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Encyclopedia > Folk hero

A folk hero is type of hero, real or mythological. The single salient characteristic which makes a character a folk hero is the imprinting of the name, personality and deeds of the character in the popular consciousness. This presence in the popular consciousness is evidenced by mention in folk songs, folk tales and other folklore. Folk heroes are also the subject of some films. Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Folk hero. ... For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... Folk music can have a number of different meanings, including: Traditional music: The original meaning of the term folk music was synonymous with the term Traditional music, also often including World Music and Roots music; the term Traditional music was given its more specific meaning to distinguish it from the... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about motion pictures. ...

Although some folk heroes are historical public figures, they generally are not. Because the lives of folk heroes are generally not based on historical documents, the characteristics and deeds of a folk hero are often exaggerated to mythic proportions.

The folk hero often begins life as a normal person, but is transformed into someone extraordinary by significant life events, often in response to social injustice, and sometimes in response to natural disasters.

One major category of folk hero is the defender of the common people against the oppression or corruption of the established power structure. Members of this category of folk hero often, but not necessarily, live outside the law in some way. For other senses of this word, see outlaw (disambiguation). ...


Historically documented folk heroes

  • Aylett C. (Strap) Buckner - United States, an Indian-fighter of colonial Texas
  • Billy the Kid - United States, a 19th century American frontier outlaw and gunman
  • Bonnie and Clyde - United States, bank robbers who evaded retribution in the 1930s
  • Calamity Jane - United States, a tough Wild West woman
  • Casey Jones - United States, railroad engineer who chose to die rather than abandon his locomotive during a collision
  • Daniel Boone - An American pioneer in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
  • Dick Turpin - England, highwayman
  • Dorus Rijkers - the Netherlands, sailor and savior of over 500 men, women and children as the captain of a rescue-boat, in the late 19th century and the early 20th century
  • Davy Crockett - United States, an Indian-fighter, Congressman, and died as a hero fighting in the Alamo
  • Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson - Sweden, rebel and temporary regent in the 15th Century
  • Eppelein von Gailingen - Germany, robber baron
Pier Gerlofs Donia, a great Frisian warlord and folk hero.
  • Geronimo - United States, Apache warrior
  • Gregorio Cortez, Mexican American folk hero
  • James Mckenzie - New Zealand, Outlaw and inspiration to landless immigrants in early colonial New Zealand
  • Juraj Jánošík - Slovakia, outlaw living in the Tatra mountains, defending Slovakia peasants from the tyranny of Austrian landlords
  • Johnny Appleseed - United States, he introduced the apple to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois
  • Kaluaiko'olau - United States - Hawaiian who evaded deportation for leprosy by hiding in the Hawaiian rain forests[1]
  • Lam Sai Wing - China, martial artist and student of Wong Fei Hung
  • Laura Secord - Canada, heroine of the War of 1812
  • Louis Riel - Canada, founder of Manitoba, led two rebellions against the Dominion of Canada
  • Mike Fink - United States, the toughest boatman on the Mississippi River and a rival of Davy Crockett
  • Miyamoto Musashi - Japan, a skilled swordsman, soldier, philosopher, and author
  • Ned Kelly - Australia, outlaw
  • Nils Dacke - Sweden, leader of a 16th century peasant revolt
  • Norman Bethune - Canada, doctor, active in the People's Republic of China with the Eighth Route Army
  • Philippe Petit - Tight rope artist that walked between the two towers of the World Trade Center.
  • Redmond O'Hanlon - Irish, rapparee of the 17th century
  • Rob Roy - Scotland, outlaw whose word was his bond
  • Spartacus - Thrace, led the largest slave revolt against the Roman Republic
  • Tamanend - United States, an Indian Chief who became the source of many folk legends that propelled his fame to mythical proportions during the time of the American Revolutionary War
  • Tipu Sultan - Indian, a Muslim who fought and defeated the British in the Mysore wars
  • Tomoe Gozen - Japan, woman samurai warrior
  • Pier Gerlofs Donia - Frisia, legendary giant warrior, freedom fighter and leader of the Arumer Black Heap
  • William Tell - Switzerland, began the rebellion against the Austrians
  • William Wallace - Scotland, knight who led a rebellion against England in the early 14th century
  • Wong Fei Hung - China, doctor, martial artist, and revolutionary
  • Lady Ch'iao Kuo - China, warrior, politician, queen of the Hsien

For other uses, see Billy the Kid (disambiguation). ... This article is about the outlaws. ... For the film, see Calamity Jane (1953 film) Calamity Jane at age 33. ... Portrait of The Brave Engineer himself: John Luther Casey Jones, 1863-1900. ... This 1820 oil painting by Chester Harding is the only portrait of Daniel Boone made from life. ... Look up Pioneer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require a spell check. ... Colonel David Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was a celebrated 19th-century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician; usually referred to as Davy Crockett and by the popular title King of the Wild Frontier. He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives, served in the... Late 19th century model for a statue of Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson to be placed in Örebro; no contemporary image of Engelbrekt is known Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson (1390s – May 4, 1436) was a Swedish statesman and rebel leader. ... Eppelein in Prison Eppelein von Gailingen (c. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Geronimo Geronimo (Chiricahua Goyaałé One Who Yawns; often spelled Goyathlay in English) (June 16, 1829–February 17, 1909) was a prominent Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache who warred against the encroachment of the United States on his tribal lands and people for over 25 years. ... Gregorio Cortez Lira (born June 22, 1875 near Matamoros, Tamaulipas—February 28, 1916) was a Mexican American who became a hero to some Mexican American Texans and a symbol of the willingness to fight for equal rights. ... Blazin Squad was a 10-piece UK pop-rap band. ... Janosik, wood engraving by Władysław Skoczylas Juraj Jánošík (modern pronunciation: ), or Jur, Juro, Jurko Jánošík (1688-1713), Polish: Jerzy Janosik (modern pronunciation: ), Hungarian: Juraj Jánosik[1] was a famous Slovak outlaw, often described as the Slovak Robin Hood. ... Image from Howes Historical Collection Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman (September 26, 1774–March 18, 1845), was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced the apple to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. ... Lam Sai Wing (1860-1943), Lin Shi Rong in mandarin pinyin, was the most well-known student of the legendary Cantonese martial artist, healer, and folk hero Wong Fei Hung. ... Statue of Laura Secord at the Valiants Memorial in Ottawa Laura Secord (née Ingersoll) (September 13, 1775 – October 17, 1868) was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812. ... For the opera, see Louis Riel (opera). ... Mike Fink, {b. ... It has been suggested that Timeline of Miyamoto Musashis life be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Ned Kelly (disambiguation). ... Nils Dacke was the leader of a 16th century peasant revolt in Småland, southern Sweden called the Dacke War (se: Dackefejden), fought against the Swedish king Gustav Vasa. ... Dr. Norman Bethune 1922 Henry Norman Bethune, MD (March 3, 1890 – November 12, 1939) was a Canadian physician, medical innovator, and humanitarian. ... Petit at WTC, 1974 Philippe Petit (born August 13, 1949) is a French high wire artist who gained fame for his illegal walk between the former Twin Towers in New York City on August 7, 1974. ... Redmond OHanlon (c. ... Rob Roy can mean different things: Rob Roy is a colloquial name for Scottish hero Robert Roy MacGregor, who has been described as the Scottish Robin Hood. ... Spartacus by Denis Foyatier, 1830 Spartacus (ca. ... Tamanend or Saint Tammany (c. ... Portrait of Tippu Sultan, 1792 Tippu (Tips) Sultan (full name Sultan Fateh Ali Tippu), also known as the Tiger of Mysore (November 20, 1750, Devanahalli – May 4, 1799, Srirangapattana), was the first son of Haidar Ali by his second wife, Fatima or Fakhr-un-nissa. ... A woodblock print of Tomoe Gozen in battle. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Statue of William Tell and his Son in Altdorf, Switzerland (Richard Kissling, 1895). ... For other persons named William Wallace, see William Wallace (disambiguation). ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wong. ...

Possibly apocryphal folk heroes

  • Fionn mac Cumhaill - Ireland, warrior
  • Fong Sai-Yuk - China, martial arts folk hero
  • John Henry - United States, mighty steel-driving African American
  • Mulan - China, heroine who disguised herself as a male in order to join an all-male army
  • Molly Pitcher - United States, heroine of the American Revolutionary War
  • Robin Hood - England, outlaw usually associated with the motto "Steal from the rich, give to the poor"
  • Rummu Jüri - Estonia, outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor
  • Till Eulenspiegel - Germany, trickster

Fionn mac Cumhaill (pronounced /fʲiːn̪ˠ mˠak kuwaːlʲ/ in Irish or /fɪn mɘ kuːl/ in English) (earlier Finn or Find mac Cumail or mac Umaill, later Anglicised to Finn McCool) was a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, occurring also in the mythologies of Scotland... In most versions of his legend, the Chinese folk hero Fong Sai-Yuk (Chinese: 方世玉; pinyin: ; Yale Cantonese: Fong1 Sai3 Yuk6) was trained in the martial arts by his mother Miu Tsui-Fa, daughter of Miu Hin, one of the Five Elders who escaped the destruction of the Shaolin Monastery by... Statue of John Henry outside the town of Talcott in Summers County, WV. John Henry is an African-American folk hero, who has been the subject of numerous songs, stories, plays, and novels. ... Oil painting on silk, Hua Mulan Goes to War Hua Mulan (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is the heroine who joined an all-male army described in a famous Chinese poem known as the Ballad of Mulan. ... Molly Pitcher depicted in 1859 engraving Molly Pitcher was a nickname given to a woman who may have fought in the American Revolutionary War. ... Robin Hood memorial statue in Nottingham. ... Rummu Jüri (Jüri Rummo; 2 August (21 July) 1856) is the archetypical Estonian folk hero, an outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor. ... Till Eulenspiegel (IPA: , Low Saxon: Dyl Ulenspegel, Flemish: Thyl Ulenspiegel) was a trickster who originated in the Middle Low German folklore. ...

Folk heroes known to be fictional

  • Alfred Bulltop Stormalong - United States, immense sailor whose ship was so big it scraped the moon
  • Cúchulainn - Ireland, folk legend and the pre-eminent hero of Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle
  • Febold Feboldson - United States, farmer who could fight a drought
  • Joe Magarac - United States, steelworker made of steel
  • Koba - Georgia, folk hero whose legend bears a resemblance to Robin Hood
  • Paul Bunyan - United States, giant lumberjack of the North Woods
  • Pecos Bill - United States, giant cowboy who "tamed the wild west"
  • Taylor Bradshaw - Canada, possibly a variant of Paul Bunyan
  • The Little Dutch Boy - Netherlands, saves Holland from disaster by persisting in keeping his finger in a dike
  • Tony Beaver - United States, lumberjack and cousin of Paul Bunyan

Alfred Bulltop Stormalong was an American folk hero and the subject of numerous nautical-themed tall tales originating in Massachusetts. ... Young Cúchulainn (as Sétanta), 1912 illustration by Stephen Reid. ... Joe Magarac is a legendary American folk hero who was a steelworker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... Koba was a Georgian folk hero whose legend bears a resemblance to Robin Hood. ... For other uses, see Paul Bunyan (disambiguation). ... Pecos Bill is a mythical American cowboy, immortalized in numerous tall tales. ... Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates is a novel by Mary Mapes Dodge, first published in 1865. ...

See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Folk hero. ...


  1. ^ About Kaluaiko'olau

  Results from FactBites:
The Last Folk Hero book review - The Outsider Art Pages (1106 words)
He is generous with scorn, whether directed at rich Atlanta art patrons, elite museum curators or the ordinary folk art tourists who flocked to the homes of Mose Tolliver, Jim Suddeth and many others through the 1980s and Ô90s.
For one thing, by dismissing almost the entire universe of folk art collectors and dealers as self-serving, intellectually lazy exploiters, Dietz creates a seriously misleading context in which to evaluate Arnett's claims for his own ethical exceptionalism.
Heroes become the less impressive the more they are pitted against mere straw men.
  More results at FactBites »



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