viernes, 26 de octubre de 2012


The folktale is a story, passed down verbally from generation to generation. Each storyteller told the stories a little differently, making them more interesting and fascinating as the ages passed. Different folktales bear the characteristics of the culture, folklore and customs of the people from which they originated.

African Tales:
African tales are means of handing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next. This tales has been retold because of the absent of printed material.
This tales prepare people for life, they reflect the culture where animals abound, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, rhinoceros and a wide variety of birds (eagles and ostriches included) are mentioned.
The main specific point is that animals take human characteristics of greed, jealousy, honestly, loneliness, etc. The surroundings in which tales take place describe the vastness of the land, and climate is described focusing on dry or rainy seasons.
The most famous African tales are: Tortoise and the hare, Clever jackal gets away, Anansi the spider who has got eight thin legs, etc.
The collection of folktales from Africa consists of four books with 88 folktales: 28 South African folktales, 40 Nigerian folktales and 10 Tanzanian folktales.
South African folktales:
- Outa Karel's Stories South African Folk-Lore Tales by Sami Metelerkamp, published in 1914.
- Old Hendrik's Tales by Captain Arthur Owen Vanghan, published in 1904.
Nigerian folktales:
- Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria by Elphinstone Dayrell, published in 1910.
Tanzanian folktales:
- Zanzibar Tales, by anonymous author published in 1901.

Latin-American Tales:
In Latin-American tales children are introduced to characters who reflect their own diverse culture. These folktales are full of rich and culture. The themes are hospitality, tradition, leadership and decision-making.
Folktales from North America consist of six books with 136 folktales: 50 Native American folktales, 60 US folktales and 26 Canadian folktales:
-         -  Old Indian legends, contains 14 Native American folktales by Zitkala-Sa, published in 1901.
-         -  A Treasury of Eskimo Tales, contains 31 folktales by , published in 1922.
-          - The Indian Fairy Book, contains 26 Native American folktales by Cornelius Mathews, published in 1869.
United States folktales:
-         -  Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land. Vol. I The Hudson And Its Hills, contains 45 US folktales by  Charles M. Skinner, published in 1896.
-         -  Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land. Vol. II The isle of Manhattoes and nearby, contains 15 US folktales by Charles M. Skinner, published in 1896.
 Canadian folktales:
-          - Canadian fairy tales, contains 26 Native American folktales gathered from Canada by Cyrus Macmillan, published in 1922.

The collection of folktales from South America consists of two books with thirty Brazilian folktales.
-        -  "How and why tales from Brazilian folk-lore", this book contains 18 Brazilian folktales by  Elsie Spicer Eells, published in 1917.
-         - Tales of Giants from Brazil by Elsie Spicer Eells, contains an additional 12 Brazilian folktales, published in 1918.

Asian tales:
This tales are told in their local dialects (Japanese folktales for example) which may be difficult to understand because of intonation and pronunciations differences, conjugations and vocabulary.
The animals or creatures are known by their abilities, foxes are mentioned frequently for instance. Another characteristic that these tales contain is marriages between humans and non-humans.
The Asian tales allow children to experience the culture and heritage or tradition.
The collection of folktales from Asia consists of thirteen books with 292 folktales: 55 Arabic folktales, 104 Chinese folktales, 69 Indian folktales and 69 Japanese folktales.
Arab folktales:
 - The Arabian Nights /One Thousand and One Nights/. Author: Anonymous, published in 1918.
-          -  Folk-Lore and Legends: Orietal, contains 13 folktales from the Orient by Charles John Tibbitts, published in 1889.
-          -The Oriental Story Book, with 7 long Oriental folktales by  Wilhelm Hauff , published in 1855.
Chinese folktales:
-          - A Chinese Wonder Book by Norman Hinsdale Pitman, published in 1919.
-          - The Chinese Fairy Book, contains 74 Chinese folktales, sorted into several categories. Author: Various. Published in 1921.
-          - Chinese Folk-lore Tales by  Rev. J. Macgowan, D.D. Published in 1910.
 Indian folktales
-          - Indian fairy tales. Author: Various. Published in 1910.
-          . Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit. Translated by S. M. Mitra. Published in 1919.
-          - Tales of the Sun or Folklore of Southern India, the book holds 26 Indian folktales by Mrs. Howard Kingscote and Pandit Natesa Sastri. Published in 1890.
Japanese folktales:
-          - Japanese fairy tales, contains 22 Japanese folktales by  Yei Theodora Ozaki , published in 1908.
-         -  Green willow and other Japanese fairy tales, which contains 38 Japanese folktales, by Grace James, published in 1912.
-         -  Child-Life in Japan and Japanese Child Stories, this book features seven Japanese folktales, by Mrs. M. Chaplin Ayrton, published in 1901.

                                                                                   Australian tales:
Are based on both Indigenous and also non-Indigenous people's knowledge and experience of history in Australia.
The Indigenous Australians' knowledge base goes back tens of thousands of years. Indigenous knowledge, law, and religion, which provide the basis of their folklore, are rich in stories of the land, its animals and plants.

The collection of folktales from Australia consists of one book with 31 folktales:
-         -  Australian Legendary Tales, which contains 31 Australian folktales, by Mrs. K. Langloh Parker, published in 1896.

What is a Myth, Legend, Fable ,Folk Tale or Fairy Tale?


Myths are made up stories that try to explain how our world works and how we should treat each other. The stories are usually set in times long ago, before history as we know it was written. People have always asked questions like “How did our world come to be?” or “Why do tornadoes happen?” Some myths answered these questions.

In other myths, gods or “super-beings” used their powers to make events happen. Or the stories were the adventures of gods, goddesses, men and women.

These myths described the big things that happened to people and the choices they made. They might be about triumph (achieving something), tragedy (losing something), honour (doing the right thing), being brave even when you are frightened, or being foolish and making mistakes. People might be heroes in these stories and gods and goddesses could use their powers to help them or make things more difficult for them.

Around the world, myths were shared by groups of people and became part of their culture. Storytellers have passed the stories on from generation to generation and through families. Some myths are told in many cultures, but with variations in the events or characters. For example, most cultures, tribes or groups of people have their version of how our world came to be.

For early people, myths were like science because they explained how natural events work. Today we do not always know if myths are true or not. Some of the stories or characters may seem impossible, and science gives us different explanations for some of our questions. But people all over the world still like to read myths and we all like to think about what they might mean.

“Myth” comes from the Greek word “mythos” which means “word of mouth”.


Legends are also stories that have been made up, but they are different from myths. Myths answer questions about how the natural world works, and are set in a time long-ago, before history was written.

Legends are about people and their actions or deeds. The people lived in more recent times and are mentioned in history. The stories are told for a purpose and are based on facts, but they are not completely true.

Either the person never really did what the story says, or the historical events were changed. The purpose was to make the story more interesting or convincing, or to teach a lesson, like knowing right from wrong.

Examples of people in English legends are King Arthur, Robin Hood and Queen Boadicea. 

 Like myths, legends are passed down from generation to generation... today people use the word ‘legend’ in a different way when they talk about people and their deeds. They may describe a basketball player, football player or runner as a “sporting legend”, or an actor as a “film legend”. What they mean is the person is famous because of their skills or things they have done. This is similar to the earlier use of the word, and the legend stories.


A fable is another type of story, also passed down from generation to generation and told to teach a lesson about something.

Fables are about animals that can talk and act like people, or plants or forces of nature like thunder or wind. The plants may be able to move and also talk and the natural forces cause things to happen in the story because of their strength.

The most famous fables were written by a man called Aesop. We know them as Aesop’s Fables, and he wrote more than 600 of them.

Folk and fairy stories:

Folk and fairy tales are stories written specially for children, often about magical characters such as elves, fairies, goblins and giants. Sometimes the characters are animals.

Hans Christian Andersen is famous for writing fairy tales. He was born in Denmark in 1805. Examples of his stories are “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina” and “The Red Shoes”.

Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm were brothers, born in Germany in 1785 and 1786. They are famous because they collected together many old fairy tales from different parts of Germany and wrote them down for people to read. We know them as the Brothers Grimm and their collection includes “Cinderella” and “The Frog Prince”.

 A favorite Greek Myth, one of Echo who fell in love with Narcissus and two; of Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection

Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm:Hansel & Gretel:


Aesops fables:

(2012). African folk tales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].
Asian folktales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].
Big Black Dog Communications Pty Ltd (25th February 2008). Australian Folklore. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the African folktales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the Asian Tales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].
(2008-2012). Welcome to the Australian folktales page. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the North American folktales page. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the South American folktales page. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

Shephard (2012). What is a Myth, Legend, Fable ,Folk Tale or Fairy Tale?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 28 October 2012].

1 comentario:

  1. This looks as if it were a complete analysis. Can you include some tales as examples? Perhaps you could link them to your blog.

    stella :-)