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The Definition of Folk Art

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The Definition of Folk Art

The term "Folk Art" was long endowed with a pejorative meaning, making reference to the uncultivated masses. Although it's better viewed today, it's lost none of its ambiguity, and all do not agree on what it designates.

In point of fact, Folk Art can become confused with the Raw Art or Naïve Art, in particular because it hardly falls within the realm of established art. Furthermore, these forms of art have in common the virtual absence of artistic training of their authors. There exist, however, certain criteria which enable us to determine if a given work can be classified or not in the Folk Arts.

Thus, we can consider as issued from Folk Art those works: made with the help of materials or traditional techniques; which come from oral tradition; which have been created by an individual or group belonging to a so-called "popular" class of a society (uneducated in the science of his art); or which are the manifestation of ethnic cultural traits.
 

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