Motif Akademi Halkbilimi Dergisi
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Being one of the oral narrative based types of folk literature, legends are short narratives told about a specific place, person, or event by the people who believed in them, consisted of extraordinary characteristics generally, and lacked artistic style. Legends are public products giving information about the belief, history, value judgements, traditions, emotions, hopes, in short, all the cultural elements of the society in which they are born. The most important feature of legends is that they develop within a belief system and then become its product. The negative effect of the rapidly developing technology in today’s world on oral culture products, the possibility of these products’ being forgotten as summarised in the proverb of words fly away, writings remain, and the changing sociological elements have made it compulsory to write down these products in order to be handed down to next generations. It is very important to conduct classification studies which are the first stage of scientific researches in order to write down and interpret the texts obtained through compilation study. These studies help to express the definition and characteristics of legends better and to see its place within other types and its differences in the type clearly. Moreover, classification of legends according to their subjects, places, patterns, and characteristics of their heroes is also highly important in terms of identifying the independent position of legend type, and putting forward its aspects which are different from and similar to other types. In this study, Aksaray’s significance specifically in legend type and generally in oral products of folk literature is expressed by highlighting the geographical, historical, and cultural importance of Aksaray province. Classification of 150 legend texts obtained from written sources and compiled in Aksaray in the light of these academic studies takes place in this study by mentioning definitions of legend in general and the definitions of legend by foreign and native folk literature researchers. Overall evaluation of the Aksaray legends, whose classifications take place in this study, was conducted, some inferences were made, and in the last section sample legend texts selected from groups were presented.

Legend, Aksaray legends, classification, Turkish mythology, Turkish belief system

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