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8/25/2005  

Women in American Folklore

QUESTION:
I recently found your site and I was so happy to find Slue-Foot Sue because I have been trying to remember the name of the woman who rode a giant catfish for weeks now. This leads to my question because it was so difficult for my friends and I to think of any folklore women. All we could come up with was Calamity Jane and that was after days of thinking. I know there are fewer stories with women than there are with men but I also believe we are more likely to forget the stories involving women because they are hardly ever emphasized. Do you have any helpful tips for someone trying to locate the stories of the women of American folklore?

ANSWER
Great question! I can think of a number of women who have been a part of American folklore, but you are right, there are not as many as men; especially not like the tall tales variety of a Slue-foot Sue or a Calamity Jane. Here are a few to get you started.

Tough gals
1. Slue-foot Sue
2. Calamity Jane
3. Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett

Heros and other famous women
4. Kate Shelley
5. Ocean-born Mary
6. The canny Yankee woman in Gollywhopper's eggs
7. The Maid of the Mist
8. Babe the Blue Ox's mate -- Yeller Cow
9. The old woman in Riverboat racing

Female ghosts
10. Ghost on the tracks
11. Lady in Lace
12. La Llorona
13. The White Lady
14. La Mala Hora
15. Milk bottles


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