Folk Literature among Sephardic Bourgeois Women at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

in European Journal of Jewish Studies
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Abstract

Folklorists, philologists and ethnomusicologists have emphasized the important role of women for the preservation of Sephardic folklore and traditional literature in the twentieth century. Many scholars accept that Sephardic women who knew and performed folklore where almost illiterate and belonged to lower classes. This article intends to show that at the beginning of the twentieth century, some bourgeois, middle-class Sephardic women, although they had a very Western, modern life style, knew and appreciated the intangible heritage of Sephardic folklore that they had received handed down from their mothers and grandmothers. Those considerations are based on the information and comments about folklore and folksongs contained in the letters of affluent Sephardic Jews who maintained correspondence with Angel Pulido, a Spanish doctor and senator who in 1904 started a political campaign to strenghten ties and relations between Spain and the Sephardic Jews.

European Journal of Jewish Studies

The Journal of the European Association for Jewish Studies (Formerly: EAJS Newsletter)

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