General Folklore is commonly divided into many areas which includes painting, dances, folk craft, folk songs stemming from their origin and oral traditions. Folklorists look at the objects that surround the story or tale, be that in the form of dance, painting, community circle and it’s costumes which are an intricate part of the effect of image projecting or imagination, through the practices of a material culture. Various cloth items and ritualistic traditions of cloth, their sacred preparations and decorations add energy when done in performance, the object or living aspect of objects and dress is a defined folkloric expression.
Ritual towels, called rushnyky, are especially important in Russian and Ukrainian culture is a folk traditions and have many similarities to the ancient weaver women before them, like the long forgotten labyrinth dances of the Greek Ariadne and her prehistoric dance rituals that were lost when written languages were created and omit women’s teachings.
Among the many uses of material objects such as sacred dress or charms, amulets, are the protection of the body or in a larger sense, the home and of people going through important life transitions, such as marriage, divorce or death. Material culture also includes the study of tools and tool making, pottery, woodcarving, glass painting, and the like which are some of the oldest forms of cultural art, crafts and weaving.
Folklore actions can be considered a form of dramatic expressions of the soul, which are more about the ritualization of dances and movements. Ritual is usually further divided into those rites that mark stages in a human life and those rites that mark the progress of nature’s calendar year which s the lunar cycles. Life & Lunar rites are those surrounding a birth and death and the ritual of the wedding or divorce or even death. Yearly cycle rituals include Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Autumn Equinox and Summer Solstice, and these modern or ancient various holidays marking the return of the dead (which in matriarchal or grandmother shamanic cultures around the world means reincarnation), among many rites, expressed in many different modern culture, they are known as the celebrations of religion or pagan holidays.
Folklore birthed from a previous millennia tradition of oral or traditional storytelling, which were songs, a few thousand years later, it was integrated with the study of words, or what is called literature. Folklorists first became interested in the social gatherings around the storyteller or singer of long magical folktales. Patriarchal societies have used epics and tales to further their military or land possession traditions, but originally the folklorists songs were to connect the community in a ritual of joy and charms.
Ruin and renewal, the death and rebirth rights, have all come from the many grandmother (goddess) traditions of all cultures, which are based on repeating behaviors of nature, animals, clouds and their meaning for survival of our natural instincts to be sharp, our ability to find food and our ability to keep order and peace without war or violence. These have been integrated into modern societies after the 12th century in the forms of esoteric, symbolic, psychological and artist forms.
For example the snake, bird and woman are the oldest symbols for renewal on the earth and are found in the most ancient burials in the forms of amulets, effigy and story. Ancient people no different than modern people, just without the need for technology, but a need for connection as a community, tribe or clan remains the same, for survival. Without art as a renewal process, when community lives without corporations or large institutions, then art is not a pleasure, but is a mandator ritualistic fabric for survival and healing.
It is useful to distinguish oral poetry from oral prose. In addition to epics, oral poetry includes historical songs, religious songs, ballads, lyric songs, and songs connected to rituals, such as wedding songs and funeral laments. Prose is folktales, legends, memorates, and fabulates, along with other genres. Because written language had destroyed much of the stories of earth, the relationship to nature, new ones have to fall into remembrance, only the artists, musicians, dancers, storytellers and shamans can return the meaning behind the story of earth and her people before 4,000 BCE. And it is important that we do so, not for any other reason but to reconnect to the earth, and that heals our ancient souls. A distinction between what is fantasy, which has no basis in ancient traditions or its teachings moves into modern era of just the mind without body and soul, these are fantastic stories not based on events that are seen but sensed, some fantasy like science fiction, does express the real, its just not seen in the physical (yet).
The more ritual traditions such as folktales, indigenous art and genres about things believed to have actually happened as a human teaching or from our dreams move into the spiritual side with or without the input of spirituality, such as legends or cave art and petroglyff that has been honored. It is also useful to distinguish oral traditions that are used in the context of ritual, such as wedding songs, summer songs, or even harvest songs, from other songs and prose that have no set ritual function like love songs.
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