A yellow ribbon on a red background

The Many Meanings of Yellow Ribbons

The strange and convoluted history of why yellow ribbons became a symbol of the Gulf War in the 1990s.

Who Was La Malinche?

La Malinche was a key figure in the conquest of the Aztecs. But was she a heroine or a traitor? It depends on whom you ask.
A love potion against a colorful background

What’s in a Love Potion?

Besides the infamous Number Nine, that is.

From Samhain to Halloween

Exploring the Celtic origins of everyone's favorite harvest holiday celebrating thresholds between life and death.
Telling the bees painting

“Telling the Bees”

In nineteenth-century New England, it was held to be essential to whisper to beehives of a loved one’s death.
Smoke Signals film

What Smoke Signals Means 20 Years Later

This groundbreaking film was the first movie to be written, directed, co-produced, and acted by Native Americans.
prison slang

When Prison Time Meant Rhymes

The “gay, frolicsome and amusing" rhymes of 1970s American prison slang.
Brothers Grimm

The Fairytale Language of the Brothers Grimm

How the Brothers Grimm went hunting for fairytales, accidentally changed the course of historical linguistics, and kickstarted a new field of scholarship in folklore.
April Fools kid Denmark

The Completely True History of April Fools’ Day

The door to spring is guarded by fools, but that's ok, because they're not all that serious. And everybody knows the password: April Fools!
Sari drape

Why Saris are Indian Material Culture

Between 1996 and 2003, a folklorist studied the connection between handlooms (technology), sari makers (producers), and sari wearers (consumers) in the ancient city of Banaras.