As I understand it an acceptable definition of stories in the oral tradition are those which the people formulate, pick up, and carry along as part of their cultural freight. These stories are told habitually by the people. Folklore is said to be in the oral tradition. Dundes states that the most common criterion for a definition of folklore is its means of transmission that is, orally. He clarifies however that materials other than folklore are also orally conveyed. Therefore oral transmission itself is not sufficient to distinguish folklore from non-folklore. On the other hand, if a story is transmitted only in print and had never been in oral tradition, it would be considered a “literary production based upon a folk model, but this is not the same as the folk model itself.”
“The term ‘folk’ can refer to any group of people whatsoever who share at least one common factor. It does not matter what the linking factor is—it could be a common occupation, language, or religion—but what is important is that a group formed for whatever reason will have some traditions which it calls its own.”
Folklore, according to Dundes and others, includes forms from major to minor such as epics, myths, legends, fairytales, fables, proverbs, riddles, songs, jokes, insults, and toasts to nursery rhymes. Street vendors cries and prayers can also be added to the list. Games, symbols, quilt designs, and festivals are, interestingly, non-verbal forms of folklore.
Folklore is also common to all people.
“No group of people, however remote or however simple their technology, has ever been discovered which does not employ some form of folklore. Because of this and because the same tales and proverbs may be known to both, folklore is a bridge between literate and non-literate societies.”