Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

The Folklore of Wales

Staff: Robin Gwyndaf

Robin Gwyndaf has always undertaken extensive fieldwork, since beginning his career as a folklorist at St Fagans in 1964,. The collections in the Museum archives now contain several thousand folklore items, ranging from rhymes and nursery rhymes to riddles, folk hymns and nature lore. He has interviewed some 3,000 informants and recorded over 700 hours of testimony relating to folk tales, folk traditions and folk beliefs. He is now working on two volumes (one in Welsh and one in English) which will bring together the results of over 40 years of research and provide a comprehensive overview of all aspects of Welsh folklore.

Among the themes covered will be the history of folklore collecting; tradition bearers; the social context of folklore and its function; folklore as a reflection of human relationship with the environment and the home; the cycle of the seasons and life; beliefs and fear of the unknown; lore relating to historical characters and events; mythical beings; folk poetry and word games; and folklore in contemporary life. The finished work will also include an extensive bibliography to aid further research in this field.