The Song of the Kedidi: The Embodiment of a Hero in a Malay Folktale as an Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Harryizman Harun
Noor Aziah Abdullah


The present study is part of a movement to safeguard Malay folktales as an unsung intangible cultural heritage (ICH). A folktale is a representation of oral traditions and expressions. This study converges on literary folktales as a revitalised form of oral folktales. As urged by UNESCO, the viability of the ICH is achievable via scientific research, among other things. Therefore, considering the small amount of study on Malay folktales at the moment, the current study endeavours to examine the folktale The Song of the Kedidi (TSoK) of its hero embodiment as one of the dramatis personae. The framework of Propp’s dramatis personae, which is based on Russian folktales, grounds the examination. This study examines whether the heroes from the Russian folktales embody TSoK. The thematic qualitative text analysis (TQTA) was employed to examine TSoK. It was conducted in Atlas.ti environment to assure rigour and trustworthiness. The study’s findings suggest that TSoK embodies heroes from Russian folktales. However, a conundrum exists in the embodiment of the hero. There is a conflict between the dramatis personae’s role, and such an enigma calls for the involvement of other dramatis personae, which is reserved for future works. As a crusade to safeguard the Malay folktales as the unsung ICH, the findings create a platform for scholars of similar interests to pursue the examination of heroes in other Malay folktales. Most importantly, the findings are necessary for endless recreation and transmission of knowledge to safeguard the Malay folktale as a living heritage. This act echoes one of UNESCO’s formal education measures to foster society’s respect, recognition, and awareness of the ICH.

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How to Cite
Harun, H. ., & Abdullah, N. A. (2023). The Song of the Kedidi: The Embodiment of a Hero in a Malay Folktale as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Journal of Communication, Language and Culture, 3(1), 1–18.