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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paul Bunyan is a lumberjack figure in North American folklore and tradition. One of the most famous and popular North American folklore heroes, he is usually described as a giant as well as a lumberjack of unusual skill, and is often accompanied in stories by his animal companion, Babe the Blue Ox.
The character originated in folktales circulated among lumberjacks in the Northeastern United States and eastern Canada, first appearing in print in a story published by Northern Michigan journalist James MacGillivray in 1906. However, the stories found widespread popularity after they were reworked by William Laughead for a logging company's advertising campaign beginning in 1914. The 1922 edition of Laughead's tales inspired many others, and the character thereafter became widely known across the United States and Canada. As Bunyan's popularity came only after the stories appeared in print, some commentators have thought of him as an inauthentic " fakelore" character.
AuthenticityAccording to writer James Stevens in his 1925 book Paul Bunyan, French Canadians gave birth to the tales during the Papineau Rebellion of 1837, when they revolted against the young English Queen. This, some have thought, would probably explain the origin of Bunyan's last name since "Bonyenne" is a colloquial French-Canadian expression of surprise and astonishment meaning "Good Grief" or "My Goodness". However, as John Brown's detailed study of the 17th century writer, John Bunyan, showed, Bunyan is a well-known English surname, Norman in origin (Buignon), of a Norman family first recorded as living in the Bedford area in the late 12th century. The name is also found in Normandy in the early Middle Ages.
Description above from the Wikipedia article Paul Bunyan, licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here. Community Pages are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, anyone associated with the topic.
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