Fakelore or pseudo-folklore is inauthentic, manufactured "folklore presented as if it were genuinely "traditional. Over the last several decades the term has generally fallen out of favor in the academic study of folklore because it places an unnecessary emphasis on origin (instead of ongoing practice) to determine authenticity. The term can refer to new stories or songs made up, or to folklore that is reworked and modified for modern tastes. The element of misrepresentation is central; artists who draw on traditional stories in their work are not producing fakelore unless they claim that their creations are real folklore.
The term fakelore was coined in 1950 by American folklorist "Richard M. Dorson. Dorson's examples included the fictional "cowboy "Pecos Bill, who was presented as a folk hero of the "American West but was actually invented by the writer "Edward S. O'Reilly in 1923. Dorson also regarded "Paul Bunyan as fakelore. Although Bunyan originated as a character in traditional tales told by loggers in the "Great Lakes region of "North America, "James Stevens, an ad writer working for the Red River Lumber Company, invented many of the stories about him that are known today. According to Dorson, advertisers and popularizers turned Bunyan into a "pseudo folk hero of twentieth-century mass culture" who bore little resemblance to the original.
Folklorismus, "anglicized to folklorism, also refers to the invention or adaptation of folklore. Unlike fakelore, however, folklorism is not necessarily misleading; it includes any use of a tradition outside the cultural context in which it was created. The term was first used in the early 1960s by German scholars, who were primarily interested in the use of folklore by the "tourism industry. However, professional art based on folklore, TV commercials with "fairy tale characters, and even academic studies of folklore are all forms of folklorism.
The term fakelore is often used by those who seek to expose or debunk it, including Dorson himself, who spoke of a "battle against fakelore". Dorson complained that popularizers had sentimentalized folklore, stereotyping the people who created it as quaint and whimsical – whereas the real thing was often "repetitive, clumsy, meaningless and obscene". He contrasted the genuine Paul Bunyan tales, which had been so full of technical logging terms that outsiders would find parts of them difficult to understand, with the commercialized versions, which sounded more like children's books. The original Paul Bunyan had been shrewd and sometimes ignoble; one story told how he cheated his men out of their pay. Mass culture provided a sanitized Bunyan with a "spirit of gargantuan whimsy [that] reflects no actual mood of lumberjacks". Daniel G. Hoffman said that Bunyan, a folk hero, had been turned into a mouthpiece for capitalists: "This is an example of the way in which a traditional symbol has been used to manipulate the minds of people who had nothing to do with its creation."
Others have argued that professionally created art and folklore are constantly influencing each other, and that this mutual influence should be studied rather than condemned. For example, Jon Olson, a professor of anthropology, reported that while growing up he heard Paul Bunyan stories that had originated as lumber company advertising. Dorson had seen the effect of print sources on orally transmitted Paul Bunyan stories as a form of cross-contamination that "hopelessly muddied the lore". For Olson, however, "the point is that I personally was exposed to Paul Bunyan in the genre of a living oral tradition, not of lumberjacks (of which there are precious few remaining), but of the present people of the area." What was fakelore had become folklore again.
In addition to Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, Dorson identified the American folk hero "Joe Magarac as fakelore. Magarac, a fictional "steelworker, first appeared in 1931 in a "Scribner's Magazine story by the writer Owen Francis. He was a literal man of steel who made rails from molten metal with his bare hands; he refused an opportunity to marry in order to devote himself to working 24 hours a day, worked so hard that the mill had to shut down, and finally, in despair at enforced idleness, melted himself down in the mill's furnace in order to improve the quality of the steel. Francis said he heard this story from immigrant steelworkers in "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; he reported that they told him the word magarac was a compliment, then laughed and talked to each other in their own language, which he did not speak. The word actually means "jackass" in "Serbo-Croatian. Since no trace of the existence of Joe Magarac stories prior to 1931 has been discovered, Francis's informants may have made the character up as a joke on him. In 1998, Gilley and Burnett reported "only tentative signs that the Magarac story has truly made a substantive transformation from 'fake-' into 'folklore'", but noted his importance as a local cultural icon.
Other American folk heroes that have been called fakelore include "Old Stormalong, "Febold Feboldson, Big Mose, "Tony Beaver, "Bowleg Bill, "Whiskey Jack, "Annie Christmas, "Cordwood Pete, "Antonine Barada, and "Kemp Morgan. Marshall Fishwick describes these largely literary figures as imitations of "Paul Bunyan.
A number of "Wiccan, "Neopagan and even some "Traditionalist" or "Tribalist" groups have a history of spurious "Grandmother Stories"—usually involving initiation by a Grandmother, Grandfather, or other elderly (and conveniently dead) relative who is said to have instructed them in the secret, millennia-old traditions of their ancestors. As this "secret wisdom" has almost always been traced to recent sources, or been quite obviously concocted even more recently, most proponents of these stories have eventually admitted they made them up. These "origin myths" are sometimes also referred to as "The Myth of the Wicca." In these cases, rather than a case of folklorists from outside the community calling the Wiccan stories "fakelore", phrases such as "Grandmother Stories" and "The Myth of the Wicca" have become synonyms and shorthand for a specific type of fakelore found within the communities in question.
An example in "Internet culture is the Slender Man, an urban legend created on June 10, 2009 by user Victor Surge on the "Something Awful forums. Depicted as a tall thin man wearing a suit, with a blank, white and featureless face, it is most often described as abducting, stalking and traumatising people, particularly children. Although the Slender Man was created by an individual, several scholars, including Jeffrey A. Tolbert and Andrew Peck, accept that it constitutes a form of folklore (and not fakelore) because of the ways in which it was taken up and circulated by other users. Others have called it "the first great myth of the web".
Since the early 1970s, a legend of ""Rainbow Warriors" has inspired some in the United States with a belief that the environmental movement fulfills a "Native American prophecy. However, the origin of the "prophecy" is a 1962 book titled Warriors of the Rainbow by William Willoya and Vinson Brown from Naturegraph Publishers.
While there are variations on the theme, especially as it has become popularized in "Internet memes, the thread in all versions of the story is that a time of crisis will come to the Earth, that people of many races will come together to save the planet, and it is a Native American or "First Nations prophecy. Some versions of the story specifically state that this new tribe will inherit the ways of the Native Americans, or that native ways will die out to be replaced by the new ways of the "Rainbow" people. Its roots lie in an evangelical Christian tract intended as a means of converting Native Americans to Christianity and encouraging them to give up their traditional cultures and religions.