Folklore of the Rio Grande Valley


A folktale may be defined as a traditional oral prose narrative. The folktale circulated by word of mouth is a consistent yet shifting form; since each new teller does not read from or recite a fixed text, the words are constantly being altered to some degree. If a collector records and prints a tale in a book, it becomes merely a printed version of a folktale, lacking the intonation, inflection, gestures, facial expressions, and audience responses that make the narrating of a folktale a living performance.


A writer's paraphrase or embellishment of a folktale he or she has heard or has read is a literary version of the folktale, considerably removed from the orginal and authentic oral version. What makes an oral story a folktale are the variants of the story that can be located over time and space. A story that is told only once does not qualify as a folktale because, although oral, it is not traditional.

Every society known to humankind tells folktales, which take an endless variety of forms. What unites all these forms is the artistry of a teller and the responsiveness of an audience. A folklore lives in the spoken word and dies on the printed page.

The Serpent

The Legend of the Swan

Don Pedrito

Dancing With The Devil

The Mean Witch

The Guard At San Marcos

The Ghost Duke

The Frightening

La Virgen de Guadalupe

Dancing With The Devil #2

La Llorona



Please Note: This is not on official site for folktales of the Rio Grande Valley. We are not affiliated with any historical society. This is a brief introduction of information gathered to pay tribrute to the Rio Grande Valley.