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A Life History of the ‘Irish’ Ecotype Tied Stones and Loose Dogs


The term ecotype was first introduced to the field of folkloristics by Carl Wilhelm von Sydow (1878–1952), who proposed the idea that folktales develop from base forms due to transformations triggered by specific environmental conditions before eventually stabilising within cultural districts. The general analogy was popular amongst folklorists who readily invoked the concept to deconstruct a wide range of genres including rhyming couplets, folk ballads, folktales, fairy-tales, personal narratives, legends and urban legends. It is unfortunate, however, that ecotypes have largely been ignored by scholars working in the fields of paremiology, especially when one considers not only the established inter-relationships between proverbial material and other folkoristic genres, but also the recent pioneering cross-cultural analyses of idiomatic expressions in European languages and beyond.

This paper will provide a template for the analysis of folk expressions by examining the life history of an Irish ecotype, tied stones and loose dogs. It will show that folk expressions are a fertile area of research that can be deconstructed using literary and historical research based on the historic-geographic method. At the heart of this template, I argue, is the need to read texts within their contemporary cultural, historical and socio-economic frameworks to decode meanings according to instantiation, the motivations for their use, and the question of agency in folk groups. By collecting, examining and construing inter-relations between folkloristic texts across a range of cultural products – folklore collections, popular culture periodicals and political discourse – and by informed cultural contextualisation of its instantiations, we can re-construct the extensive cultural underpinnings that inform a range of everyday folk expressions.

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Landscape and Gods Among the Khanty

: Cicero in the Trobriands. - American Anthropologist 78: 783-796. DOI: Ingold, Tim. 2002. The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. London; New York, NY: Routledge. IWGIA 2015 = Russia: Guardian of Khanty sacred lake facing prison for defending himself against stray dogs brought in by oil workers. (accessed March 6, 2016). Karjalainen, Kustaa Fredrik. 1900. Ostjakkeja oppimassa. Matkakirjeitä

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Exú’s Work – The Agency of Ritual Objects in Southeast Brazilian Umbanda

Ontological Dynamic in the Xangô Cult Making Spirits: Materiality and Transcendence in Contemporary Religions Santo Diana Espírito Tassi Nico New York, NY; London I. B. Tauris 133 158 Haraway, Donna. 2003. The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People and Significant Otherness . Chicago, IL: Prickly Paradigm Press. Haraway Donna 2003 The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People and Significant Otherness Chicago, IL Prickly Paradigm Press Hayes, Kelly. 2011. Holy Harlots: Femininity, Sexuality & Black Magic in Brazil

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