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The article talks about folklore literature in the west and various factors that encouraged its growth and failure in various states. It describes how folklore societies in various western states came into being and how people responded to this new awakening.
For instance, in Texas, the state’s folklore society contributed immensely to the growth of modern folklore literature in the mid west. The society organizes several annual meetings where members interact and share ideas to improve their own creativity.
A crucial indicator of its success is shown through its members, who work hard to advance scholarly discourse within and outside the state. These folklore publications focus on a wide range of topics and they appeal to both young and old readers.
Consequently, Texas folklore writers have gained recognition across the state because they appeal to diverse categories of readers that are interested in getting new insights from different types of published literature.
Developments in other States
Developments in modern folklore tales have also been witnessed in other states. In the 1940’s, the Missouri folklore society published its own collections of ballads but later on, the society has not been able to publish new content from its members.
This is due to the fact that many of its active members went on to other pursuits and they did not dedicate their time and efforts towards developing new content for publication. On the other hand, the Kansas folklore society’s achievements encouraged different scholars in Nebraska to form the Nebraska folklore society in the early 1960’s.
However, it was not able to sustain its operations for a long period of time and by 1965, it had become dormant. Even though some of its members contributed their writings to newsletters and journals, many of them did not take part in meaningful projects.
New Mexico’s folklore society was heavily influenced by achievements made in Texas. Many of its folklores focused on ethnic, racial and cultural issues that affected people in the south west and how they defined their identity.
The University of New Mexico Press in the 1930’s encouraged writers to develop bilingual folklore content which was made part of the educational curriculum. California’s folklore is well represented in the state’s colleges where students get an opportunity to study different types of folklore literature.
The University of California served as a talent nurturing environment for folklore writers interested in making a positive impact because they were free to talk about different ideas in their works.
The topics covered are diverse and they represent the racial and cultural diversity in the state ranging from Chinese, Mexican, Negro and Jewish cultural works. Therefore, California’s folklore society has set high standards which other societies in the west need to emulate.
Colorado’s folklore society has risen to prominence due to its close relationships with California’s folklore society. Different folklore lovers in the state have been involved in meetings to come up with effective ways to develop original folklore content.
Some of the folklore works published have focused on mining and general lifestyles practiced by people living in the state. In contrast, Iowa’s folklore literature has not been actively represented in western folklore but the little content that exists has mainly dealt with balladry and folk music.
On the other hand, Arizona’s folklore committee has diverse representation from local Indian tribes, Anglo American and Hispanic communities. High school students in the state have been collecting different folklore items to familiarize themselves with different published works.
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Scholarly Influences on Folklore Growth
In Oregon, folklore studies have been mainly influenced by University of Oregon scholars. These scholars have managed to develop content that reflects living conditions in the state. These scholars have dissected and published different scholarly texts in various journals.
On the flipside, the Kansas folklore society has benefited from the immense knowledge of academic scholars from different institutions of higher learning in the state. The scholars’ have been encouraged to develop appropriate content that talks about different issues of interest in the state.
In Utah, local folklore literature consists mainly of songs and balladry. There are several published works that talk about Mormon lifestyles and how they are observed by people who practice them.
Even though Idaho does not have a recognized folklore society, it experienced an awakening interest in folklore before Utah. Several scholars in the University of Idaho have been linked with this awakening but they have failed to encourage more people to increase their knowledge on local folklores.
Other western states such as Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Dakota lack active folklore movements that stimulate strong interest from residents. Similarly, there has been low interest in folklore in Canada in Alberta and British Columbia provinces.
It is also important to note that the late Mexican folklore scholar Vicente T. Mendoza encouraged the development of Latin American folklore content in many parts of the US. He encouraged people to get more interested in folklore literature in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.