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Volume 50 / Humanities


INES DÖLZ-BLACKBURN, Professor of Spanish, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

THE PRESENT EVALUATION of publications on Latin American folklore issued over the last four years was undertaken in 1987. Strict space limitations and the time lag in receipt of publications at the Library of Congress may account for some unintentional omissions among the works annotated below. Nevertheless, many important publications were selected from countries with a strong tradition in folk studies as well as representative publications from countries where folk studies are in the developing stage.

Among the noteworthy trends in the field is the compilation of important texts such as Latin American folk Indian narratives (items bi 88001763 and bi 88001780), Argentine folk legends (item bi 88001767), descriptive Indian narratives (item bi 89008570), popular folk songs from Brazil (item bi 88001777), and Quechua folk tales (item bi 89008857). There is also an increasing interest in myth (items bi 88001778, bi 89008584, bi 89008694, and bi 89008853).

Another important addition to the field is the numerous, impressive, and massive compilations of miscellaneous folkloric material (e.g., myths, beliefs, legends, superstitions, old ballads, noted in items bi 88001765, bi 88001772, bi 88001773 and bi 89008763). The collections of Indian narratives (item bi 89008804) and corridos (item bi 89008819) will open new perspectives on Mexico's oral tradition; a similar publication on Venezuela's folk beliefs (item bi 89008873) will have a like effect.

Important outlets for the publication of articles and excerpts of monographs in the field are periodicals published in the US and Latin America such as Journal of Latin American Lore edited by Johannes Wilbert, and Folklore Americano edited by Celso Lara, to name just two. Both editors are prolific and distinguished scholars in their own right (see items bi 88001763, bi 88001780, bi 88001790, bi 89008721, bi 89008723, and bi 89008725).

Among many outstanding books canvassed for this Handbook, one should mention vol. 8 of a collection of Argentine folk legends compiled in the field (item bi 88001767); a monograph on traditional Argentine epic-narrative poetry (item bi 89008575); a synthesis of Quechua-Aymara culture in the form of a dictionary (item bi 88001771); a comprehensive folkloric study of Lençois (item bi 88001781); two books on traditional narratives of South American Indians noted above (items bi 88001780 and bi 88001763); a volume of Folklore Americano devoted to "cuentos folklóricos chilenos" compiled by Yolando Pino (item bi 89008755); a fascinating anthology of folklore in Jamaica (item bi 89008681); and vol. 4 of the monographic series Cancionero folklórico de México in the form of coplas (item bi 89008797).

Other works that should be mentioned are studies related to women and folklore (items bi 89008578 and bi 89008581) and to regional characters such as the gaucho (items bi 88001768 and bi 88001779) and the cangaceiro (item bi 89008582). The interest in literatura de cordel noted in HLAS 42 and HLAS 46 continues in this volume (items bi 89008580, bi 89008582, and bi 89008583).

Finally, we should mention the publication of a number of interesting studies of folk medicine in Chile (item bi 89008751), Cuba (item bi 89008697), and Mexico (item bi 89008768), as well as new approaches in folk studies of spiritism, hypnotism, and the extra-terrestrial (items bi 89008563, bi 89008564, and bi 89008565).

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