The organization aims to establish contact with researchers in the field of folklore. with an emphasis on SADAC countries. SAFOS seeks to accumulate, correlate and disseminate information on folklore among scholars by means of a journal. SAFOS, publishers of the Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies, seek affiliation with other interested persons and institutions both national and international in order to foster working relations with other like-minded organizations.


“Folklore” describes either one of two concepts. The first is a field of learning devoted to the scientific study of cultural acts of a people, while the second concentrates on the subject matter of that field. The latter concept includes those who see folklore as comprising any of those beliefs, customs and traditions passed on from one generation to another by a people. That is, those who agree that much folklore consists of folk stories such as ballads, fairy tales, folktales legends, and myths.

However, folklore also includes arts and crafts, dances, games, nursery rhymes, proverbs, riddles, songs, superstitions and holy days, holidays, and religious celebrations. Notwithstanding the fact that oral folklore exists in direct contrast to physical folklife, which is generally referred to as “material culture”, it has become evident that most folklorists give prominence to the expressive literature of a people when they use the term “folklore”.

On the other hand, folklife can be seen as the traditional expressive culture shared within the group: familial, nethnic, occupational, religious, and regional. Expressive culture includes a wide range of creative and symbolic forms such as folk custom, folk belief, technical skill, language, literature, art, music, play, dance, drama, ritual pageantry, traditional storytelling and other verbal arts, visual arts, architecture, the adornment and transformation of the built environment, handicraft and other material folk culture.

This is SAFOS. The Home of Southern African Folklore Society.