Rael, Juan Bautista
- John Koegel
(b Arroyo Hondo, NM, Aug 14, 1900; d Menlo Park, CA, Nov 8, 1993). American folklorist and linguist. Born in a village near Taos to a Hispano (Spanish-speaking New Mexican) family that raised sheep and cattle, Rael attended Saint Michael’s College (Santa Fe) and the Christian Brothers’ College (St. Louis). He earned the BA (St. Mary’s College, Oakland, CA, 1923), MA (University of California, Berkeley, 1927), and PhD (Stanford University, 1937). New Mexican folklorist and linguist Aurelio M. Espinosa (1880–1958) guided Rael’s 1937 dissertation on New Mexican Spanish, which later supported his Cuentos Españoles de Colorado y Nuevo Mexico (1977), probably his most important study. After teaching Spanish at the University of Oregon (1927–34), he taught at Stanford University, where he remained until his retirement in 1965.
Along with Espinosa, Arthur L. Campa, Rubén Cobos, and John Donald Robb, Rael led the way in studying traditional Hispano music and folklore. He examined ...