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The filipino folklorist

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The Filipino Folklorist: His Skills, Tools and Methodologies

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The filipino folklorist

  1. 1. Blasco, Joy Marie D. BEED-ENGLISH III
  2. 2. Structuralism in academic scene: Has great impact on scholars in humanities and social sciences Made instant converts of anthropologists, linguists and folklorists The problem of structural analysis involves the discovery or definition of minimal structural units and understanding how these minimal units combine into traditional pattern.
  3. 3. Folklore materials are highly structured Methodology is focused on isolation and description Each proposed scheme is tested against empirical reality Structural folklorist’s position:
  4. 4. Two distinct type of structural analysis in folklore: By Russian folklorist Vladimir Propp By French anthropologist Claude Levi- Strauss
  5. 5. PROPP’S MORPHOLOGY -chronological order or the linear sequence of elements -syntagmatic structural analysis Propp felt that Aarne’s classification of folktales by dramatis personae was misleading for several actors can perform the same action. Propp considered actors as variables and actions as constants.
  6. 6. -there is a logical structure within the human mind; and even the savage mind. -seeks to describe the pattern (usually based upon a priori binary principle of opposition) -elements are taken out of the “given” order and are regrouped in one or more analytic schemas. -can be termed paradigmatic Levi-Strauss
  7. 7. Structural analysis is not an end in itself but only a means to an end. Structuralism could very well be the approach that might possibly unify the diverse regional folklore materials of the Philippines.
  8. 8. Oral transformation of folk epic, ballad, romance and folktale and attributes that composition and structure of these forms to the narrator and his performance. Albert Lord summarized his and Milman Parry’s findings and came up with …
  9. 9. formula- involves the study of the line ebjambment- involves the study of the way one line is linked to another theme- involves the study of the structure of the poem as a whole. 1. 2. 3. 3 factors that distinguish an oral epic from a written one
  10. 10. Lord explained that because of special demands of oral transmission, the folk singer or taleteller has to rely on a repertoire of descriptive phrases or formulas and a set of episodic structures to aid his memory and enable him to improvise each new revision. Main objection of the oral formulaic theory aside from obvious inference: FOLKLORE MATERIALS ARE VERBAL Alfred Friedman: oral formulaic method overlooks the process of memorization and concentration only on improvisation based on formulas by the transmitter of the lore.
  11. 11. Total performance aspects of a folklore event, that is, the personal aesthetics of the teller/performer and the nature of the understanding of the lore by the audience. “relating folklore to the dynamics of culture” Robert Georges introduced a new concept- a holistic rather than an atomistic study of “unique” social experience. Ben-Amos focused on the social interaction of teller and tale Alan Dundes gives great importance to context in his functional analysis of materials. Dundes’ favorite expression: “text without context are like dead butterflies without meaning”.
  12. 12. Three-dimensional perspective: 1. the teller/performer 2. the text 3. the audience Main objection: the tendency of its proponents to treat the audience as a totally homogeneous group. Including context in the study is a complete departure from the text-oriented theories of the 19th theories. Much more than gathering texts. It Involves the recording and analysis of group dynamics and psychocultural relationships between folklore performer-communicators and their audience.
  13. 13. Each country has its own specific cultural history and folkloric interpretation of the traditional materials found in the culture. Segal: Folklore theories are objective, some speculative, others empirical. It is best for a folklorist to be eclectic rather than confine himself/herself to just one approach. It is possible to combine one or more methodologies when the need arises.
  14. 14. Isabelo de los Reyes ( Father of Philippine folklore): “No nursemaid or peasant who has a wide repertoire of stories can be called a folklorist because there are specific rules to follow”. A professional folklorist should also develop skills in the use of the special “tools” of his/her profession.
  15. 15. Standard bibliographic tools save time and energy in tracking down local and international folklore scholarship. (a) International Sources The Internationale Volkskundliche Bibliographie- most valuable international aid since 1917.
  16. 16. Bibliographic aids go only so far and the folklorist must cultivate his skill to use indices in order to identify and classify his materials. There is no Philippine folklore index to assist local scholars. There are two outstanding indices for Asian tales: Japan has Hiroko Ikeda’s A Type and Motif Index of Japanese Folk Literature (1971) Korea has A Type Index of Korean Folktales by In-Hak Choi

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