About World Folklore and Folklife

Folk DancerWhat's the story behind your name? What games did you play as a child? What's your grandmother's secret recipe, the neighborhood's ghost story, or the joke that gets told at every family gathering?

Folklore permeates the everyday lives of people around the world. We inherit a rich tradition of holidays, festivals, language, stories and fairy tales, proverbs, foodways, and folk remedies that define our society and our place within it. World Folklore and Folklife provides an exciting and accessible way to explore this vast and growing treasury of knowledge.

Subjects include:

  • Celebrations and Rituals
  • Food and Drink
  • Holidays and Festivals
  • Music and Dance
  • Religion and Belief
  • Tales, Myths, and Urban Legends
  • Traditional Arts and Crafts

All content is fully-indexed and cross-searchable, and the user-friendly interface makes searching or browsing quick and effective.

Content includes:

  • Prestigious new reference works, such as the Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore, and the Greenwood Library of American Folktales.
  • Titles in the Greenwood Folklore Handbook series: Myth, Proverbs, Folk and Fairy Tales, Campus Legends, Fairy Lore, and more.
  • Thousands of classic folk tales, including the complete Hans Christian Andersen stories, Grimms' fairy tales, and folktales from around the world. Contextual material adds new depth to familiar stories.
  • Additional features include Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, multimedia resources, images, maps, vetted Weblinks

A complete title listing is available here.

World Folklore and Folklife is a great interdisciplinary resource for high schools. Bridging the gap between past and present, it offers a new way to look at core curriculum topics such as:

  • Literature
  • Social and religious practices
  • History
  • Art
  • Music
  • Languages

Public librarians will find World Folklore and Folklife a source of thousands of international folk and fairy tales, to feed the ever-present interest in all things fantastic. Perfect for librarian storytellers or parents!

For colleges, World Folklore and Folklife offers the opportunity for students to research topics as varied as literature, gender roles, and cultural studies.

A Note About the Content

Content in Daily Life Online reflects the voice of the people. Vernacular speech is rough and obscenity-laden at times, and may be inappropriate for children. Daily Life Online has chosen to take a scholarly approach and not censor the authentic materials it gathers; and parents and educators might consider reviewing specific content before sharing it with young people.