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FYS Steege: Tales Make Us One: Fugee Nation Project

Folklore Research Starting Points by Nation

Below are starting points for researching folklore, organized by country. People groups are listed in order to help you search specific groups' folklore and mythology, where there might not be a cohesive, unified mythology for the country as a whole.

Afghanistan:

People groups:
Pashtun
Tajik
​Hazarah
Uzbek

Search also for Persian stories, as the Persian Empire included what is now Afghanistan.

Albania:

Songs of the Frontier Warriors: a famous Albanian epic poetry cycle. They were translated into English by Robert Elsie.

People groups:
Albanians
Serbs

Bosnia:

As part of the former Ottoman Empire, some folklore from the area calls back to when the Ottoman Empire was at its height. Look for stories about Nasreddin or Nasreddin Hodja, a philosopher from the 13th century who appears as the main character of many stories, anecdotes, and jokes in this region and other parts of the former Ottoman Empire.

Burundi:

People groups:

Hutu

Tutsi

Twa

Central African Republic:

Search for stories of Tere, an important trickster figure with supernatural abilities. 

People groups:
​Baya
Banda
Mandjia
Sara
Mboum
M'Baka
Yakoma
Fula

Congo:

People groups:
Kongo
Laari/Lari
Teke/Bateke
Boulangui/Mboshi
Pygmy

Democratic Republic of Congo

People groups:
Kongo
Luba
Mongo
Mangbetu/Azande
Pygmy

Eritrea:

People groups: 
Tigrinya
Tigre

The Gambia:

People groups:
Mandinka
Fula
​Wolof
Jola
​Serahule

Ghana:

People groups:
Akan
Ashanti (prominent Akan subgroup)

Stories of the Akan are called anansesem or nyankomsem.

Search for tales about Kwaku Ananse or Anansi, who originated in Akan folklore, though his stories have spread to other areas and peoples.

Haiti:

People groups:

Originally inhabited by the Taino

See the Haitian Vodou/voodoo tradition, of which mythology is a part

Iraq:

Search also for Persian stories, as the Persian Empire included what is now Iraq.

Ivory Coast:

People groups:
Akan

People groups:
Akan
Ashanti (prominent Akan subgroup)

Stories of the Akan are called anansesem or nyankomsem.

Search for tales about Kwaku Ananse or Anansi, who originated in Akan folklore, though his stories have spread to other areas and peoples.

Kenya:

People groups: (mostly Bantu and Nilotic)
Kikuyu
​Swahili
Luhya
Kalenjin
Luo
Kamba
Kisi

Kosovo:

Kosovo is only a partially recognized state, and shares folklore traditions with neighboring countries.

Songs of the Frontier Warriors: a famous Albanian epic poetry cycle. These were translated into English by Robert Elsie.

People groups:
Albanians
Serbs 

Kurdistan:

A region, not a distinct political country, that covers parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

Mem u Zin, ("Kurdish Romeo and Juliet") holds great significance for the Kurdish people.

Search also for Persian stories, as the Persian Empire included the area inhabited by the Kurdish people today.

Liberia:

People groups:
Gola/Gula

Myanmar (Burma):

People groups:

Bamar

Shan

Karen

Rakhine

Hmong

Nepal:

Stories of yetis, or meh-the, come to us from Nepal.
People groups:
Newar (historical group)
Kirat (historical group)
Rai
Limbu
Sherpa

Tamang
Khas

Sierra Leonne:

People groups:

Temne

Mande

Limba

Kono

Krio/Creole

Stories of Ananse/Anansi have spread here from the Akan people in West Africa.

Somalia:
People groups:
Somali
Bravanese/Barawani
Bantu
Bajuni
Ethiopian

South Sudan:

People groups:
Dinka
Nuer
​Bari
Azande
​Shilluk

Sudan:

People groups:
Sudanese Arabs
Nubians
Zaghawa
Copts

Thailand:

People groups:
Thai
Chinese
Malay
Hmong
Khmer/Cambodian
Vietnamese

Turkey:
As part of the former Ottoman Empire, some folklore from the area calls back to when the Ottoman Empire was at its height. Look for stories about Nasreddin or Nasreddin Hodja, a philosopher from the 13th century who appears as the main character of many stories, anecdotes, and jokes in this region and other parts of the former Ottoman Empire.

People groups:
Turkish (from a variety of ethnic backgrounds pre-Ottoman Empire)
Kurdish

Zimbabwe:
People groups:
Shona
Ndebele (descended from Zulu)

Other Sites for Fugee Nation Resources

Using Wikipedia

Wikipedia can be a great starting point for research when you're trying to familiarize yourself with terms, big ideas, and important people or events related to your topic. Always check the citations of facts you find in Wikipedia if you're using them in your research. You can also use citations on Wikipedia pages as a jumping-off point for your own research--you can read the materials yourself to gain more info. You can always request materials that look promising through interlibrary loan, and we'll try to borrow them from another library. They will be delivered to Marian, where you can pick them up from the library's circulation desk.