Legends, myths, and folktales.
These stories are the product of millennia of oral tradition, crafted not only to reflect but also to forge the perspectives of a group. The whispers in the dark and the nighttime stories. The warnings and the introspection of human nature. Because, from soil-colored drawings to bestselling fantasy novels, stories have always been part of us.
The Three Tales
The Myth: One of the most ancient forms of storytelling, myths were told by civilizations and communities to explain what they could not understand. They narrate the creation and destruction of the world, the first passions, and the tendencies of human behavior. I find the latter the most interesting one, as this type of myth explores our reasons to make a choice, and sometimes the meaning of destiny. They involve magic, deities, and fascinating creatures. Heroical archetypes of myths, which include warriors like Odysseus or Sigmund, explore relationships and social divisions. In fact, these archetypes are still used by writers to craft the hero’s journey.
The Legend: They are based on a true story or historical event. Rather than trying to explain something, people take a piece of their lives and culture and exaggerate it, or merge it with fantasy. They are not accurate descriptions of the event, but they prevail in people’s minds. Legends can be tied to a place that you can visit, or a person that existed a long time ago. This tangible aspect of legends brings it closer to the people and shows their daily lives.
The Folktale: Think about the classical Grim brother stories. Folktales’ purpose was to entertain a group, to let their creativity thrive. Like myths, they can include magical creatures and warriors. Like legends, they can follow the adventures of an average person. However, they often teach a lesson too. For example, Little Red Riding hood was told to little girls so they would not enter the woods alone.
What They Teach Us
As they were passed down through generations, there can be a variety of versions for each tale. You will hear stories with different details and maybe even endings, but they will remain the same at their core. They answer questions made long ago that persist through people. While defying time, they teach us the thought process of a group. Hidden in these antique stories are their tragedies and wins. Folktales teach us about their daily lives, legends show us how they interpret reality, and myths investigate the meaning of this reality. Perhaps they do not answer all the questions. Instead -as in any good story-, they create questions, and they change people.
They Relate to Us
These stories are rooted in the places where we come from. While reading one of them, you are likely to find traditional foods, festivities, and themes. They hold the essence of our cultural selves. We can find a piece of us in them, and a piece of them in us. And so, if we broaden our perspectives, we can also discover the customs and values of others.
Myths, legends, and folktales to check out -
is a young planster with too much passion and too little time on a day. She has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, whether they are thoroughly researched flash fiction pieces or improvised bedtime stories.
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