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Legends and Landscape in the Nordic Countries

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Abstract:

This article aims to show how folk legends can serve as useful source materials for social historians interested in understanding the world-view of individuals in earlier centuries. It underlines how such legends provide access to the minds of storytellers, human geography, and local belief systems, offering, in a sense, maps of the local geographical, mental, social and spiritual surroundings inhabited by the storytellers. In addition to providing information about the actual surroundings (meant to be recognized and understood by their audiences), folk legends also give an insight into local hierarchies, concepts of illness, attitudes to outsiders and the authorities, and models of behaviour.

Keywords: BELIEF SYSTEMS; FOLK TALES; HUMAN GEOGRAPHY; LEGENDS; ORAL NARRATIVE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/147800409X445932

Affiliations: Department of Folkloristics, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of Iceland, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland;, Email: terry@hi.is

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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