- Folklore is documentation for traditions, rituals, beliefs, etc, OF THE TIME
WHEN THE DOCUMENTATION WAS RECORDED. For that time, of course it is a valid
doucument. It is a great document, but of contemporaries about contemporaries.
It will tell you what a person THINKS or BELIEVES was done in the past, but not
what was actually done in the past as it is not an eyewitness account of the
past. It can, however, be an eyewitness account of the time period of that
person's life, of what is called LIVING HISTORY.
I am a folklorist. I teach folkore, I know folklore. But I do not mistake
folklore for historical documents. Folklore may shed light on history, but it
neither EXPLAINS it nor DOCUMENTS it. It may help make sense of certain elements,
but it is never, ever enough in and of itself. More often than not, I would
only trust it, in history, as a stepping stool for a theory. Not as a
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