Western Folklore

Vol. 69, No. 2 – Spring, 2010



Cats and Dogs, Trolls and Devils: At Home in Some Migratory Legend Types
John Lindow

ABSTRACT: I argue that the tag “Pan legend” for ML 6070A/B is inappropriate and that a better tag might be “I must go,” and that there is no structural difference between the “troll” and “cat” versions. The type is one of those that might be called “home invasion” legends, in which a supernatural being lives secretly in the human community but is expelled; the other relevant types relate to changelings. KEYWORDS: legend, Pan legend, ML 6070A/B, supernatural being, changeling

Rethinking Folklorization in Ecuador: Multivocality in the Expressive Contact Zone
John H. McDowell

ABSTRACT: “Folklorization” highlights the processing of local artistic production into mediated displays of culture. Here I challenge the built-in assumption that folklorization necessarily corrupts, arguing instead for the multivocality of cultural production in expressive contact zones, that is, zones where the local meets the global. In Quichua storytelling and in the making of musical CDs among the indigenous people of northern Ecuador, there is strong potential for revitalization of vernacular codes even in highly-mediated performance settings. KEYWORDS: folk belief, personal experience narrative, commemorative song, ritual language, folklorization

Variations on Vampires: Live Action Role Playing, Fantasy and the Revival of Traditional Beliefs
Yvonne J. Milspaw and Wesley K. Evans

ABSTRACT: Traditional folk beliefs about vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural have been claimed, reinterpreted, and mythologized in a Live Action Role-Playing or “LABP” game called The World of Darkness. Plots are collectively created by player interaction and characters developed through improvisational storytelling theatre. It is deliberatively transgressive play, recreating a process of folk narrative wherein story events are determined by chance while characters, narrative forms, and performance style are built from tradition. KEYWORDS: belief, folk narrative, gaming, role playing games, vampires


Jennifer Heath, Editor. The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics.
Reviewed by Jennifer L. Smith

David Evans, Editor. Ramblin’ on My Mind: New Perspectives on the Blues.
Reviewed by Gregory Hansen

Teresa J. Wilkins. Patterns of Exchange: Navajo Weavers and Traders.
Reviewed by Jo Farb Hernández

Maureen Trudelle Schwarz. “I Choose Life”: Contemporary Medical and Religious Practices in the Navajo World.
Reviewed by James Stacey Taylor

Javier Campos Calvo-Sotelo. Fiesta, identidad y contracultura: Contribuciones al estudio histórico de la gaita en Galicia.
Reviewed by Ińigo Sánchez

Steven J. Tepper and Bill Ivey, Editors. Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life and Casey Nelson Blake, Editor. The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State.
Reviewed by Lisa L. Higgins and Teresa Hollingsworth

Ian Russell and Mary Anne Alburger, Editors. Driving the Bow: Fiddle and Dance Studies from around the North Atlantic 2.
Reviewed by Drew Beisswenger

Marc Howard Ross, Editor. Culture and Belonging in Divided Societies: Contestation and Symbolic Landscapes.
Reviewed by Amanda Fickey

James W. Green. Beyond the Good Death: The Anthropology of Modern Dying.
Reviewed by Elinor Levy

Heather A. Diamond. American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition.
Reviewed by Jo Farb Hernández