Welcome to

Chinese Folklore and Folklife:
An Introduction

A Project in Progress by

Juwen Zhang
Associate Professor of Chinese Language and Culture
Department of Japanese and Chinese, Willamette University
900 State Street, Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 370-6256;  Fax: (503) 375-5398;  Email:

  While I am working on it, your comments, suggestions, and questions are welcome.
Please let me know through email.


Chinese Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction

Part I  Introduction

Chapter 1 Folklore and Folkloristics
Chapter 2 Chinese Folklore and Folkloristics
Chapter 3 Cultural Complexity of Folklore

Part II  Folk Beliefs and Their Expressions

Chapter 4 The Supernatural
Chapter 5 The Natural
Chapter 6 The Human
Chapter 7 Divination

Part III Festivals, Dramas, and Folk Art

Chapter 8 Origin and Forms Festivals
Chapter 9 Festivals and Local Dramas
Chapter 10 Festivals and Folk Beliefs
Chapter 11 Folk Art

Part IV Folklife and Modes of Production

Chapter 13 Folklife
    1. Foodways; 2. Dress; 3. House; 4. Transportation
Chapter 14 Modes of Production
    1. Economic pattern; 2. Occupational circle; 3. Regional and ethnic diversity;
    4. Age and gender role; 5. Technological application

Part V  Rites of Passage

Chapter 15 Birth and Initiation
Chapter 16 Marriage and Family Life
Chapter 17 Death and Sacrifice
Chapter 18 Rites of Passage in Everyday Practice

Part VI Verbal Arts and Performances

Chapter 19 Oral literature/Folk literature
    1. Narratives; 2. poetry; 3. speech;
Chapter 20 Folk Performance (folk performing art)
    1. Local drama; 2. Storytelling (shuochang and quiyi)

Part VII Games, Sports, and Entertainments

Chapter 21 Children Folklore
Chapter 22 Family and Community Entertainments
Chapter 23 Sports and contests

Part VIII Folklore and Social Changes

Part IX Chinese Folklore and Folklife in Global Communication

Part X  Practical Issues in Studying Chinese Folklore


Interesting Topics:

folk literature, belief, behavior, material life, etc.
ethnography, ethnicity, migration, multilingual, multicultural, tradition and traditionality, cultual identity, etc.
poplar culture, folk arts, entertainment, games, film, Internet, etc.
tales, myths, ballads, songs, proverbs, riddles, names, dialects, ...
dances, music, musical instruments, ...
medicine, shamanism, witchcraft, religions, ...
drama, play, ritual, rite of passage, ...
foodways, wine, tea, ...
festivals, ...
 handcrafts, tattoos, common houses, toys, ...
mode of production, agriculture, fishing, ...