The Madurese folk story project is one component of a larger endeavor of a linguistic analysis of the Madurese language (which has resulted in the publication of a grammar in 2010—A grammar of Madurese and several scholarly papers). The folk tales provide a wealth of examples for linguistic analysis, but more importantly the stories included here promote the Madurese culture, afford the Madurese people an opportunity to reflect on and more deeply appreciate their own language and rich culture, and provide others a chance to learn about one of the major population groups in Indonesia.
Davies is set to embark on a new NSF-funded project in collaboration with faculty at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia to document the language of the Baduy, a small group whose language and culture are threatened by the encroachment of the modern world. One component of that undertaking will include folk tales and historical narratives like those in the Madurese project.
Learn more about the project and hear the storytellers at http://madurese.lib.uiowa.edu!