Folklore was first utilized by William Thoms, an English antiquarian in 1846, which is defined as a body of expressive culture such as music, tales, dance, oral history, legends, customs, traditions, rituals, popular beliefs, jokes and many more within a specific population comprising the traditions of the culture, group or sub-culture (Georges, 1995).
Traditions are standards or principle revered and followed by people from generation to generation which come from a Latin word traditio meaning to’ hand over’ or to ‘hand down’, and is utilized in many ways in the English Language such as customs or beliefs educated by one generation to the other which is often orally, a complex movement in religion composed of church bodies or religious denominations which have common customs, history, culture like in Islam’s Sufi tradition, and lastly, or a set of practices or customs like Christmas traditions ad the likes.
Tradition is also defined as a custom, or a practice that is remembered and transferred down from one generation to the other generation and is initially without the necessity for a writing system. Traditions are mostly primeval, deeply essential, and unchangeable, but it may sometimes less normal than is expected, and some traditions were forcibly made for one or another which is often to enhance a certain institution’s importance, and it is also said to be or may also be changed to go with the necessity for the day, and can become accepted as an ancient tradition’s part.
Some traditions disappear while some are altered or changed to suit to what is acceptable. Tradition could be conceptualized as repetition across space as well as time (Bronner, 2002). Appropriate to the emergence of a genuine, renewable folklore, the feature of space allowed for an oral tradition that had moved across the landscape, even in one generation, rather than having persisted through many (Bronner, 2002).
Rituals are a set of actions which is often thought to have a symbolic value and the routine of which is commonly prescribed by traditions or by a religion of a community by political or religious laws. Rituals may be done on specific occasions, or on regular intervals, or at the judgment of communities or individuals which may be performed by a group, a single individual, or by the whole community in places specially allocated for it such as in private or in public, or before specific persons.
Rituals purpose varies and they include satisfaction of emotional or spiritual need of the practitioner, compliance with religious ideals or obligations, strengthening of social bonds, stating one’s affiliation, demonstration of submission or respect, having approval or acceptance for some event, or for the pleasure on the ritual. Rituals are of many kinds and are always a feature of all human societies, including activities that are performed for solid purposes, or even saying hi or hello or hand-shaking.
Systems of myth, rituals, feast, sacred customs, games, songs, tales, exist in such profusion that volumes would be required to contain the lore of each separate tribe (Bronner, 2002). As the verbal form used for naming these rituals suggest, which could be translated as the action of the heart, these rituals aim to acquire enhancement in the perception capacities attributed to this organ in order to confront life’s challenges. The most widely distributed rituals mark basic and irreversible turning points in life common to men everywhere. Without distinction of race or creed people everywhere are born, grow maturity, and eventually die.
So universally we find birth and naming rituals, rituals marking the attainment of adulthood, weddings and funerals. Here, put at its simplest, we can see the rituals oils the wheels of life as the individual moves through the human life cycle from the cradle to grave (Lewis, 2003).
Bronner, S. J. (2002). FolkNation: Folklore In the Creation of American Tradition. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. Georges, R. A. , & Jones, M. O. (1995). Folkloristics: An Introduction. New York: Indiana University Press. Lewis, I. M. (2003). Social & Cultural Anthropology in Perspective. New York: Transactions Publishers.