INDIAN FOLK LITERATURE
MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
Q. 1. Give a brief overview of the academic period in the growth of folklore studies in India.
Ans. The academic period of Indian folklore studies began after independence. This period had scientific analysis and preservation of Indian folklore by the Indians.
In Indian educational institutions, the study of folklore initially was under the departments like anthropology, history and literary studies.
In 1955 Gauhati University started a Folklore Archive which was later changed to the Department of Tribal Culture and Folklore Research the first department of folklore in an Indian university, After that many other Indian universities opened their departments for offering MAM. Phil. and Ph. D. courses in folklore studies.
IGNOU also has started academic programmes af courses on folklore studies. Besides governmental colleges and universities, non governmental centres, like the National Folklore Support Centre, were also setup for promotion and dissemination.
Birendranath Datta, Manoj Das, K. Sachindanandan and Indranath Choudhury are some of the folklore scholars of this period In this period, the folklore studies in India were turked by interdisciplinary approach international collaborations and applications of contemporary theories and perspective in the filed of humanities and social science The period however, has widened the popularity of folklore studies in the country.
Christian missionaries were the first collectors and publishers of the first-hand resources of Indian traditional cultural lives.MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
After they came in contact with the diverse Indian communities in the interiors, the missionaries recorded habits, manners, customs, oral traditions, rituals, etc. about the people. They used some of this information to successfully deliver their main message.
The writings they published forma part of the great treasures of folklore. Some of the publications were Mary Frere’s Old Deccan Days or Hindoo Fairy Legends Current in Southern India (1886), A. J. Duboi’s Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies (1897), J. Hinton Knowels’ Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs and Sayings Explained and Illustrated from the Rich and Interesting Folk-Lore of the Valley (1885) and Folk-Tales of Kashmir (1893), Aurel Stein’s Hatim’s Tales (1937).
Charles E. Grover’s The Folk Songs of Southern India (1894), John Lazarus A Dictionary of Tamil Proverbs (1894).
Some western philologists and orientalists set up academic societies and started important periodicals that contributed immensely in driving the fousing on the Indian cultural resources during this time. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
The Asiatic Society was founded by William Jones in 1784: and journals like the Indian Antiquary and the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay gave spaces for “Brief articles on oral narratives and other genres of folklore”.
Q. 3. Categorize legends and folktales and discuss their functions in literature.
Ans. Legends: Legend refers to a story from the past that is believed by many people but cannot be proved to be true. Legend narrates stories about people and things that are admired and respected.
A legend is a very old story or set of stories from ancient times.
Legends are among the most fascinating genres of folk since they are timeless and universal forms of oral tradition. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Legends still survive in modern society. Legends generally explain how a natural occurrence originated from the Gothic, supernatural world. It also refers to anything that inspires a body of stories, or anything of lasting importance or fame.
The story is handed down from earlier times, but continues to evolve with time.
A myth is a traditional tale handed down from earlier times and believed to have an historical basis. A legend is a story tha is told as if it were a historical event, rather than as an explanation for something or a symbolic narrative.
The legend may or may not be an elaborated version of a historical event. The word “legend” has been derived from Medieval Latin “legenda” i.e. “things to be read” and from Latin “legere” meaning “read”.
Legends are also stories but are different from myths. Legends are about people and their actions or deeds.
Myths answer questions about how the natural world works, and are set in a time long ago. Legends or sagas are the acts and great deeds of heroes, treated as sacred.
Categories of Legends MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
According to a committee of international folklorists, legends can be categorized into four types: aetiological and eschatological legends, historical legends and legends of history of civilisation, supernatural beings and forces/mythic legends and religious legends or myths of Gods and heroes.
Legends generally are arranged under four general headings: Supernatural and religious legends, Personal legends, Place legends and Modern legends. In more than a few cases, a particular legend could fall into two or three of these categories.
Interesting Legends :
All kinds of fables and anecdotes, folktales like that of Persons and allegories and romances which fused with the myths and legends are there to make a fascinating complex of stories. Stories about Robin Hood, King Arthur and Blackbeard are examples of legends.
Legends deal with premonitions, death and burial ghosts, haunted houses, good and evil, special powers. Witches and monsters or snakes.
Omen stories are very common in Hoosier folklore, as they are throughout European and American folklore. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
These brief tales with folk beliefs inherent in them often relate first-hand experiences with prenatal influences, death signs, prophetic dreams and other premonitions. Some are scary, some are funny and some includes ghost stories and stories of the evil eye.
Strictly speaking, these first-person accounts of encounters with the supernatural are memorates, or pre-legends; however, as these personal experience tales are repeated by other storytellers, they develop into legends.
Folktales Introduction :
A folktale is a story or legend passed down from one generation to another. Folktales state universal themes. A folktale is a poetic text that has some of its cultural contexts within it; it is also a travelling metaphor that finds new meaning with new telling.
Importance of Folktales :
Folktales do not get confined to a region even though they may be embodied in the non-literate dialects and may seem to be enclosed in those mythic entities called self-sufficient village communities. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
They travel by themselves without any movement of populations.
Folktales go on changing from teller to teller; the structure of the tale may be the same while all the cultural details change; parts of different tales are combined to make a new tale that expresses a new aesthetic and moral form characteristic of the culture.
When the same tale is told again in a different time or place, it may come to say fresh and appropriate things, often without any change in the story line.
Evidences of the folktale are there all over the world. They are ancient and arise from different conditions, depending on place and time. The folktale arises from a need experienced at a certain stage of development in human society.
Circumstances generate a folktale that informs its conception, shape and narrative style, and as long as these circumstances prevail, the folktale will endure. Something common is there in all. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Folktale also stem from an oral tradition, passed down by the “folk” who narrated them. The term “folklore” is often used interchangeably with fable, since folktales can have a lesson at the end.
Folktales are different from fables because they feature people as their main characters, but often with a twist. Every country has its folktales. Sometimes, countries as far apart as China and France can have a very similar traditional tales.
According to Schossberger, three principal factors are essential to the existence of the folktale, and their interrelationship forms.
They are, “Traditional, communicational contribution of the past bearers of the tradition, the present story telling community, the narrator”
Tales have different contexts and function differently. To know the context, one should know the teller, when, where and to whom he or she narrated the tale, what he or she and the listeners thought of the tale, how the listeners responded when they heard it and other such details.
Why tales are told? MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Tales are old, and yet are told and retold today. Tales are told in different contexts and function in a variety of ways. These tales are meant to be read pleasure first to be experienced as aesthetic rights.
The tales are told often to keep the adult awake; “When farmers gather to watch crops all night or graze cows or sheep all day, or when workers slice areca nuts or roll bidis (cheap local cigarettes) in a factory
Tales are told to keep the children’s anotion and to make them at more and put them to sleep. It can easd work and serve as recreation after work, or it may simply be an entertaining pastime.
Like work songs, these tales beguile time and ease the monotony of long labour by engaging with fantasy.
Tales, like proverbs, are also enlisted to make a point to find precedent and authority in political speeches, religious discourses and legal discussions.
Who tells these tales?
In South India, singers and tellers travel from place to place, their performances being engaged by families or organisations. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Tellers of epochal stories from The Ramayana, The Mahabharata or the stories of Gods from the Puranas and from Hindu mythologies highlight the spiritual dimension.
Tales are also told by cooks in the house and servants from another class would also tell stories, bringing one in contact with another class and caste.
Grandfathers and senior male figures were also tellers. They did not tell stories in the kitchen but in the outer parts of the house and they would have audiences of children from other families as well.
In villages, bardic troupes perform epics about caste heroes or local Gods and saints. The bard intersperse his recitation – which may be performed serially for hours, and/or over several nights – with shorter tales and anecdotes as well as poems and songs.
Ancient tales and epics are given contemporary relevance.
A folktale goes on changing from teller to teller; the structure of the tale may remain the same while all the cultural details change parts of different tales that are combined to make a new tale that expresses a new aesthetic and moral form characteristic of the culture.
When the same tale is retold in a different time or place, it may come to say fresh and appropriate things, often without any change in the story line.
Kinds of Folktales MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
There are different kinds of folktales – fairytales, tall tales, trickster tales, myths and legends. Folktales written in the 19th century have become fairy tales.
Folktales describe how the main character deal with the events of day-to-day life and the tale may involve a crisis or a conflict.
Important elements in the folklore tradition are superstitions and unbounded beliefs.
Folk and fairy tales involve magic any magical creatures and people like witches, dragons and dwarves rather than religion.
Cindrella and Jack and Beanstalk storie are examples. Special ritual tales as Vratakathas are told as part of a calendrical ritual and their telling has ritual efficacy.
Both tellers and listeners receive benefits, as seen in tales like A Story in Search of An Audience” and “Brother’s day”. Indian folklore has a wide range of stories and mythological legends that relate to all walks of life. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
The interesting stories range from the remarkable Panchatantra to the Hitopadesha and from Jataka to the tales of Akbar-Birbal.
Not only this, the great Indian epics like The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, and works like The Bhagavad Gita are full of didactic stories inspired by the lives of great souls.
Indian folklore are perfect stories for children because folk tales instill values in children. Ramakrishna, a religious teacher, genius and saint, created his own parables.
Folk tales include tales about families, fate. death, Gods, demons,ghosts, jesters and clever persons,
Q.4. Why did Verrier Elwin collect and document tribal tales? Briefly enumerate the various discoveries through his stores.
Ans. Verrier Elwin was fascinated by the innate sense of aesthetics and vigour of the Adivasi community.
As an anthropologist, writer and activist he decided to collect the rich oral narratives which till them were given significance only by a selected few in the country. He put much effort and collected tribal tales from different regions. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
He transcribed them as they were, without trying to impose his own impressions and interpretations. Verrier Elwin published two thousand of the folktales.
They are appealing and interesting Before him, there was no such effort to collect the tribal tales. His five collections of folktales include: Folktales of Mahakoshal, Myths of Middle India, Tribal Myths of Orissa.
Myths of the North-East Frontiers of India and the Baiga. In When the World was Young, Verrier Elwin selected some tales from all his collections in a systematic order.
While he was a student at Oxford, Verrier Elwin (1902-1964) took keen interest in the Indian culture.
He was a devout Christian and underwent formal training as a missionary. He came to India 1927 to spread the gospel and joined the Christian Service Society in Pune.
He took to travel with Vallabhabhai Patel and Jamanlal Bajaj across India and deeply felt the suffering of the people. He took interest in the lives and started reforming them.
He started living like a tribal to understand them better, but tried to eliminate the myth, superstition, and ignorance from the tribals. He taught them agriculture and opened a pharmacy. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Villagers from far away places and forests came to the ashram to avail its facilities. Due to his close association with the tribals, he became an authority on their lifestyle and culture. He dedicated his life and money to their betterment.
The government of India, after freedom appointed Verrier Elwin as a consultar to reform and improve living conditions for the large number of tribals in India.
He served as the chief of the Anthropological Survey of India and documented many many native tribes and lifestyles in central and far east India.
Verrier Elwin collected a good number of tribal tales from different regions in India and transcribed them as they were, without trying to impose his own impressions and interpretations.
Verrier Elwin published almost two thousand of them in his five collections: Folktales of Mahakoshal, Myths of Middle India, Tribal Myths of Orissa, Myths of the North-East Frontiers of India and the Baiga.MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
In When the World was Young. Verrier Elwin selected some tales from all his collections in a systematic order.
Q. 5. What is the cultural significance of the folk Ramayana songs? Discuss with reference to Paula Richman’s text.
Ans. The folk Ramayana embodies the socio-religious ideals of millions of people. Rama is thought to be incarnation of God and their ways are to the believing Hindu’s the ways of God.
They are worshipped in temples and remember in time of stress and strain in national and personal life. The freedom movement of India received huge inspiration from the Gita. Its ideal of doing work without any expectation of result colours the dram of many Indians.
The characters of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata breathe the sentiments of Indian people and the teachings of these two great epics are being handed down from generation to generation.
Ramayana deals with the various aspects of man’s life – love, duty to superiors, treachery, devotion to parents, selflessness and what not.
The characters of Ramayana stand as symbols of love, charity, patriotism, conjugal love, and obedience to parents, self-sacrifice and the like. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
The characters of Sita and Urmila stand for ideal womanhood. The character of Ravana teaches us how a man can ruin himself for his own follies and unholy ambitions.
Orality of the Ramayanasongs :
The Ramayana is available both orally and in written text. Educated upper caste men link the Ramayana with Valmiki.
For the Brahmin women of South India, the Ramayana is real. The events of the Ramayana are sung by these women in separate songs.
The Ramayana songs are sung in private gatherings usually in the backyards of Brahmin household, where the men do not usually enter.
About twenty five different songs are popularly sung. Brahmin women generally aged between thirty-five and seventy from traditional families sing these songs.
The audience has women from similar background, usually relatives and neighbours. There are also children, unmarried young women and newly married brides who are on a visit to their mothers house.MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Deshi and Margi Traditions :
Ramayana songs have the deshi culture and traditions. it provides direction to everyone these songs have influenced the psyche of the people timelessly and immensely.
Ramayana and Indian Tradition and Culture :
The Ramayana and The Mahabharata represent the socio-religious ideals of millions of Hindus. Rama and Krishna are thought to be incarnations of God and their ways are to the believing Hindu’s the ways of God.
Importance of Ramayana
• Ramayana deals with various aspects of our life – love, duty to superiors, treachery, devotion to parents, selflessness and what not.
• The characters are the symbols of love, charity, patriotism, conjugal love and obedience to parents, self-sacrifice and the like.MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
• Sita and Urmila stand for ideal womanhood.
• Ravana shows how a man can ruin himself for his own follies and unholy ambitions.
• Dussehra relates to Rama’s victory over Ravana.
• The Ram Navami is a great festival celebrated over a large part of North India.
Q. 6. Attempt a critical note on the ethnographic details and eco-systems of the Paraja tribe.
Ans. An important event is the annual hunt during the spring festival. All the young and strong men of the village proceed on a hunting expedition which continues for two or three days. “
The men would go out into the jungle, prepared to face the taunts of their women if they should return empty-handed.
The women would tie their clothes together and hang them up on a rope, and anyone who failed to kill something would be made to crawl under the garments; he would be pelted with dung-balls and other filth… but success was greeted with garlands and dancing and rejoicing.” MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
The hunting expedition is allegorical as Mandia and Bagala set out not just to hunt an animal but also their companion.
Bagala captures Kajodi and runs away into the jungle and exercises the ancient Paraja right of wedding by capture.
Every festival is accomplished by singing, dancing and drinking. The men had “Mahua wine and the women pendom-strong mandia beer – or landha, which is only slightly less potent.”
The mahua wine is made from the flowers of the mahua tree, with clay pots to ferment and boil and the stream water is used to cool it.
Gopinath Mohanty describes the process of cleansing very ornamentally: “The tribesman needed liquor not only to propitiate his Gods but also to drown his hunger and his misery.”
The Paraja commemorate their dead by planting a stone vertically for a man and laid horizontally for a woman, in the open space in the centre of the community place.
Bonfire is lit and the young men and women make merry celebrating the spring festival,
Study of Gopinath Mohanty’s Paraja MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Gopinath Mohanty’s Odia novel Paraja portrays the culture and heritage as well as the struggle for survival of the Paraja tribe. The Paraja are the representatives of the subjugated and exploited milieu. They stand for the millions of tortured indigenous tribes.
The novel documents the life, customs, the culture, the festivals and the songs and dances of the Paraja tribe. It alse presents their poverty, struggles, deprivation and exploitation by the non-tribals.
The word Paraja means the tenant (farmer) or Royat. In Koraput, the Paraja live with other tribal groups like the Rana, Paika, Mali, Domb, Gadaba and Kondh.
In this novel, Sukru Jani and his family can be taken as the representatives of the Paraja tribe.
It is the story of Sukru Jani and his family in a village inhabited by the Paraja who live in thatched huts on Paraja street, while in the next street live the Dombs
The life is simple for them – a bowl of mandia gruel, a piece of land to cultivate, and a few pieces of cloth to cover their body. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Sukru Jani wife Sombari was killed by a tiger and since then he lived with his sons Mandia and Tikra, and his daughters Jili and Bili.
He plans to build separate houses for his sons when they get married as it is the Paraja custom that married sons cannot live with their parents
In traditional Paraja society, the unmarried boys and girls spend the night in their particular dormitories. They enjoy the autonomy of knowing one another closely.
They converse their ideas and feelings through passionate love songs. In Paraja, Jili and her friend Kajodi are courted by Bagala and Mandia through songs with a musical instrument called dungudunga.
Jili’s lover Bagala is not in a hurry to marry Jili as he cannot pay the bride price, the cash given to the girl’s family by the groom at the time of marriage. The bride price virtually makes the groom’s family penniless. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Young men, unable to pay bride price,’ become a goti (bonded labourer) of his future father-in-law for a particular span of time.
Bagala wishes to borrow money and become a goti but Jili does not want him to do so. Nandibali, the strong but penniless man in the novel, agrees to become the goti of Sukru Jani to marry Bili. Mohanty clearly describes the tribal marriage rituals.
The Paraja also observe many seasonal festivals with pomp and ceremony round the year in order to propitiate their deities and ancestors as well as for their own enjoyment.
The novel talks about their festivals. In the month of Aswina came the Durga Puja which is presented vibrantly.
The novel is rich in ethnographic details as Mohanty gives a pictorial account of the rituals, beliefs, ceremonies and tribal wisdom regarding the eco-system and the landscape.
Every festival is accomplished by singing, dancing and drinking. An important event in the novel is the annual hunt during the spring festival.
All the young and strong men proceed on a hunting expedition which continues for two or three days. MEG 16 Free Solved Assignment
Mohanty writes critically about the bonded labour system. The tradition of goti among the Parajas means a fixed agreement by which a man has to work for the moneylender instead of making repayment.
The tribesmen seek loans from the Sahukar for marriages or bride price, and for grains during the rainy season.
The exploitation of the Paraja by the outsiders is evident in the migration of Jili and Bili as labourers at a road construction site.
The Paraja live in the fear of the law. The literacy rate among the tribals is low and this leads to the Paraja’s panic of the law, government officials and the police.
For this reason, they are trapped by the moneylenders. The fear of the Sahukar, poverty, withdrawal and materialistic problems eroded the unity and strength of Parajas.
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