Who is the Beast? The Portrayal of Animals in Multicultural Folklore

Anne Creany


Since ancient times, animals have played significant and complex roles in the lives of humans. Animals inhabited human’s living spaces as helpmate, sustenance, enemy, or companion, and they dwelled in people’s unconscious in dreams, as symbols, or as a reflection of self. Traditional literature that features animals can teach much about humanity and its place alongside its animal kin. This paper examines the multi-faceted relationship between humans and animals as reflected in the folklore of various cultures.


animals, folktale, traditional literature, culture

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Categories: 2013, Articles - JETEN, Creative Storytelling

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