Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions

By Carr, Tracy | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions


Carr, Tracy, Reference & User Services Quarterly


Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions. Ed. by Maria Herrera-Sobek. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012. 3 vols. acid free $294 (ISBN: 9780313343391). E-book available (ISBN: 9780313343407), call for pricing.

Celebrating Latino Folklore is a three-volume encyclopedia focusing on the Latino culture of the United States. "Folklore" can cover many areas, and a list is provided of the various folklore genres the volumes address, such as folk narrative, folk songs, folk food, folk art, etc. For those of us less familiar with what concepts various folklore genres might entail, there is a table of contents and a grouped list of similar topics in the first volume that covers all three volumes. A simple browse through the books is much more fun, however, as one can come across entries on the Chupacabra (the mythological being that sucks the blood of goats and other small animals that has become a favorite topic of Spanish-speaking UFO enthusiasts), Joan Baez, tequila, Santeria, and descansos (the practice of placing a memorial in the physical location where a loved one has died, such as on the side of the highway).

The entries are a mixture of short (500-1,500 words) and long (3,500+ words) entries, depending on the topic, and include suggestions for further reading. …

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