Abstract

Pulling from previous works on childlore, recently gathered adult remembrances, and systematic observations of children, the authors identify a heretofore unrecognized category of folklore we call folk illusions. Folk illusions are traditionalized, communicative performances that consistently effect an intended embodied illusion for one or more participants. Describing four types of folk illusions, the authors outline the salient features of the category--namely, director and actor roles, performance positions, priming periods, and verbal continuum. We argue that folk illusions are an under-studied aspect of embodiment and community in folkloristics and related epistemological fields. Ultimately, we contend that the study of folk illusions furthers our understanding of both illusions and folkloric intersubjectivity.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.