Customs

Elf Magic Elves

Main Piece:

 

The following was recorded from the Participant. They are marked as AO. I am marked as DG.

 

 

AO: Oh, when I was in umm…fourth grade maybe third grade, um, there were these things called Elf Magic Elves and everyone had them. I don’t know where like it started out or, um, who had the first one but anyways by the time we were in like fifth grade, every single person had one… but the concept of these elves were that if you sprinkled, um, snowflakes on them then they like–and the snowflakes came with the elves, then they would, like, come to life and move around your house or like bake food or make crafts or whatever, play pranks. Um and so everyone had this like these elves that would do things for them and they would come to school, um, they would like come to school with like books that their elves made, or um like fucking can I curse? Fucking um fuckiiiiiiing-that one had like 7 ‘i’s in it, you better put all of these in-fucking like food. So obviously these elves didn’t exist, they weren’t real but, um, all the parents were like really close and everyone that had them-well ok I guess I exaggerated when I said that everyone had them, um but basically only the popular bitches had them but they were the only ones we talked about-but all of their moms were suuuper close so they all like knew these elves and how to move them around and so they kind of did it as like a group thing. But like I found about these elves and me being the little twat I was [laughs] I wanted to be cool, I was like “Mom I want these elves” and like um my mom wasn’t, wasn’t cool she wasn’t a cool mom I wasn’t a cool kid so she didn’t like um she didn’t get in with the crowd so she didn’t know about these elves! But so she got these elves and then presented them to me in the box to which they were shipped to her in but in reality you were supposed to present them on the fireplace like open and like um with crackers or something like that, but she gave them to me in the box. But luckily my brother knew about this tradition so he like moved them around for me and stuff so I still got the experience.

 

Context:

 

The conversation was recorded while in the room of the interviewee. She was fixing up her room while I was sitting and listening to her folklore. This folklore item was a local tradition that lasted about two years in the neighborhood of Marietta. It was enacted by elementary school kids from the grades of 4th to 5th grade, at the time.

 

Background:

 

The interviewee was born in China but raised in Marietta, Georgia. She is a sophomore at the University of Southern California, studying Communication. Her mother and father are both from the United States, and have lived in Georgia for many years.

 

Analysis:

 

This folklore item is very interesting because it is not only one that is particular to a specific region, it was also carried out by one specific group: the popular children’s parents. It also left as quickly as it arrived. Additionally, the tale of the interviewee’s brother enacting the tradition that the parents were unaware of was heartwarming, as well as it being an example of how easily folklore can be lost when it is attempted by an outgroup. Therefore, this piece is actually a great example of a regional folk tradition, needing specific in-group knowledge.

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