You will collect 10 items of folklore. Using what you are learning about the different types of folklore in the world, collect 10 pieces of folklore and document them using the Fife Folklore Archives documentation style. The folklore you collect will be contributed to the Archives, and will become part of the ongoing research resource that the Archives provides.
You will write one short essay. Your essay should reflect on the questions: "What does this folklore tell me about the people from whom I collected it" and “How does this folklore function within the group that shares it?” You will consider how and why the folklore you gathered developed, evolved, and continues to function and provide or express meaning within the context of the group.
1. The collection and documentation of folklore
the 10 items can be from any genre(s) of folklore (legends, customs, beliefs, jokes, pranks, folkspeech, etc. Even genres we don't specifically cover in class are okay–just ask me if you think you've found some folklore but aren't sure how to classify it!)
you are welcome to collect the same piece of folklore from more than one person, and to collect more than one piece of folklore from a single informant
the folklore should be collected from real people via interviews, not from books, television, or the web (though interviewing via email or online chat is fine)
items should be documented in the Fife Folklore Archive “Genre (Single) Item” format ( or the walkthrough posted in the CP Info link)
a collector and informant release form should be included for each informant (Release Form
2. The essay
the essay should be short: only 2-4 pages, double-spaced. The bulk of you work on this assignment will be spent on the first part (the collection and documentation of the 10 pieces of folklore).
the goal of your essay is to reflect on, analyze, or interpret the folklore you collect, considering how it functions in the group and what it expresses for or about the group members. You’re not repeating the work you did in the collection and documentation process; you’re analyzing and interpreting the information you gathered through that process.
you should take time to acknowledge the folk group(s) from whom you collected: who they are, what they do, what unites them, how you know them, how long you have known them, etc. Does all the folklore you collected come from the same group, or did you get traditions and lore that represent many different groups?
overall, this is meant to be a reflective essay. You should consider what we learn about your informants from their folklore. Be sure to pay attention to the elements you documented—text, texture, and context—as they relate to the use and function of the items in the group