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Folklore of South America
compliments of Inquiry Unlimited
Folktales include all forms of narrative - - written or oral - - handed down through the years and reflecting the lives and imaginations of the people. According to Aarne-Thompson, the three types of tales are: Animal * Tales, Ordinary * Folktales, and Jokes and * Anecdotes. They categorized the tales using motifs. *.
Folklore from South America
Brazil | Argentina | Chile | Bolivia | Peru | Colombia | Ecuador | Venezuela | Guiana | Suriname | French Guiana | Paraguay | Uruguay | Falkland Islands
- Alexander, Ellen. Chaska and the Golden Doll. [PERU]
- Alexander, Ellen. Llama and the Great Flood. [PERU]
- Ardagh, Philip. South American Myths and Legends. Chicago: World Book, 2001. (64 ps.) [SOUTH AMERICA] (tales from the Kayapo, Sherente, Caraja, Bororo, and Tupinambe of South America)
- Argueta, Manlio. The Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes. [EL SALVADOR]
- Ayers, Rebecca Hickox. Zorro and Quwi: Tales of a Trickster Pig. NY: Doubleday Book for Young Readers, 1997. (unp.) [PERU] (guinea pig deceives the fox)
- Brusca, Maria Cristina. The Cook and the King. NY: Holt, 1993. [SOUTH AMERICA] (In the mountains of South America, a wise cook teaches a stubborn, bossy king how to rule his kingdom wisely.)
- Charles, Donald. Chancay and the Secret of Fire. [PERU]
- Cherry, Lynne. The Great Kapok Tree. [BRAZIL]
- Cowcher, Helen. Jaguar. [VENEZUELA]
- Crespo, George. How Iwariwa the Cayman Learned to Share: A Yanomamo Myth. NY: Clarion Books, 1995. [VENEZUELA - YANOMAMO] (Amazon rainforest animals trick Iwariwa to use his fire)
- Czernecki, Stefan. The Sleeping Bread. [GUATEMALA]
- Dalal, Anita. Myths of Pre-Columbian America. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2001. (48 ps.) [PERU - AZTECS - CENTRAL AMERICA - MEXICO]
- Dastaneda, Omar. Abuela's Weave. [GUATEMALA]
- DeSpain, Pleasant. The Dancing Turtle. [BRAZIL]
- Dewey, Ariane. Thunder God's Son: A Peruvian Folktale. NY: Greenwillow Books, 1981. (32 ps.) [PERU] (Thunder god's son teaches a greedy rich man's family a lesson)
- Ehlert, Lois. Moon Rope: A Peruvian Folktale. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992. [PERU] (Fox and Mole climb to the moon on a rope woven of grass)
- Hickox, Rebecca. Zorro and Quwi: Tales of a Trickster Pig. NY: Doubleday Book for Young Readers, 1997. (unp.) [PERU] (guinea pig deceives the fox)
- Kurtz, Jane. Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. (unp) [INCA - PERU] (girl finds special curing water with the help of her bird friends)
- Lippert, Margaret. The Sea Serpent's Daughter. [BRAZIL]
- Loverseed, Amanda. The Thunder King: A Peruvian Folk Tale. London: NY: Bedrick/Blackie, 1991. (unp.) [PERU] (Illanti, a talking llama, a fat man and his wife, and a condor retrieve Tantay, Illanti's twin, who was kidnapped by the Thunder King)
- Machado, Ana Maria. Nina Bonita. [BRAZIL]
- Maestro, Giulio. The Tortoise's Tug of War. Scarsdale, NY: Bradbury Press, 1971. (32 ps.) [SOUTH AMERICA] (based on a South American folktale called "Which was stronger, the tortoise, the tapir, or the Whale?" - - A tortoise tricks a tapir and a whale into thinking he is stronger than either of them.)
- McDermott, Gerald. Jabuti the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale From the Amazon. San Diego: Harcourt, 2001. (32 ps.) [AMAZON REGION] (trickster tale)
- Metaxas, Eric. The Monkey People. [COLOMBIA]
- Mora, Pat. The Race of Toad and Deer. [GUATEMALA]
- Palazzo-Craig, Janet. How Llama Saved the Day: A Story from Peru. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1996. (32 ps.) [PERU] (great flood motif)
- Palazzo-Craig, Janet. How Night Came to Be: A Story from Brazil. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1996. (32 ps.) [BRAZIL] (how night and day originated)
- Pitcher, Caroline. Mariana and the Merchild: A Folk Tale from Chile. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000. [CHILE] (a childless old woman is given a merbaby to raise until the child can safely return to the sea)
- Rockwell, Anne. The Monkey's Whiskers: A Brazilian Folktale. NY: Parents' Magazine Press, 1971. (46 ps.) [BRAZIL] (mischievous monkey asks barber to shave of his whiskers and then, unhappy with the look, demands they be put back on)
- Rohmer, Harriet. The Invisible Hunters. [NICARAGUA]
- Rohmer, Harriet. Mother Scorpion Country. [NICARAGUA]
- Rudel, Christian. Children of the Moon. Mandato, Minn.: Creative Education, 1997. [YANOMAMI - VENEZUELA] (youngster searches for the truth of the Moon Spirit)
- Torres, Leyla. Saturday Sancocho. [COLOMBIA]
- Van Laan, Nancy. The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. [QUECHUAN - ARGENTINA] (boy seeks rain for draught and rewarded with carob beans)
- Van Laan, Nancy. So Say the Little Monkeys. NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1998. (unp.) [BRAZIL] (A rhyming retelling of an Indian folktale about tiny, Playful monkeys and why they have no place to call home)
- Weiss, Jaqueline Shachter. Young Brer Rabbit and Other Trickster Tales from the Americas. (65 ps.) [SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA] (15 Brer Rabbit trickster tales from the Afro-American culture of Central and South America and the Caribbean)
Educator is the recipient of the Miss Rumphius Award *
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Last modified: September 19, 2005.
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For a broadened view of folklore, refer to The Folktale by Stith Thompson for tale types and motifs.
For your reading enjoyment, peruse "Folk Tales of the North American Indians" by Stith Thompson. It includes tales categorized by culture group and motif.