You’re everything a big bad wolf could want…
This is cool as shit. Thanks to Lee Dugatkin for sharing on Facebook. Jamshid Tehrani in the Department of Anthropology & Centre for the Coevolution of Biology & Culture at Durham University has conducted a phylogenetic analysis of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ & related cross-cultural folktales. I’d heard about this type of analyses just recently from Baba Brinkman when he was in town. I believe it was the group of UK biologists who prompted him to write the “Rap Guide to Evolution” who had also been involved in a collaboration with literature scholars using phylogenetics software. Maybe this is that group.
They found, in a nutshell, that the story-of-someone-&-something-that-eats-her did not develop in Asia & travel to Europe & elsewhere via the Silk Road, as previously deduced based on analyses of major themes. By analyzing, essentially, the overall numbers of shared traits, they determined that the story originated in Europe & traveled to Asia. A later variant evolved into the European version crystallized by the Grimm Bros.
This will be so awesome to share with “Evolution for Everyone” students in the Spring when we talk about evolutionary applications to the humanities. At least I think so.
And it makes me think of Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs.