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The music and the songs, the cozy colors of the home rugs, the enchanting embroideries on the costumes, the beautiful people and handkerchiefs - that's it!

It will be almost four decades since "Dello Haidutin" came out, performed by Valya Balkanska, orbiting the spacecraft from the American Voyager spacecraft as a musical message from our planet to the alien mind. There is hardly a Bulgarian who does not feel a sense of national pride in the fact that a folk song from the Zlatograd region is included in the Golden Plate, seeking contact with foreign civilizations.

The music and the songs from the different parts of our country, the colors of the home rugs, towels and carpets, the enchanting embroideries on the costumes, the beautiful people and handkerchiefs, the legends and more, and more… All this represents the Bulgarian folk art.

Art is a human activity for getting to know and reflecting the world through images - material, verbal, musical or kinetic, ie through movement (Vakarelski, 1974, 623). Art is a supreme form of aesthetic assimilation and transformation of the world. The term is used in two ways: as a synonym for perfect mastery and in the sense of artistic creativity. When works of art are created by a "non-book man" who does not even associate his name with them, and when they are perceived by the broad masses of which he is a member, then we speak of folk art. Folk art as part of folk culture is characterized by its anonymity, mass and traditional way of transmitting the skill.

Very little is known about the development of Bulgarian folk art in the first centuries of our history. There is more information about the period XVI - XVII century, when changes became known in the general culture and art of the Bulgarians. This is a significant consequence of the economic and social change of the world. Bulgarian folk art made progress and reached its peak in the nineteenth century. Today it is an integral part of our contemporary Bulgarian culture.

Българското народно изкуство

Depending on the material from which they are built or with the help of which they are expressed, works of folk art are classified into the following genres (branches): folk art, also referred to as folk applied art; oral folk poetry, also called folklore, and folk music and folk dances.

Folk applied art, in turn, is manifested in the carving of figures of wood and bone, in the skillful carving on them, in the weaving of harmoniously colored fabrics, in the decoration of clothing and other fabrics with embroidery of multicolored threads, in the masterful forging of iron and others. metals.

In making works of folk art, the masters had in mind two principles - magical and aesthetic. In the early period of human society, the need for protection from invisible evil forces and decoration was directly related to everyday practice, with the magical principle prevailing.

Българското народно изкуство

Ritual statuettes, various totems and amulets were made of materials that were most accessible: stone, wood, animal skin and bone. Over time, the second principle, the aesthetic, increasingly prevailed over the first, but did not yield to the practicality of the products. The masters were very well aware that a large part of their works have their place in the everyday life of the Bulgarians.

The attitude to folk art in different socio-economic formations was different. In a slave-owning society it was tolerated, and in feudal society it was persecuted as pagan. During Romanticism (XVIII - XIX century) folk art was already the subject of study by ethnography and other humanities.

In our time, very good conditions have been created for the development of folk art. There are National and a number of regional chambers of crafts in Bulgaria, which, among other things, provide favorable opportunities for the expression of Bulgarian folk art.

Author: Stefan Bonev

Sources: Hr. Vakarelski, "Ethnography of Bulgaria"

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