Folklore

Glen Rounds: Cowboy Storyteller

Artist and author Glen Rounds was neither a tenderfoot nor a city slicker. He was the real deal of the nearly Wild West--though he wasn’t beyond telling a few tall tales, too, here and there. Born in a sod house in the Badlands of South Dakota, when he was just a babe he and his family traveled by covered wagon to the open spaces of Montana.

Spinning Tales for His Supper
 
Glen grew up on a horse ranch and worked as a mule skinner, a cowboy, and a carnival artist, but eventually his talents took him into the big city—Kansas City’s Art Institute where he studied for two years. In 1930, he moved to New York City and started taking night classes at the Art Students League and tried to sell stories during the day. He would visit publishers’ houses to sell his work, arriving in the late morning so he could grab a free meal—a trick he managed by starting a good story and offering to finish it over lunch. His artistic style was spare and rather rough, but it was perfect for the often funny, sometimes somber stories he wove about the American West.

Mules and Men

By Zora Neale Hurston

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Mules and Men is the first great collection of black America's folk world. In the 1930's, Zora Neale Hurston returned to her native village of Eatonville, Florida to record the oral histories, sermons and songs, dating back to the time of slavery, which she remembered hearing as a child. In her quest, she found herself and her history throughout these highly metaphorical folk-tales, big old lies, and the lyrical language of song. With this collection, Zora Neale Hurston has come to reveal and preserve a beautiful and important part of American culture.Zora Neale Hurston (1901-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, anthropologist and playwright whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage are unparalleled. She is also the author of Tell My Horse, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Dust Tracks on a Road, and Mule Bone.

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Storytellers' Research Guide: Folktales, Myths, and Legends

By Judy Sierra

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Tells how to find unique stories from older, written sources as well as original stories from the oral tradition. Includes a chapter on copyright concerns with sample forms for requesting consent.

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Folklore and the Sea

By Horace Beck

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A superb account of the traditions and legends of the people who live by the sea; their beliefs and superstitions about boatbuilding, the weather, creatures real and legendary, the ghosts and saints and demons that surround and influence their lives. (Publisher's description)

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Virginia Folk Legends

By edited by Thomas E. Barden

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What do devil dogs, witches, haunted houses, Daniel Boone, Railroad Bill, "Justice John" Crutchfield, and lost silver mines have in common? All are among the subjects included in the vast collection of legends gathered between 1937 and 1942 by the field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA. For decades following the end of the project, these stories lay untouched in the libraries of the University of Virginia. Now, folklorist Thomas E. Barden brings to light these delightful tales, most of which have never been in print. Virginia Folk Legends presents the first valid published collection of Virginia folk legends and is endorsed by the American Folklore Society.
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Sparks Fly High: The Legend of Dancing Point

By retold by Mary Quattlebaum

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When Colonel Lightfoot and the Devil hold a lengthy dance contest to see who will control a plot of land along the James River in Virginia, the result is a surprise for both participants. Colonel Lightfoot is never modest, especially when it comes to his dancing or his fine Virginia land. One piece of that land is turning to mud, and the devil himself is rumored to live in that murky mess, for on dark nights sparks fly high. How to put an end to the devil's mischief? Why, a dance contest with the fiery fiend himself. The colonel bristles with confidence, but the devil is equally sure of himself, until, recognizing his own false pride in the devil's boasts, the colonel discovers the perfect way to outsmart him.

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The Timeless Stories of Jane Yolen

She's been compared to Hans Christian Andersen and that clever fable maker Aesop. For children (and adults!) in today's world, her carefully crafted stories sing with a timeless rhythm and an honest truth. Her family's Russian-Jewish roots have given her the jumping-off place for many a tale (And Twelve Chinese Acrobats, Firebird, and Baba Yaga), but some stories seem to drawn from the heart of the world itself.

Jane Yolen, born in New York City on February 11, 1939, showed a talent for writing early on when she wrote and composed the words and music to her grade school pageant, starring as the lead carrot. She seems to have never slowed down during her years in high school: news editor of the school paper, Spanish club vice president, singing with the a capella choir, and captain of the varsity basketball team. Summers spent at a Vermont camp run by Quakers influenced her deeply. Several of her later books (The Gift of Sarah Barker and Friend: The Story of George Fox and the Quakers) relate to this period of spiritual growth.

Stories To Solve: Folktales from Around the World

By George Shannon

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Brief folktales in which there is a mystery or problem that the reader is invited to solve before the resolution is presented.
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The Ghosts of Virginia, Volume IV

By L. B. Taylor, Jr.

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Ghost tales and folklore from Northern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, Richmond and Central Virginia, Roanoke and Central Virginia, Southside Virginia, Tidewater Virginia, Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck. Part of a popular series by the same author.
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A History of Classic Monsters: Zombies

Although zombies have a long history of appearances in religion and folklore, interest in them as villains in horror films is largely confined to the second half of the 20th century. The explosion in zombie popularity is based on a characterization established by a single film and the fact that the original characterization of the zombi in African folklore and religion as well as in earlier films is dramatically different from that of the popular characterization from the 1960s onward. To understand zombies in both their original context and in the role they have come to take in popular culture requires an understanding of two divergent traditions.