Western Folklore

Vol. 74 No. 2 – Spring, 2015


Unwitching: The Social and Magical Practice in Traditional European Communities
Mirjam Mencej

ABSTRACT: Stemming from an analysis of unwitching procedures based on fieldwork material from eastern Slovenia, the paper aims to explore the role of the unwitchers and argues that they were crucial in helping women resolve the tensions they were facing due to the demands imposed on them by the traditional gender roles and in upholding their position in the community when it was threatened. KEYWORDS: Witchcraft, unwitchers, cunning-folk, healing, gender.

The Ad Hoc Calendarized: (on the basis of November 5th effigy-burning in southern England)
Jonathan Roper

ABSTRACT: Celebrations of November 5th (“Bonfire Night”) began as an officially sanctioned practice in 1606, the year following the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, but in the course of time the celebrations were folklorized and took on an altogether rougher character. One of the popular elements was the use of November 5th for a delayed (or repeated) rough music, a charivary aimed against locally unpopular figures, i.e. Bonfire Night at this stage in its development became a calendarization of the otherwise ad hoc (three examples are detailed below). Nowadays, while the Fifth is still celebrated, especially in the rural south, this particular function of expressing disapproval of local miscreants seems to be on its way out. KEYWORDS: popular protest, rough music, Bonfire Night, ad hoc custom, charivary, Sussex, England

Differentiating Worldview: Kalikantzaroi (Goblin)-Stories, Cyclical Time and Orthodox Christian Doctrine
Evangelos Avdikos

ABSTRACT: The article explores the nature of kalikantzaroi (goblins) through goblin-stories and the voices of local people, which resonate within these. Specifically, it uses the concept of liminality in order to study: a) the concept of time, as well as of faith, particularly the change in content of these stories in the process of embodying the Christian concept of time, and b) the differentiation of the stories into true and false, which constitutes a new perspective. KEYWORDS: kalikantzaroi / goblins, Christian doctrine, supernatural, liminality, time


Trevor J. Blank, Folk Culture in the Digital Age: The Emergent Dynamics of Human Interaction
Reviewed by Maggi Michel

Nicholas R. Bell, A Measure of the Earth: The Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets
Reviewed by C. Kurt Dewhurst

Elaine Eff, The Painted Screens of Baltimore: An Urban Folk Art Revealed
Reviewed by James I. Deutsch and Alexandra M. Karpa

Jessie L. Embry, Oral History, Community, and Work in the American West
Reviewed by Jeanne Harrah-Johnson

Anne E. Duggan, Queer Enchantments: Gender, Sexuality, and Class in the Fairy-Tale Cinema of Jacques Demy
Reviewed by Kim Snowden

Cristina Bacchilega, Fairy Tales Transformed? Twenty-First Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder
Reviewed by Bonnie D. Irwin

Richard March, The Tamburitza Tradition: From the Balkans to the American Midwest
Reviewed by Lesley Ham

Luis Nicolau Parés, The Formation of Candomblé: Vodun History and Ritual in Brazil
Reviewed by Jeffrey E. Anderson

Simone Cinotto, The Italian American Table: Food, Family, and Community in New York City
Reviewed by Charles Camp

Anna R. Beresin, The Art of Play: Recess and the Practice of Invention
Reviewed by Jeffrey G. Howard