N.22 - The Ordering Function of Thought in Folktales

Archaic songs for preserving and transmitting the mystery of birth, love and time


Since the most remote times oral tradition has passed down linguistic-communicative materials that the adult uses for the caring relationship in the “nursery”: these pluri-semantic materials (consisting of sounds, rhythms, gestures, words, etc.) are structured in sequences that accompany the birth and evolution of the child’s mind, from the symbiotic relationship to the perception of duality and, finally, of the social environment.
These materials originate from and have their foundation in the mother’s experience regarding the birth and growth of the child. A sort of progressive catharsis accompanies the worried imagination with the sweet music of the lullabies, toward the more urgent rhythms of the games on an adult’s lap or on the changing table, to reach the veritable polyphonies of the first group games of the child.
The “ready to use” characteristic of this linguistic material and the thoughts contained in it make it memorizable, interesting and available for the child and the adult who enters into a relationship with him.
At the centre of interest and pleasure present in the preservation and use of the oral patrimony of the poetic production for early childhood, there is the presence of a space that can contain the projections of individuals and groups: this has in a certain sense a narrative function – since it creates thought connections – which precedes those more articulated by the traditional fairty-tales.

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