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Folklore, traditional beliefs, customs, and superstitions of a culture, handed down informally in fables, myths, legends, proverbs, riddles, songs, and ballads. Folklore studies were developed in the 1800s, largely through collection and collation of material by the Grimm brothers in Germany, and folklore societies were set up in Europe and the United States. The American Folklore Society was founded in 1888. Folktale themes are echoed and paralleled among distinct and isolated cultures. One of the major studies of this phenomenon is Sir James Frazer's Golden Bough (1890).

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