Friday, April 6, 2018
F: Febold Feboldson
A Swedish-American plainsman from Nebraska, Febold is an American folk hero who could influence the weather as a cloudbuster/rainmaker. In one tale, he hypnotized frogs into croaking so loudly that a) the clouds thought it was thunder and began raining, or, depending on the version, b) the Native American rain god got a headache from all the noise and sent rain to shut the frogs up.
Febold is often in the same class as Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan, American heroes of lore who are perhaps not actually based on true folk tales but rather "invented" by writers. In the 1950s, this practice resulted in the coining of the term fakelore, meaning manufactured folklore presented as if genuinely traditional. But stories are fluid and change over time, and it can be difficult to draw absolute lines around them. So now, you're more likely to see the term folklorism in reference to the adaptation, or outright invention, of folklore.