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

Main Article Content

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.

Article Details

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.


Ab Jabar, N., & Ghazali, M. F. M. (2021). Komunikasi bahasa sindiran dalam seloka Pak Pandir dan Pak Kaduk. Jurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication, 37(1), 364-378.

Ajayi, A., & Iwuagwu, S. (2012). Reflection on moral education in Igbo folktale. Journal of Qualitative Education, 8(2), 1-6. %20education/Ajayi4.pdf

Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2019, February 9). Hero stories give us wisdom.

Bartlett, A. (2020). Response. Mothering bodies and sensations: The sound of lamentation—Hearing maternal academic subjects. In L. Henderson, A. Black, & S. Garvis (Eds.), (Re) birthing the Feminine in Academe: Creating Spaces of Motherhood in Patriarchal Contexts(pp. 129–137). Palgrave Macmillan.

Bascom, W. (1965, 01/01). The forms of folklore: Prose narratives. The Journal of American Folklore, 78(307), 3-20.

Friese, S. (2020, December 11). Visualising relationships in networks. 12/11/visualizingrelationshipswithnetworks/

Gee, L. L. S., Pangayan, V. B., & Kordmodanlou, D. (2022). Kimaragang folklore game app development:’E’Gadung’. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, 25, 1-13.

Haryono, H., & Ummah, N. W. (2022). Confucian values in Chinese, Japanese, And Indonesian folklore (morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp folklore)First International Conference on Literature Innovation in Chinese Language (LIONG 2021), Purwokerto, Indonesia.

Hawkins, J.M., Agnello, M. F., & Lucey, T. A. (2015). Villain or hero: Student interpretations of African trickster tales. Multicultural Education, 22(3/4), 20.

Hedel, N. E. F., & Subet, M. F. (2020). Strange events in folklore “Hikayat Nakhoda Muda”: Inquisitive semantics analysis. Asian People Journal (APJ), 3(2), 147-160.

Hwang, S. (2008). Utilising qualitative data analysis software: A review of Atlas. ti. Social Science Computer Review, 26(4), 519–527.

Juanis, B., Saleh, Y., Ghazali, M., Mahat, H., Hashim, M., Nayan, N., Hayati, R., & Kurnia, R. (2022). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of youths towards the intangible cultural heritage elements of Dusun ethnic in Malaysian environment. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science.

Kim, H.-r. (2010). The role of folktales today. pdf/The%20Role%20of%20Folktales%20Today.pdf

King, V. (2021). Malaysia: The essential guide to customs & culture. Kuperard.

Koh, J., & Ho, S. (2009). Culture and customs of Singapore and Malaysia. Greenwood Press. Kuckartz, U. (2014). Qualitative text analysis: A guide to methods, practice and using software. Sage.

Lantowa, J. (2021). The morphology of the Gorontalo folklore Perang Panipi: A study of Vladimir Propp’s narratologyProsiding Seminar Nasional dan Internasional HISKI, Palu, Indonesia.

Masanat, F. E., & Shanat, M. B. (2021). Character analysis of Ensera Wat Bujang Sugi through morphological analysis theory of Vladimir Propp. NVEO Natural Volatiles & Essential Oils Journal 8(4), 10291-10299.

Matveeva, E. (2016). Reconsidering the tradition: The Odinic hero as saga protagonistUniversity of Nottingham]. phd_matveeva_2.pdf

Ministry of Information Communications and Culture. (2006). Malaysian national heritage act 2005. The Commissioner of Law Revision, Malaysia. Retrieved October 20 from

Nhung, P. T. H. (2016). Folktales as a valuable rich cultural and linguistic resource to teach a foreign language to young learners. International Journal of Education, Culture and Society, 1(1), 23-28.

Osman, S. A. (2020). Re(con)figuring the nenek kebayan through folktale adaptation: Malaysian folktales as literary and cultural heritage. In S. P. Gabriel (Ed.), Making Heritage in Malaysia(pp. 163–184). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

Palmer, B. C., Sun, L., & Leclere, J. T. (2012). Students learn about Chinese culture through the folktale. Multicultural Education, 19(2), 49-54.

Peow, S. H. (2016). A comparative study of Malay and Chinese trickster tales: Sang kancil, the rabbit and the rat. Kajian Malaysia, 34(2), 59-73. km2016.34.2.3

Petrillo, P. L. (2019). The legal protection of the intangible cultural heritage: A comparative perspective. Springer.

Pradiptha, A. P. (2018). The role of the villain as a determinant of the existence of the main character. E-Structural (English Studies on Translation, Culture, Literature, and Linguistics), 1(01), 24–38.

Propp, V. (1968). Morphology of the folktale (2nd ed.). University of Texas Press.

Propp, V. (1997). Theory and history of folklore(A. Y. Martin & R. P. Martin, Trans.; 4th ed., Vol. 5). The University of Minnesota Press.

Prykhodko, D. (2014). Slackers, fools, robbersand thieves: Fairy tales and the folk imagination

Puteh, O., & Said, A. (2010). 366 a collection of Malaysian folk tales(12th ed.). Utusan Publications and Distributors Sdn Bhd.

Radzi, S. B. M. (2015). Si Tanggang moden dan perubahan makna dalam cerita bermotifkan anak derhaka. Jurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication, 31(2), 247-261.

Ravitch, S. M., & Carl, N. M. (2021). Qualitative research: Bridging the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological(2nd ed.). Sage Publications.

Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Elam, G., Tennat, R., & Rahim, N. (2014). Designing and selecting samples. In R. Jane, L. Jane, N. Carol McNaughton, & O. Rachel (Eds.), Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers(2nd ed.). Sage Publications Inc.

Rosand, E. (1979). The descending tetrachord: An emblem of lament. The Musical Quarterly, 65(3), 346–359.

Schreier, M. (2012). Qualitative content analysis in practice(1st ed.). Sage Publications.

Schreier, M. (2013). Qualitative content analysis. In F. Uwe (Ed.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis(pp. 171–183). SAGE Publications Ltd.

UNESCO. (2020). 2003 Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. Retrieved October 22 from Basic_Texts-_2020_version-EN.pdf

Writing Tips. (2019, December 12). Catch vs capture vs trap vs snare vs entraps vs ensnare vs bag.