ganook to get the water. The reward and the road back are when the Raven is carrying all of the water from the spring in his mouth back to his people. The resurrection is when he is back with his people but is he is now a black raven from being burnt by Ganook. The journey is significant because the Raven has to be a hero and bring back the water to his village. He had to go through the same steps as any other hero to get what he wanted.
The journey helps the reader to connect to the story by enticing their want to lead an exciting life. The reader puts themselves inside of the story and becomes attached to the character. All of the legends, myths, and fairy tales had to do with family and protection or wanting material things. In “The Devil at the Dance,” “Talk No More,” and “Sedna, Goddess of the Seas” the parents or older generation is trying to protect the younger ones from different things. In “The Loyalist Cow” and “Here Comes Raven Who Sets Things Right” the main characters are wanting and working to get something extra that they want.
My found folklore demonstrated Canadian dreams and values by having only to do with protection and the wanting of material things. The value of family was the most represented value in my folklore. Other values consisted of wanting, giving, taking and obedience. If the upcoming Canadian generations continue to have their folklore passed down to them, they will understand what it means to be a true Canadian. They will also understand the importance of materialistic things, family, obedience, and multiculturalism in their community.