Traditional folk culture

by Barbora Morongová

The traditional folk culture of Slovakia constitutes a rich treasury of unique and original cultural phenomena and manifestations, which were created and experienced mainly in rural areas and passed down from generation to generation orally. In this treasury there are represented various customs and ceremonies linked to the different parts of life and calendar; traditional folk songs, music, dance, theatre, tales, proverbs, sayings, crafts, clothing, food, building, architecture, and many other tangible and intangible manifestations, which have their distinctive atmosphere in each location and region.
Traditional folkloric culture comprises the sum of the material and non-material products of human activity created in traditional communities and connected with the social layers called folk, which in Slovakia were constituted especially by farmers, workers and other non-privileged social strata. It was passed down from generation to generation orally, usually by imitation, and less frequently in written form. It was significantly affected by the country’s agrarian character. The traditional folk culture as an integral and living system gradually declined with the modernisation of society; however several of its features became sources of cultural and social identity and are preserved as manifestations of local, regional or national cultural heritage.
From the factual point of view traditional folk culture is divided into material and non-material culture, part of which is the folklore.