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History

Folk art expresses cultural identity by conveying shared community values and aesthetics. Folk art reflects traditional art forms of diverse community groups — ethnic, tribal, religious, occupational, geographical, age- or gender-based — who identify with each other and society at large.
However with the passage of time, advent of “modern” education & dynamic entertainment (cinema & television), this art form was soon overshadowed. As a result, many folk art forms perished. Only a fraction of these are still alive, but still struggling. The artists often live in abject poverty and many have given up on the art as a means to living.

With these arts being an important link in our cultural history, it is thus important to revive as much as we can. Fr.V.P.Joseph has strived immensely towards the preservation and promotion of folk art. To equip them so as to face the challenges of modernism, he identified the historical roots, ie the coastal folk arts ,which were their assets in yester years and was raised into the main field to attain a glorious and harmonious living .This was a golden step which marked the beginning of National Heritage Study centre

Folk Arts as an Effective Mass Media

The word ‘Tradition’ implying customs, habits and way of life existed in a society for a long period of continuity from time immemorial and practiced from one generation to another. It can be transmitted through written scriptures or by word of mouth. The nomadic primitive people sharing a common cultural heritage based on oral tradition are generally said to have a folk culture.
Oral tradition: These include mostly verbal arts or expressive literature consisting of spoken, sung and voiced forms of traditional utterances like songs, tales, poetry, ballads, anecdotes, rhymes, proverbs and elaborate epics.
Material culture: These are visible aspects of folk behaviour such as skills, recipes and formulae as displayed in rural arts and crafts, traditional motifs, architectural design, clothes, fashions, farming, fishing and various other types of tools and machinery.
Social folk customs: These are areas of traditional life, which emphasize the group rather than the individual skills and performances. They include large family and community observances and relate to rites of passages such as birth, initiation, marriage and death or annual celebrations, festivals, fairs, ritual and ceremonial gatherings, market occasions and rural meets.
Performing arts: These consist of traditional music, masquerades, dance and drama.

Among these, the Oral tradition and the Performing arts appear to be the main media of communication. Storytellers, singers, minstrels and other kinds of folk entertainers have acted for centuries as sources for the transmission and dissemination of news and information through face-to-face live communication. Families, social groups and community gatherings served as the main flora of communication and sources for feedback for the folk performers. The values, attitudes, beliefs and culture of the people are propagated, reinforced and perpetuated through these folk forms. The issues in a society are depicted in the form of satire by the folk artists for curing societal evils.
Being ancient forms of art, the folk media is very close to the heart of the people. Its appeal is universal and its understanding is direct and at personal level. So the folk media can effectively be used as mass communication among ruralities and urbanities.

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National Heritage Study Center & Kreupasanam Ranga Kalapeedam
Kalavoor,Alappuzha Dist.
Kochi-688522,

Tele : +91 478-2860595
Mob : +91 9447285400
email : frvpjoseph@kreupasanam.in
 
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