Western Folklore

Vol. 71, No. 1 – Winter, 2012


Beyond Belief: Context, Rationality and Participatory Consciousness
Sabina Magliocco

ABSTRACT: This paper gives an overview of anthropological and folkloristic approaches to belief, and proposes its examination as a response to specific contextual factors. It approaches belief as emerging from “participatory consciousness,” a state of mind that exists alongside rational consciousness in all human societies. Examples are drawn from the cultures of magico-religious healers in Italy and modern Pagans in North America and Western Europe. KEYWORDS: belief, magic, history of folklore theory, folk healing, modern Pagans

The /Xam Narratives of the Bleek and Lloyd Collection: Questions of Period and Genre
Michael Wessels

ABSTRACT: The materials collected from /Xam informants in the second half of the nineteenth century by Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd have received attention from historians, anthropologists, rock art interpreters, and poets. Generic categories have been imported into /Xam studies in ways that are derivative and critically unreflexive. This article argues that the consequences have been far-reaching for the reading of the texts as well as for the ways that the materials have been positioned ontologically and in relation to history and period. KEYWORDS: myth, folklore, literature, orality, periodization

Frenchman's Creek and the Female Sailor: Transgendering Daphne du Maurier
Valentina Bold and Pauline Greenhill

[From the article]: Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman's Creek has probably surprised other folklorists, as it did the authors of this article, with its representations of a very familiar traditional ballad figure. Indeed, some 50 years ago, Thomas J. Rountree linked the novel with “The Gypsy Laddie” (Child 200).... With all due respect, we think that Rountree identified the wrong ballad parallel, and that he thus fails to recognize the significance of the novel’s traditional counterparts. Instead, we suggest that narrative songs about cross-dressing women, and particularly about female sailors, provide a better analogue to the novel’s characters, plot, and conclusion.


William Lynwood Montell, Tales from Kentucky One-Room School Teachers
Reviewed by Anne Gray Perrin

W. Paul Reeve and Michael Scott Van Wagenen, editors, Between Pulpit and Pew: The Supernatural World in Mormon History and Folklore
Reviewed by Eric A. Eliason

Jay M. Smith, Monsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of a Beast
Reviewed by William G. Pooley

Noriko T. Reider, Japanese Demon Lore: Oni from Ancient Times to the Present
Reviewed by Michael Dylan Foster

Alan Jabbour and Karen Singer Jabbour, Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians
Reviewed by Paul Cowdell

Solimar Otero, Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World
Reviewed by Kayasha Corinealdi

Yvonne R. Lockwood, Finnish American Rag Rugs: Art, Tradition and Ethnic Community
Reviewed by Yvonne J. Milspaw

Anna R. Beresin, Recess Battles: Playing, Fighting and Storytelling
Reviewed by Elizabeth Tucker

John A. Burrison, From Mud to Jug: The Folk Potters and Pottery of Northeast Georgia
Reviewed by Moriah Hart

James R. Dow, Roger L. Welsch, and Susan D. Dow, editors, Wyoming Folklore: Reminiscences, Folktales, Beliefs, Customs, and Folk Speech. Collected by the Federal Writers' Project.
Reviewed by Kathleen Bond Williams