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  • Writer's pictureJuliana Loomer

5 Reasons why Folk Arts Endure the Test of Time

Across generations and continents, traditional art forms continue to captivate and endure. But what is it about folk arts that make them so beloved over time?

Let's explore five compelling reasons

behind their enduring appeal:

1. Cultural identity through appreciation of folk arts.
In our modern day, identity and connection to that identity is a concept this is almost overused in the media. The constant overuse of those terms is information that tells me people are looking for a kind of belonging, a community, that our modern culture isn’t providing. Regardless of where you come from, folk arts serve as a repository of cultural heritage, preserving the unique aspects of communities. Whether through music, dance, storytelling, or crafts, these art forms reflect the beliefs, values, and customs passed down through generations. They offer a window into the soul of a people, fostering a sense of belonging and pride in one's roots. When we engage with art from our heritage, we can feel connected to a long line of ancestors and traditions that the modern society has forgotten to give us.

2. Feeling a connection to the Past.

We may not have know our past relatives, but the art and music that they grew up with gives us a link to their lived experience that we can also connect to. Folk arts provide comforting links to a past that we may have never experienced until now. By engaging with traditions we forge a connection with those who came before us, grounding ourselves in history and tradition.

Ever heard an Irish fiddle tune at a pub? So have millions of others including those who composed the music possibly centuries before you were born. Even if you are from China, you can feel for a few minutes what it is like to be Irish. Ever visit a silk weaving studio and touched fresh silk textile? It can give you a real sense of what the ancestors of the modern Chinese felt when they created and wore their finest clothing on their most important days. Folk arts foster connection to other cultures too, enhancing our own experience of life. We have a very specific culture to thank for pizza. We have a very specific culture to thank for hieroglyphic writing. We have very specific culture to thank for chocolate. What would our life be like without pizza, writing and chocolate?

3. Experiencing a sense of community through the arts.

Folk arts often flourish within tight-knit communities where they are shared and celebrated. Whether it's a barn dance, a quilting bee, or a storytelling circle, these communal gatherings foster bonds of friendship and solidarity. Through collaborative creation and collective participation, folk arts strengthen social cohesion and create lasting memories. Here in Norway, each town and region has its own special type of rosemaling design that is usually embroidered on traditional dress. It is so normalised in the culture that most Norwegians can look at a pattern and know which area in the country those people come from or identify with. 

4. Folk arts are authentic.

Unlike mainstream art forms which may prioritize innovation, technology or commercial appeal, folk arts are rooted in authenticity and sincerity. They emerge organically from lived experiences, often passed down orally or through hands-on apprenticeship. This genuineness offers a refreshing antidote to mass-produced culture. 

5. Folk arts have a timeless beauty.

Despite the passage of time, the beauty of folk arts remains undiminished. Whether it's the haunting melody of a traditional ballad, the intricate patterns of folk embroidery, or the rhythmic movements of a traditional dance, these art forms possess a timeless allure. Their simplicity and elegance transcend cultural boundaries, speaking to the universal human experience. Throughout Scandinavia, there are museums dedicated to local traditional arts from each region. If you ever have a chace to visit, you must not miss them.

Folk arts endure because they speak to the history, handwork, and a soulful expression of art. They celebrate our shared heritage, foster community bonds, and offer solace in an ever-changing world.

See my Pinterest below for folk art ideas for your projects and decor and make sure to sign up for my email list to get updates and discounts on my folk art creations.

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