Tale to Tell: A Folklore from Odisha

By Arpita Mahapatra

It would be quite a safe bet to say that if there’s one thing that we can find in common with each human being in the whole world, it would be the love for stories. It is not so much about whether or not you like reading a comic, a novel or even a news ‘story’. Every aspect of our lives has a story to tell– be it a memory, an incident from the present day, or a dream for the future.

Oral Literature

In the days of old, when grandmothers’ tales were not a rarity, most of the folklore was passed on by word of mouth. Oral literature is what we named it, and much of the bedtime stories we heard as children originated from it. Odisha is one of the Indian states which are rich in oral literature but not as well known for it, because of the presence of very few sources of stories that were actually penned down afterwards.

Folklore and Contemporary Short Stories

Most of the folktales comprised of fables– stories about animals representing human beings with their fair share of flaws, which provide you with a moral in the end. With time, these tales developed into contemporary stories with direct references to people living in a particular society: the lives of tribal groups in the forests, the trials of villagers, and eventually the advent of modernization which transformed villages into towns and so on.

Economy Decoded brings to you a retelling of one such story.




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