All literatures stretch an unmapped and immeasurable world of oral tradition which may roughly be called Folklore. As in other countries in the world in Bengal also we can find an enormous amount of influence of folklore on old and modern Bengali literature. It has now become proverbial that "Shakespeare is not Shakespeare without folklore". If one is to analyze and understand the Bengali literature, it is therefore", necessary that he should be familiar with the
folkloric heritage of the country." I belief this paper, however, will endeavour to give a short historical background of folklore scholarship and its prospect in Bangladesh, Pakistan and other states of South Asia. The abundant folklore of present-day Bangladesh, and Pakistan, therefore, contains a variety of elements, which is partly to be explained by historical forces. From the third century A.D. the Mouryas, the Guptas, the Palas, the Senas and the Muslims came one after another to rule the land and they grafted their ways of life and culture traits on the indigenous population. Subsequently Portuguese, French and English ships anchored in the harbours of Bengal, and left not only their merchandise but also their customs. Among these foreign traders, the British became most powerful and were able to consolidate their authority at the expense of the fading empire of the Mughals. The battle of Plassy in 1757 ended with the defeat of the Nawab
of Bengal. This British victory ensured the supremacy of the British East India Company over the entire Sub-continent, including Bengal, for nearly two hundred years. As a result the folklore of Bangladesh will present an interesting variety and blending of anthropological and sociological background.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Prof. Dr. Mohammad Abu Tayyub Khan