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Folklore

  • By: Susan D. Rutherford
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Deaf folklore is best understood by first grasping what folklore is, who or what constitutes a folk group, what defines lore, and what purposes folklore serves.

Contrary to the popular notion that folklore refers to false truths or merely to the quaint traditions of unenlightened people, folklore actually forms the very heart of all cultures. It is through folklore that we give meaning to our lives. From naming practices at birth to burial practices at death, and throughout much of life in between, folklore is at the bedrock of understanding ourselves as individuals, as communities, and as cultures. It is an integral part of how we understand the world and our place in the world. It is inextricably linked to our identity, our self-image, and simultaneously ...

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