The bunyip, drop bears, yowie…these are just a few names that pop into my head when I think of Australian folklore/mythologies. These are a series of tales that have developed and sustained Australian culture over many years.
I’ve always considered myself to be culturally understanding, specifically of Australian Aboriginal dreamtime stories and their culture significance. After entering the realm of BCM320, I found that there is more to my understanding of Asian culture than I am aware of. Thus, for my digital artefact I chose to research the topic of mythologies and folklores from an Asian country. Every country has their traditional land owners and history and I believed this was the perfect opportunity to research into the lesser known traditions of an Asian culture from a western perspective.
I decided to choose the country I knew the least about overall and I chose the Philippines, to undergo a field study of Filipino folklore and mythologies.
During my research into the topic I watched a variety of videos that looked at different mythologies and then chose two to focus on (due to time constraints). In order to determine two mythologies, I looked into the Ellis reading to determine if there is a topic we favour due to our own experiences.
Ellis highlights how “when researchers do autoethnography, they retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and/or by possessing a particular cultural identity” (Ellis, 2011). Carrying on from this, Mitch Allen highlights that “auto-ethnographers must look at experience analytically. Otherwise [you’re] telling [your] story—and that’s nice—but people do that on Oprah [a U.S.-based television program] every day. Why is your story more valid than anyone else’s?”
So, what made Filipino mythology more significant?
I bought it down to the understanding that, as an auto-ethnogrpaher I wanted to produce a piece of work that encompassed and included “aesthetic and evocative thick descriptions of personal and interpersonal experience, which can be accomplished by first discerning patterns of cultural experience evidenced by field notes, interviews, and/or artefacts, and then describing these patterns using facets of storytelling” (Ellis, 2011).
More information regarding my research process can be found here.