“Folklore”, a word suggested by William John Thoms in place of the cumbersome phrase “popular antiquities” on August 22, 1846, caught on and proved its value in defining a new area of knowledge and subject of inquiry. Folklore can be broadly classified into two divisions namely verbal and nonverbal. Scholars have classified it into four divisions such as Oral literature, material culture, social folk custom and performing arts. But the broad classification of folklore as verbal and nonverbal takes care of the latter.
Tamil verbal folklore is Tamil oral literature, that can be classified into folk narrative, folk song, ballad, proverb and riddle. Each division has again several subdivisions. The present volume has taken up various topics for analysis namely Process of hearing in village judicial system, Gift giving, Relationship between a literary epic and its folk counterpart, Indigenous health traditions, Protest, Indigenous medicine and Taboos that are revealed/explained in verbal folklore.
The nonverbal folklore comprises customs, festivals, religion, games, gestures, music, architecture, crafts and art, folk costumes and foods, folk dances and dramas, and a major chunk of material culture, known as physical folklife. Topics namely Function of folk costume, Hearing in Caste panchyats, Persuasion as a sign, Folk customs, the Bow song and Food as a code have been taken for discussion in part 2, Nonverbal folklore. Also scholars from the fields of Linguistics, Sociology and Psychology will be benefited by this book.