Categorize legends and folktales and discuss their functions in literature.
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Categorize legends and folktales and discuss their functions in literature.

Answer: Folk literature is a huge collection of legends, stories, fables, fairy tales, religious tales, and mythological tales that may be found in both oral and written form in a culture, language, and people. In reality, folk literature and oral literature are often used interchangeably. Jawaharlal Nehru’s definition of oral literature, which he equates with folk literature, is as follows: Oral literature, also known as verbal art or expressive literatures, consists of traditional utterances that are spoken, sung, or uttered. This has also been referred to as folk literature in the past.

Folk literature encompasses a wide range of literary endeavours that evolve, advance, adapt, and reorient in response to the dynamics of time and the needs of the people who produce, own, and perpetuate folklore from generation to generation. Folk literature is defined by the people to whom it belongs. As a result, it is acceptable to refer to it as “people’s literature.” Folk literature is born out of people’s wishes, ambitions, creativity, and aesthetic impulses, and it is directly linked to people’s lives and experiences, dispute resolution, life improvement, emotional and intellectual journeys, reason and logic, and concerns of existence and conservation.

The enormous range of human experiences and the storey that folk literature encompasses is marked by complexity wrapped in simplicity and innocence anchored in the integrity to uphold humanity. Because borrowing and sharing are healthy requirements and practises in the domain of folklore, permeability in cultural borders functions as a renewing mechanism for folk literature.

Like every other kind of writing, folk literature is intimately connected to the socio-cultural undercurrents and ebb and flow of existence. This is a common trait of all literatures, but it is an absolute prerequisite in folk literature. Folk literature has never been founded on the publishing industry, with its multi-layered methods for creating a successful book; rather, it has always relied on its capacity to give people with a medium of expression that seamlessly recounts their tale and enhances itself with each new retelling. The desire to listen to and tell stories is not only a child’s feature. This tendency is inherent in all people, regardless of age. As a result, when it comes to people’s literature, or folk literature, story-telling takes centre stage.

Categorize legends and folktales and discuss their functions in literature.

Stories and tales narrated, modified, improvised, and created with an amalgam of genuine happenings, personal experiences, cultural appropriations, historical and present significance are honoured all across India via folk literature, which is a creative embodiment of this universal tendency.

When it comes to folklore as a field of study, the sheer diversity of myths, folktales, stories, folksongs, proverbs, riddles, games, and dances may be overwhelming. There have been claims that the oral and written traditions have significant vocabulary and stylistic distinctions. In the case of folklore, sounding out is a required and crucial pre-requisite. In written form, a word or phrase may seem one way, but when performed/spoken orally, it may appear quite otherwise. Folklore presupposes and offers socially sanctioned behaviours in which a performer creates materials based on common assumptions and lived actions. This is quite similar to the written world’s reality. Even the written world has its own set of common rules and standards, but they are far more varied and spread out over time and place.

This attracts a larger audience. This range is only conceivable in the oral situation when the items join a circulation chain – whether by printing, distribution of audio recordings, or other means.

It is crucial to note that, notwithstanding the distinctions that govern the oral and written worlds, seeing them as necessary, mutually exclusive, and watertight chambers is an oversimplification. There has been a lot of interaction between them over time. It would be a folly to confine ourselves to ages and societies where scripts did not exist, and to dismiss any possible similarities between the oral and written.

According to Durga Bhagwat, a veteran scholar in Indian folk literature, Reverend Hinton Knowles, a British scholar, mentions the translation of Kashmiri stories into German, French, Russian, Siriack, Persian, and Arabic, languages in his Folk- Tales of Kashmir, and that they bear extreme correspondence with Kashmiri original folktales. He also stresses the significance of folk literature in cultural studies. All Indian states have worked hard to preserve the rich heritage of folktales and to develop critical studies of folk literatures. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kashmir, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and many more Indian states have been developing age-old finely woven folk stories describing the world of the overlooked and deprived: the people who in reality popularised folk literature. As a result, the term “folk literature” is a good fit.

Sarojini Babar, Devendra Satyarthi, Prafulla Dutta Goswami, Komal Kothari, R. C. Dhere, Jhaberchand Meghani, Krishna Dev Upadhayaya, Jawaharlal Handoo, Kunja Bihari Dash, Ashutosh Bhattacharya, and R. C. Dhere are some of the past and present Indian folk literature scholars who designed the process of collecting folktales M. D. Muthukumaraswamy, Malatibai Dandekar, Durga Bhagwat, Dr. U. M. Pathan, Sudhir Rasal, V. A. Vivek Rai, N. C. Fadake, Birendranath Dutta, Dr. Madhukar Vakode, and others, among them Mahendra Mishra, Somnath Dhar, Ramgarib Choube, Jaga They have created a corpus of critical thought and publications on folk literature that provides an independent perspective on the subject.

Indian folk tales have the potential to be an unfathomable treasure trove of indigenous Indian culture. All of the lines produced in the canon of people’s literature, i.e. folk literature, include songs, stories, marriage rites in various Indian states, seasons, and dietary habits, all of which are fundamental parts of Indian culture. Folklore is a way of life that instils universal values such as fraternity, solidarity, and communal consciousness. The pan Indian folktales are a storehouse of one of the best, most distinctive, and unbiased judicial systems in the world, and they also reveal how India developed the judicial talent of monarchs in general, and parents and panchayat members in particular. One of the most noticeable elements of Indian traditional literary traditions is the absence of a protagonist and the presence of communal awareness, which creates an ideal environment for cooperation, universal humanism, and harmony between men and women and nature.

In his ‘Siddha Hema– Shabdanushasana,’ Acharya Hemchandra concentrates on the many aspects of Gujarati folk literature from the 11th century. It sheds insight on the rich oral literary traditions. Gujarati folktales feature important topics such as ‘Ghoga Bapaji’, marriage songs, traditional Hindu culture, gods, goddesses, and their rites, songs of the season, upper caste/lower caste based society, and women’s subjugation. Family structure and mother-in-law-daughter-in-law ties, feudal system, rural conservatism, and other features of day-to-day life are well-expressed in ballads, dohas, and folk plays such as Dhadhilika, raslila, bhavai, and ramlila from Saurashtra and South Gujarat. The Unmarried Princess, Three Proverbs, Sun-Moon, and Queen Devaki are Gujarati collections of short stories that cover a wide range of topics including male-female dichotomy, female dominance in family structures, changing loyalty for money, gender discrimination, business and travel, men and women in disguise, religion, god, and morality, all of which are common themes in Gujarati folk literature.  History and mythology are always intertwined. Real historical events inspired a lot of folk art, literature, and music. During the early years of British administration in India, several peasant uprisings supplied such drive. During the early stages of their inroads into India, the British encountered intense opposition from indigenous peoples who despised the infringement of their basic rights. Tribal communities and ethnic groups that had never been controlled by anyone other than their own head/chief and who had been given rent-free land in exchange for service to the landlord for generations were suddenly required to pay taxes.

The zamindars snuck in for their cut under the guise of British sponsorship. These needy people’s protests and challenges were brutally suppressed by colonial overlords and their agents. The legacy of these unrecorded catastrophes lives on in the mythology of these areas. The Chuar rebellion (in Bengal’s northwestern region) of 1799, the peasants’ insurgency in North Bengal districts in 1783, the sannyasi Bidroha in Birbhum and Bishnupur in the aftermath of the food crisis of 1769-70, the Hos’ (of Singbhum) long resilience to the British from 1820-27, and the cumulative rebellion of the Hos and the Mundas (Chhotonagpur) in 1829-32.The insurrection of the Santhals (in Bengal and Bihar) in the 1850s, the revolt of Bhil that occurred in Khandesh, West India, from 1819-1831, the Poligar uprising in various locations along the eastern coast of South India, and other events have been recorded in folk memory as tales, songs, and rhymes.

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