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Bengali Folk Rhymes: An Introduction

Syed Mohammad Shahed
Asian Folklore Studies
Vol. 52, No. 1 (1993), pp. 143-160
Published by: Nanzan University
DOI: 10.2307/1178454
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1178454
Page Count: 18
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Bengali Folk Rhymes: An Introduction
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Abstract

Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language possessing a history and tradition of at least a millennium, with a rich tradition of folklore and folk literature. Folk rhymes form an important part of this tradition. The origins of many Bengali folk rhymes are obscure, but are thought to be of considerable antiquity. Folk rhyme exists in many languages, but is often of secondary importance compared to other forms of folk literature, such as folktales and ballads. In Bengali folk literature, however, rhyme holds a place of equal importance to these other forms. Bengali folk rhyme is not simply an instrument for the amusement of children but a subject worthy of serious study, bearing most of the essential characteristics of folk tradition: anonymous and collective creation, dynamism, textual variation, and social function.

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