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Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can typically gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called Folklore studies, and it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels.

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Livre de chasse de Gaston Phébus - BNF Fr616 (Gaston Phébus et veneurs).jpg

Saint Guinefort was a 13th century dog that received local veneration as a saint after miracles were reported at his grave. His story is a variation on the well-travelled 'faithful hound' motif, perhaps better-known to Anglophones in the form of the dog Gelert. The cult of this dog saint persisted for several decades, until the 1930s, despite the repeated prohibitions of the Catholic Church.

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This painting by François Gérard depicts Ossian, a Gaelic language poet whose works were either collected or manufactured by James Macpherson in 1760. Debate on the amount of traditional material versus contemporary invention in Macpherson's version continues.

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Expand stubs: Viltis • Vytautas Beliajus

Articles needing expansion: Intangible Cultural Heritage • List of folk dance performance groups • National Folk Festival (USA)

Articles needing major improvement: Automobile superstitions • Great Green Gobs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts

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Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit.

—R. E. Shay

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