Skip to main content

Folklore, Fairytales, and Symbolism: A Research Guide: Regional
Folklore

Click on the BLUE TABS to access each section of this guide.

Folklore of Specific Geographic Areas or Cultures

Castro, Rafaela. Chicano Folklore: A Guide to the Folktales, Traditions, Rituals and Religious Practices of Mexican Americans. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
(Olin Stacks GR 111 .M49 C37 2001)
A similar work by Castro is Dictionary of Chicano Folklore, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2000. (Olin Stacks GR 111 .M49 C37x 2000 +)
 
Dictionary of English Folklore. Jacquelin Simpson and Steve Roud. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
(Online; Print: Olin Reference GR 141 .S573 2000).
"Some 1,250 entries about people, customs, animals, plants, minerals, legends, music, games, places, dates, dances, birds, numbers, gestures, life-cycle events, colors, and other subjects of folklore are deftly laid out with thorough references and an extensive bibliography. The inclusion of contemporary topics such as the tooth fairy, bus tickets, and photocopy lore (but no Internet hoaxes) demonstrates that folklore is a living, changing phenomenon. The authors emphatically reject the misconception that folk practices are direct survivals of pre-Christian religions or magic. The sheer volume of material (and the existence of other relevant titles) led the authors to omit extensive coverage of traditional foods, sports, fairs, children's lore, fairies, and superstitions, though most of those topics do have a few basic entries." [Choice, 01/03/2001]
 
El-Shamy, Hasan M. Types of the Folktale in the Arab World: A Demographically Oriented Tale-Type Index. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2004.
(Olin Reference GR 268 .A73 E42 2004)
A motif index on the Stith Thompson model, but using a newly-developed classification system based in Arab culture.
 
El-Shamy, Hasan M. Folk Literature of South American Indians. General Index. Johannes Wilbert and Karin Simoneau. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center Publications, University of California, 1992.
(Olin Reference F 2230.1 .F56 W56x 1992)
A cumulative motif index to the 23-volume series South American aboriginal oral literature, published by the UCLA Latin American Center--the definitive collection in English. Includes an extensive concordance of new motifs and an encyclopedic introduction and comprehensive bibliography on South American folklore literature. [Adapted from the Guide to Reference]. CUL owns 15 of 23 volumes; search Folk literature of South American Indians as a title to see all the volumes we own.
 
Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife . Jonathan H.X. Lee and Kathleen M. Nadeau, editors. 3 volumes. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011- . (Kroch Asia Reference GR 111 .A75 E63 2011 +)
Organized into sections covering the folklore of Pan Asian Americans; Mixed Heritage, Mixed Race Asian Americans; and then individual culture groups--Afghan Americans, Burmese Americans, and so on. Each section is further broken down into various topics within the folklore of each culture.
 
Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore. Carl Lindahl, John McNamara, and John Lindow, editors. 2 volumes. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2013.
(Olin Reference GR 98 .E56 2013 +)
An extensive exploration of Jewish folklore across geographic groups and aspects of Jewish folklore.
 
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore. Edited by Anand Prahlad. 3 volumes. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006.
(Africana Reference GR 111 .A47 G74 2006 +)
More than 700 signed articles with bibliography and index. Covers themes, motifs, major works, scholars, genres, performers, foods, etc. Guide to related topics included. [Guide to Reference]
 
Medieval Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs. Carl Lindahl, John McNamara, John Lindow, editors. 2 volumes. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2000.
(Olin Reference GR 35 .M43x 2000 +)
A wonderful encyclopedia of period folklore with much literary and religious content. Entries are substantial essays with lightly annotated bibliographies and some B&W illustrations. A later, almost identical work (Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs, Oxford UP, 2002, Olin GR 35 .M43x 2002) by the same authors has somewhat fewer entries, no illustrations, and minimal bibliographies.
 
Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. New York: Facts on File, 2004.
(Olin Stacks BL 900 .M66 2004)
 
The Penguin Dictionary of American Folklore. Alan Axelrod and Harry Oster with Walton Rawls. New York: Penguin Reference, 2000.
(Olin Reference GR 105.34 .A94x 2000)
A concise guide to "the subjects that most interest most people who are interested in folklore." [Preface]
 
South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Margaret A. Mills, Peter J. Claus and Sarah Diamond, editors. New York: Routledge, 2003.
(Kroch Asia Reference GR 302 .S68x 2003 +)
Nearly 500 articles. Excludes South Asian music. Signed articles with bibliography. Some general articles on folklore topics and concepts are included as well as some commissioned case study articles. See also references. Subject index.