Date of this Version
Estudis de Literatura Oral Popular (Studies in Oral Folk Literature)
My definition of folklore as "artistic communication in small groups" was forged in the context of folklore studies of the 1960s, in the discontent with the definitions that were current at the time, and under the influence of anthropology, linguistics - particularly 'the ethnography of speaking' - and Russian formalism. My field research among the Edo people of Nigeria had a formative impact upon my conception of folklore, when I observed their storytellers, singers, dancers and diviners in performance. The response to the definition was initially negative, or at best ambivalent, but as time passed, it took a more positive turn.
Originally published in Estudis de Literatura Oral Popular © 2014 URV Publications.
context, communication, definition, performance, process
Ben-Amos, D. (2014). A Definition of Folklore: A Personal Narrative. Estudis de Literatura Oral Popular (Studies in Oral Folk Literature), 3 9-28. Retrieved from https://repository.upenn.edu/nelc_papers/141
Date Posted:12 February 2018
This document has been peer reviewed.