the story of folk tales

Meaning of Tales

          The Royal Institute Dictionary B.E.2542 (1999) defined “Tales” as “the stories that are passed down orally for generations such as, for example, Jataka Tales and the Tales of Isop”.

          Besides, there are other similar definitions by several knowledgeable people, including;

          Kingkaew Attakorn (1976, p.12) explained that “Tales” are stories passed down for generations and they are regarded as cultural heritage. Most tales are told stories but there are also many tales in the written forms. It was further explained that tales are stories generally told with out intention to disclose their actual origins. The objectives are mostly to bring fun and joy while sometimes the moral precept can also be inserted as part of the story. Tales are not only tales for children. There many adult tales and they are only appropriate for adults.

          Kularb Mallikamas (1975, pp.99-100) defined “Tales” in the book of folklore as heritage literatures that are traditional stories orally passed down for bringing entertainment and relaxations, strengthening faith in gods or the holy divinity. Besides, tales can be means for moral teaching which helps to increase understanding in the environment and natural phenomena. There are various tale stories. They can be adventures, romance, jealousy, comedy, or extraordinary. Characters in tale stories are also different such as human, non-human, princess, prince, witches, or angels. However, these characters possess their own thoughts and their behaviors can be similar with general human behavior or in the other ways as desired. Local tales always tell stories that match local environment. Hence, the contents of tales in each locality are usually similar i.e. human conditions, emotions, passion, detestation, foolishness, intellect, humor, pain, or happiness. Details can be different as influenced by local cultures and beliefs.

          Sumamal Pongpaiboon (1999, p.7) indicated that “tale” is a Bali word which means “story-telling”. Regardless of the story’s types, tales are intimately told. Although many tales are available in written form, the stories are still similar to those orally told.
In summary, tales can be regarded as the stories that are told by human who intellectually constructed such stories with their wisdom. Most tales are passed on in the oral traditions. Tale stories can be in different styles with possible different objectives depending on occasion and local environments.
Tales are called in different names such as folk tales, native tales, and oral literatures. In this article, the name “folk tale” will be used throughout.


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