The Contexts of Colonial Folklorists
This chapter discusses the role of folklorists as writers of narrative and poetic texts born out of someone else’s imagination. They invariably mix their own words with those of the oral narrator, and create unprecedented texts. Yet, they are not the tellers of these stories, but merely the “collectors” of these texts. The history of folkloristics tells us that the motives of any folklore collector are closely related to the types of folklore collections they compile. The motives of colonial folklore collectors are also important because, out of hundreds of thousands of British residents across the Empire, not more than a hundred actually collected and published folklore of a colony.
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