Folk Narrative

Throughout the South, storytelling is a particularly rich form of verbal folklore. Stories can be sacred or secular, serious or funny, long or short, and performed by children or adults. Storytellers can be found on front porches, the corner store, the family dinner table - anywhere people tend to gather. Storytelling is not restricted to one particular culture group. Native American, African American, and EuroAmerican narrative traditions have deep roots in the South. In addition, much of the traditional music in South Carolina has a powerful storytelling aspect. Blues music usually incorporates storytelling into the song structure, as does much of the gospel, country, and ballad music performed from the hills of the upstate to the marshes along the coast.

Content is provided by McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina.

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Bossy Elephant in English | Gullah Tales


Gullah storytellers often perform folktales that feature animals as the main characters. Aunt Pearlie Sue tells the story of "The Bossy Elephant" in English. After listening, compare how the same...