According to Webster's dictionary, folklore is the traditional customs, tales, sayings, or art forms preserved among a people. In addition, folklore of any society anywhere is the humanity of people; it unifies them and directs their wisdom towards the benefits of the human kind. Folklore also progresses as the society progresses, and it moves from one generation to another. Therefore, studying the folklore of a particular society helps in understanding the development of this society over the years. In this paper, several folklore stories will be discussed from different societies across the world including Greek and Roman folktales, Scotland, and Palestinian folktales.
The first folktale that will be discussed is from ancient Greek and Roman societies. The title of the tale is Constellations 31, which can be found in Star Myths and Folklore of the Greeks and Romans: A sourcebook. This story discusses Poseidon and Amphitrite. Poseidon wishes to marry Amphitrite, but she wanted to preserve her virginity, therefore she fled to Mount Atlas. Poseidon sent out many searches to find her, among them was the dolphin. The dolphin, under the order of Poseidon, went looking for Amphitrite around the island of Atlas, and eventually the dolphin found her. The dolphin then brought Amphitrite to Poseidon, and he married her and "decreed the highest honors of the sea for the dolphin". Poseidon insisted that this dolphin that found Amphitrite was sacred and placed an image of it among the stars. In the sky, the dolphin has one star on the mouth; two on the dorsal fin; three on the ventral fins; one on the back, and two on the tail. Because of the number of stars corresponds to the number of Muses, this animal is said to be fond of music.
This story about Poseidon and Amphitrite and the dolphin is common in the ancient Greek and Roman societies. The author talks about how the Greeks and Romans did not only view the dolphin as the emblem of philanthropy and service; a well established tradition, attested by ancient authors of natural history as well as poets, also associates the dolphin with love of music.