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The magazine Folklore issue 88 has been published


The authors of the articles in the 88th issue of Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore come from all over the world: from the Baltic countries and Finland to Turkey, China, and the USA. The topics the authors discuss are very diverse, ranging from folk magic and medicine to the famous tale about a human as an animal’s wife, from Turkish identity and folklore to modern music produced by the Finnish duo Kalevauva.fi and Chinese music with hidden messages, as well as cases of self-gifting.

In their co-authored article, Sonja Hukantaival from Finland and Tõnno Jonuks and Kristiina Johanson from Estonia discuss objects connected with folk magic and medicine found in museum collections in Estonia and Finland, and how these objects differ between the two countries. They also explore how these materials have been acquired and collated.


The second article, by Siria Kohonen from Finland, continues the topic of folk medicine, examining what expectations lay people (those not considered folk healers themselves) had for pre-industrial Finnish-Karelian healing traditions, how these expectations were represented in archived folklore materials, and how they, in turn, affected the healing traditions. Kohonen’s study represents a cross-disciplinary analysis of the subject, with theoretical perspectives drawn from performance studies, cognitive science memory studies, and placebo studies.

The authors of the next article, Charlotte Doesburg and Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi, come from the United Kingdom, yet their article is dedicated to the Finnish folk troubadour duo Kalevauva.fi. In their lyrics, the duo uses extracts from online forums and other social media. The authors argue that this method of song-writing is a prime example of modern folklore as it reflects the collective, anonymous creativity of people and is reminiscent of the compilation of the Finnish national epic Kalevala.

Rūta Latinytė from Lithuania discusses contemporary gift-giving practices, using the tools of phenomenological anthropology and the means of research into everyday practices. The author focuses on special cases of gift giving, revealed through the narratives of respondents, giving a deeper insight into three cases of self-gifting.

The next article takes us to the USA. Roslyn M. Frank explores the way that the Bear’s Son tale, a wide-spread European folktale, came to be incorporated into the oral storytelling traditions of Native Americans. Frank reflects on how and why versions of the European tale came to attract the attention of Native American storytellers, as well as the time frame that might be assigned to the transfer of these oral traditions.

Although the author of the following article, Erol Sakallı, comes from Turkey, his study is related to the USA, investigating the acculturation levels of the Ahıska Turks living there. Sakallı explores the significance of age, marital status, education, employment, length of stay, and language competence in the acculturation process, discussing his findings within the framework of the existing literature.


Nesrin Akıncı Çötok, Ender Büyüközkara and Tufan Çötok from Turkey examine the status and roles of women in terms of gender in ancient Turkish history and culture based on the Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk – the first Turkish dictionary. It can be seen from the dictionary that women are classified in terms of their social status and that they are part of a hierarchical structure, yet also being perceived as representatives of beauty and aesthetics.


Turkish topics continue with the article by İsmail Abalı, whose research is based on document analysis and was conducted on Turkish riddles that were established with obscene associations with a decent answer, creating a threatening perception and containing insult and cursing. The samples belonging to the genre are analysed from a psychoanalytic perspective.

The issue concludes with an article by Jun Zhao and Marianne Zhao from China, who investigate Zheng Qiufeng’s song cycle “Four Seasons of Our Motherland”, showing how politics can be subtly included in the musical plot. This song cycle is made unique by the inclusion of minority characteristics from different Chinese regions together with its distinctive ideological mission.


The issue also offers an overview of a joint Estonian-Hungarian seminar on contemporary folklore as well as a book review.

Folklore: EJF is a peer-reviewed open access academic journal published since 1996 and the current issue is available online at http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol88.


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