Story Arts | Finding Folktales to Tell


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-Finding Folktales to Tell-

**What is 398.2?*

-First...What is a Folktale?-

Folktales are oral narratives that do not have a singular, identifiable
author. Expanded and shaped by the tongues of tellers over time, and passed
down from one generation to the next, folktales often reflect the values
and customs of the culture from which they come. Because folktale plots are
generally concerned with life's universal themes, they also transcend their
culture of origin to reveal the commonality of human experience. This
ancient form of narrative communication for both education and
entertainment, not only offers a window into other cultures, but also can
be a revealing mirror of the comedy and pathos of our lives.

*Written Versions of Folktales*

Before mass media became a dominant storyteller for the modern world, local
indigenous storytellers in cultures everywhere preserved the oral tales.
Now, unless one can travel to situations where there are traditional
tellers who carry on the oral tradition of their people, the best place to
research multicultural folktales is to peruse the print versions available
in the 398.2 section of the public library.

-What is 398.2?-

The 398.2 section of the library is numbered according to the Dewey Decimal
System which organizes the book collections of public libraries and school
libraries into subject categories to make it easier to locate literary
materials. The folktales, fairytales and fables of the world are shelved in
this nonfiction area. Both the children's section and the adult section of
the library have a 398.2 folktale area. These simplified versions of
multicultural oral tales are an excellent source of folktale


how do you know a story is a folktale

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