Welcome to the Southern African Folklore Society’s website. SAFOS was formed as result of aneed to have a body that would give voice to scholarship on matters pertaining FolkloreStudies. Originally known as “The Scallan Society for Folklore Studies”, the Society changedto its to its current name in 1991.
Since then SAFOS, through its accredited Southern AfricanJournal for Folklore Studies (SAJFS) has provided the much needed platform for Researchers,Scholars, Academics,Folklorists and Indigenous Knowledge Practitioners alike to test theirviews on many broad issues pertaining folklore studies. The Southern African Society forFolklore Studies is a non-profit association of individual and affiliated Southern African andinternational researchers and scholars engaged in work on any aspect of folklore.
The termfolklore is used by the Southern African Society for Folklore Studies in its broadest andmultidimensional senses “that encompass fields which impinge on folk culture, such asmythology, and all customs, rituals and structures of human society, the origins of which canbe traced to oral transmission”. Thus SAFOS has become the repository of scholarship andcritical engagement on matters pertaining to folklore especially in, but not limited to, theSouthern African Region.As averred by Celia Scallan Zeiss, the Founding Secretary of Southern African Society forFolklore Studies, later to be known as Southern African Folklore Society, “the impact of literacyon an oral community radicallt alters the dissemination and perception of learning.
Rhetoricand oratory serve as mnemonic devices for the poet who conveys knowledge in a traditionalsociety. Literacy permits laws and historic events to be recorded in concrete form and oratoryis then transformed into poetry and other literary genres. Similarly, religion and philosophy,when written, can be amplified to form a systematic body of thought in which civilisations aregrounded. The antecedents to such written systems, ritual, song and dance develop into theart of drama and music. An examination of folklore and mythology bears testimony to thephases of human history, indicating human beings’ attempt to explain the universe, the forcesgoverning life and death, and the experiences of good and evils”.