Unit Study: Folk Art from Around the World by Karine Bauch
Folk art is defined as "Art originating among the common people of a nation or region and usually reflecting their traditional culture, especially everyday or festive items produced or decorated by unschooled artists." 1
Every culture has its folk arts - music, visual arts, stories, and dances. These are the expressions of the common uneducated man. Understanding the folk arts of a people group is essential if you are seeking to understand the heart of the people. Elements of their religious and moral beliefs are often expressed through these creative means.
Today, with the increase in technology and globalization, very little folk art is produced and practiced in highly developed countries, while more traditional cultures still honor and practice these arts. We have to look back several decades to see the heart and spirit that made many of these countries strong.
Music: Many kinds of folk songs are sung by every culture, but the most common kinds are
gospel or religious songs
songs of war
songs of sadness
Visual Art: includes many types of decorated objects created by unschooled people, including
rugs and housewares
Stories: Heroes of each culture are captured in their folklore and legends. Various types include
Tales of origins (how something got its start)
Dance: The traditional dances of a culture that are performed in public and passed on to each generation reflect the energy and vivacity of the people. These dances are performed by the common people and are learned informally by watching and participating. Some familiar traditional dances include:
Download the document below to read the entire article including links for studying the folk art of the USA, Jamaica, Japan, and Scotland.