This chapter begins with an introduction to Palestinian folktales. The Palestinian folktale is a highly developed art form. Its style, though not artificial, follows linguistic and literary conventions that set it apart from other folk narrative genres, and it relies on verbal mannerisms and language flourishes not used in ordinary conversation, especially by men. The forty-five tales included in this book were selected, on the basis of their popularity and the excellence of their narration, from approximately two hundred tales collected on cassette tapes between 1978 and 1980 in various parts of Palestine—the Galilee (since 1948 part of the state of Israel), the West Bank, and Gaza. The criterion of popularity reflects the authors' intention to present the tales heard most frequently by the majority of the Palestinian people.
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