Gone But Not Forgotten
- Sep 2, 2006
- Reaction score
For some reason the board logged me whilst I was replying.Pietro_Mercurios said:But, isn't, "hearsay", what oral tradition is all about?
Puns or literal readings aside, no I wouldn't.
I'm not sure why folklore should be based on oral traditions and exist in this nebulous state as to 'authenticity'. Granted, oral traditions in a pre-literate society are a different thing entirely - I'd have thought that there might be an argument for the improved accuracy of oral-traditions in pre-literate society as well.
However, I find it weird that if a folk tradition is so important or ingrained to a particular region or demographic in a (semi) literate society that, if true, particularly from the middle-ages onwards, that there's not tangible evidence to back them up in artworks, written stories or even gazetteers. Obviously, that's not to say that documentary evidence like this, once recorded, will always survive.
I appreciate arguments that folk traditions and beliefs aren't always deemed important enough to warrant documentation but where that gets a little inconsistent is the amount of times it does. Fairy beliefs, for example are fairly well-documented (appearances in church registers as cause of death, 'fairy/pixie' holes in the sides of brick barns in Cheshire &c). The likes of the woodwose appear in illuminated manuscripts and misericords, foliate heads appearing in many churches. In fact, with the last two examples, it's possibly indicative of folk beliefs existing as tangible evidence long after an 'oral tradition'.