Author Archives: Taylor Woods


Story: Well it all started rather harmless. A friend, A, introduced us to an instructional video on the different possible obamium shapes. From there we got deeper into the lore, engrossing ourselves into online communities such as Reddit to find like minded believers. I even went so far as to create my own media, using vfx to bring obamaprism to life in Los Angeles. A created a shrine in his living room one day consisting of a table with a candle in each of the corners and a triangle create by laying out approximately 8 paper obamaprisms out and a large image of Obamamium printed in a piece of paper hung over the shrine. We would play the sacralicious music and pray to our shrine. It’s all mostly still available on YouTube but I’ve since moved to worshipping the geico gecko.

Context: I was told this story over text, as the informant has COVID and was unable to meet in person, and also did not want to call or FaceTime. A little bit about this particular informant – while I knew these were great examples of folklore, which is why I included them, I do not believe they took the topic seriously. As a result, they told the stories in a very theatrical way, which might not be a terrible thing in the context of folklore, however it may make it hard to understand.

Thoughts: When asked about why this stuck in his head, the informant says that it was the best times he had goofing around with the friend group. His friend, A, ended up leaving after the semester that this happened, and he hasn’t seen him since.

Analysis: My interpretation of the story is that these friends got comically into the Obamamium meme, which was a meme that started on Reddit and ended up showing up on many other platforms. It was basically just a picture of Obama’s face on a pyramid and people called it Obamamium. I am also into memes, and hearing the story made me much more fascinated by meme folklore and how things escalate in folk groups.

Playground Game

Story: There was this one game- I used to go with my parents to these health and biotech conventions and at one of them I got this comic book that was like.. Basically to explain this biological process where these cells attacked and shot at cancerous tumors. After I read that I went back home and told my friends at school about it. On the playground we would pretend to be parts of the immune system and we would have battles. One of the roles was commander of the immune system, who would call other cells to attack a bacterium (another kid). All of the cells would then chase the bacterium down and, like, make sure that they couldn’t further infect the body (by tagging them).

Context: I was told this story by the informant in person, and recorded them so that I could better transcribe later on.

Thoughts: The informant talks about it as one of the first times where they and their friends used creativity to actually build something. “There were like 10 kids playing this game that was a cool melding of education and play, and it made me wanna learn more”.

Analysis: I thought this game was really cute, and an interesting example of folklore. Starting with a from of media that is in fact written down, and transferring it to a playground game that constantly evolves, shifts, and allows for new players and ideas is a great concept. Especially one so complex as this, with the amount of actually relevant information. Overall, a great way to learn and a very creative idea!

Tiger and the Fox

Story: This story is about a uh… a fox who happens to stumble upon a tiger. The tiger caught the fox, and before the tiger could eat him, the fox lies and tells the tiger to wait, because he is sent to the earth as the king of animals. Well, the tiger doesn’t believe him until he saw that the fox isn’t scared, so he asks the fox to prove it. So the fox… Um. Oh, yeh the fox takes him for a walk and tells the tiger to walk behind him since everyone that saw him would be scared. So every animal they saw runs away in fear, obviously because of the tiger, but the tiger doesn’t even know that. According to the tiger all the animals are scared of the fox(raises hands slightly, fingers outstretched)! He realizes the fox must be right, and runs away as well. That’s it.

Context: I took this interview in person and recorded it so I could transcribe it later.

Thoughts: When asked about how this story was significant to them, they tell about how this was told to them by their mother when they were a child as a bedtime story. They didn’t completely understand what time meant back then, other than “foxes are scary”, but now they think of it differently. The informant feels that now, after reflecting on the story, they realize how it is not only a lesson about being clever, it is a lesson about confidence.

Analysis: I also agree that it is a lesson about confidence. It is a lesson on tactful confidence and manipulation, to get out of a dire situation. The lesson in this tale is clear: you don’t have to be the strongest person in the room if you are the smartest. This can apply to a lot of situations in my adult life, and I’m sure for everyone else’s too.

Do you know who I am?

Story: There was a story I heard about a student at a school- I forgot which one- who took a beginning class their freshman year in one of those big lecture halls with around, like, 500 students. During the final, they had an hour to finish, but when the hour was up, this student still wasn’t done. Everyone else left and turned in their tests, and they were still working. They finally walked up to the front, but the professor told them that their test couldn’t be accepted since they hadn’t finished in time. The student then yells at him: “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!?” the professor, “What?”, the student, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!”, “NO!” said the professor. “Good!” the student said and he then slipped their test into the middle of the stack and ran out of the classroom.

Context: The informant told me this story over the phone, recalling it from writing their own folklore collection.

Thoughts: The informant wasn’t even sure if they had recalled the story correctly, however they thought it was hilarious and wished they had gotten the chance to do something like it during school.

Analysis: I think this folklore is really interesting as a legend, and I feel as if I have also heard this, or some version of this story before. It is interesting hearing folklore about classes and school, since this was the only example of school-based folklore I was able to collect.


Story: It’s very specific to my family, but my grandma had this story that was passed down to her from her mom, my great grandmother’s friend used to sing this tune, and basically that friend passed. For weeks my grandmother was really sad about it and one morning she went out onto the porch like she did every morning, and there was a bird there. And the bird looked directly at her and started singing the song that her friend used to sing. Not with the vocals obviously, but it chirped out the tune. And it kept coming back and doing that morning after morning. And to my great grandmother that… that was proof that her friend was reincarnated. And that’s how the story goes.

Context: I was told this story by the informant in person, and recorded them so that I could better transcribe later on.

Thoughts: When asked about their own thoughts on the story, the informant paused thoughtfully, and said that they don’t really believe in ghosts, however this story really touched their heart to hear. They don’t know if it is true, but they hope it is.

Analysis: I thought this legend was a very heart warming take on reincarnation and the afterlife. I have heard other stories similar tot his one, and people seeing or hearing signs from animals after a loved one passes seems to be a common story.