Sustaining Folk Literature: A Study

Author Information

T. Sai Chandra Mouli,
Independent Scholar

DOI: 10.47298/cala2022.7-7
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in Asia 2022

Abstract

Folk literature is integral to all languages. Verbal and nonverbal forms of folk literature are all pervasive. Verbal forms include proverbs, riddles, lullabies, tales, and ballads, among others. The nonverbal form encompasses dances, games, toys, and objects comprising ethnic designs and flavors. A community’s outlook is shaped by these forms. By and large, folk literature in South Indian languages is performance-oriented, and music is an essential component of the same. The written form has a greater status than the oral presentation. Thus ‘highbrow’ or classical literature enjoys greater status than ‘popular’ or ‘folk literature.’ For thousands of years, humans communicated orally, not with the stylus nor pen. With the advent of printing technology, the explosion of electronic media and the inconceivable impact of information technology, folk literature seems to be waning.  This has survived on account of performances by people who live in rural areas and who are generally not so well educated. The same technology should be employed to further the study of folk literature and to preserve the folk literature in Asian countries, as elsewhere. Translation of folk literature into a global language such as English assists in preserving this and in offering the language a greater reach. Making use of online tools in the transmission and the sharing of data is imperative. This presentation seeks to focus attention on efforts made in this direction in South India.


Keywords: Culture, performance, folk literature, oral tradition, technology, translation, preservation, linguistic anthropology


References

Achutta Menon, C. (1956). Ballads of North Malabar.Madras.3 vols.
Chandra Mouli, T. S. (2020). Towards Identity, Culture and Language. A Study. The SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019, The SOAS GLOCAL Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology, 2019. Proceedings. Seam Reap.
Chenna Reddy, P and Sarat Babu, M. (2004). Folklore in the New Millenium [Festchrift to B. Rama Raju]. New Delhi: Research Press India.
Gover, C., E. (2002). Folk Songs of Southern India. Delhi: Rupa. New Edition.
Kurup, K., K., N. (1973). The Cult of Theyyam and Hero worship in Kerala. Calcutta.
Nagabhushana Sharma, M. (1995). Folk Performing Arts of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad: Telugu University.
Narayana Row. B., V, .L (1991). “Daughter-in-law Dear” and “ Kamakshi Married into a Wealthy Family.” In S. Tharu and K. Lalitha (Eds.) Women’s Writing in India Vol.1. Oxford University Press.
Narayana Rao,..V and Shulman, D. (1999). Verses from the Pre-modern South India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Ramanujan, A., K. (1973). Speaking of Shiva. New Delhi: Penguin Books.
Ramanujan, A., K. (1992). Folk Tales from India. New York: Pantheon Books.
Subbaramaiah Pantulu, G., R. (1991). Folklore of the Telugus. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services..



Full CALA 2022 Proceedings book