Western Folklore

Vol. 75 No. 1 – Winter, 2016

(Current issue)


The evil eye as a folk disease and its Argentine and Ibero-American historical explanatory frame
Anatilde Idoyaga Molina

ABSTRACT: To understand Argentine and Ibero-American evil-eye lore, one must consider that during colonial times, Spanish official medicine defined the evil eye as a disease. This knowledge filtered down to sections of the populace in Argentina and Ibero-America, generating a new folklore. At the same time, European immigrants brought with them popular European evil-eye lore, enabling a synthesis between Ibero-American and European popular traditions and endowing the Argentine belief with its own characteristics. KEYWORDS: evil eye, folk illness, historical processes, Argentina, Ibero-America

Chinese Restaurants' Interior Decor as Ethnographic Objects in Newfoundland
Mu Li

ABSTRACT: This article traces the changes in the architectural and interior decor of Chinese restaurants in Newfoundland, the easternmost province of Canada, to explore the interplay of the interior spatial arrangements in Chinese restaurants and exterior social space of the Chinese diaspora in various social and cultural contexts. KEYWORDS: interior decor, Chinese diaspora, ethnicity, Newfoundland, foodways, material culture

Don't Just Print the Legend, Write It: The Odd Construction of Elfego Baca as Folk Hero
Karra Shimabukuro

ABSTRACT: This article examines Elfego Baca’s conscious self-construction as a folk hero, a distinctly modern concept, and how the media of modernity, including print culture, made this possible. Understanding his work as a response to anxieties about statehood and as resistance literature allows us to see why he is embraced as a folk hero. I also analyze the cultural functions of the repetition of his legend, as well as the reasons why he was embraced as a folk hero by the Hispanic/Chican@ community, despite Baca’s lack of connections to this community during his lifetime. KEYWORDS: Elfego Baca, modern print culture, Chican@, folk hero, New Mexico


Candi K. Cann, Virtual Afterlives: Grieving the Dead in the Twenty-First Century
Reviewed by Kate Ristau

Luisa Del Giudice, Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts: Art, Migrations, Development
Reviewed by James I. Deutsch

Coralynn V. Davis, Maithil Women's Tales: Storytelling on the Nepal-India Border
Reviewed by Ann Grodzins Gold

Andrew Cowell, Alonzo Moss, Sr., and William J. C’Hair, Arapaho Stories, Songs, and Prayers: A Bilingual Anthology
Reviewed by Paul Apodaca

Naoíse Mac Sweeney, Foundation Myths in Ancient Societies: Dialogues and Discourses
Reviewed by William Hansen