What is Folk Art Style?

All art expresses one's inner creative ideas and personality through an artistic medium. There are countless types of art in the world, and each one is special. One of the most historically rich and interesting forms of art is folk art. We’ll dive further into what folk art style is and why it’s so important to many cultures worldwide.

Folk Art Definition

Folk art is defined as a classic decorative, musical, or practical art of different cultures or regions. Folk art is usually unique to the people of a specific location and used as an expression of society. 

Folk art is steeped in grassroots history and often distinguished from the academic, self-conscious, or cosmopolitan forms of artistic expression. Folk art is the artistic expression of the various traditions and cultures around the world in simple words. 

Traditional Folk Art

Traditional folk art is ingrained in many traditions and customs originating from historically old and important cultures. Traditional folk art expresses a culture's identity by communicating shared aesthetics and values of society. Traditional folk art often consists of utilitarian and ornamental media, including wood, metal, cloth, clay, paper, and more.

Folk Art Examples

As with all art forms, there are numerous types of folk art and far too many for us to cover in one article. There are many examples of folk art from cultures around the world. For example, two countries with some of the most varied examples of folk art are India and Mexico.

Indian Folk Art

There are over 50 types of known Indian folk art reflecting India's rich and diverse cultures. However, more folk arts are still being discovered and more are still lost to time and erosion. 

Of these Indian folk arts, some of the most well-known types are:

  • Aipan Art: Originating from the Northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Aipan Art is an art form that encapsulates Jain, Buddhist, and Hindu themes. Aipan art consists of geometric prints on paper cloth or walls, which are created for special occasions, household ceremonies, and rituals. 
  • Assamese Miniature Painting: Usually drawn on tulpap, agar leaves, and wooden plates. They are between 1 and 24 inches in length and 8 to 12 inches in width, hence the title of miniature art. As the name suggests, they originated from and were popularised in the state of Assam. 
  • Bhojpuri Painting: The earliest traces of Bhojpuri painting are found in Uttar Pradesh, dating back to 1300 B.C. It has played an essential role in its influence on art. 

Mexican Folk Art

Mexican folk art has a very distinct look that is almost instantly recognizable as Mexican. There are many different types of folk art found across Mexico, reflecting the many indigenous cultures of the country.

  • Alebrije folk art: Alebrije arts are some of the most well-known Mexican folk arts. Traditional wood carving crafts, wooden sculptures, and paper-m?ché have a long history in Oaxaca, inspired by the illness-induced dreams of Pedro Linares. Mexican carvers create bright, fantastical creatures which can be found on practically every street corner in Oaxaca.
  • Huichol folk art: The native Huichol people create elaborate heavy pieces of jewelry made of thousands of tiny and brightly colored beads.
  • State of Mexico folk art: The Trees of Life are well known in the State of Mexico. These are elaborately produced and colorfully decorated items that usually depict biblical stories or other tales.

Types of Folk Art

Different types of folk art include the examples of art explained above. The examples mentioned above of folk art are just the tip of the iceberg of folk art in India and Mexico. 

We have not even begun to scratch the surface of folk art worldwide, in culturally rich countries and across Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Should you try to list the various types of folk art found all over the world, you would have a never-ending list.

However, across cultures, some types of folk art are common, for example:

  • Pottery such as decorative plates
  • Textiles including crochet, embroidery, felt-making, knitting, lace-making, macrame, and quilting
  • Hand carvings of statues, talismans, or practical objects

What is Folk Art Painting?

Folk art paintings are traditional paintings created for religious events or occasions. Unlike fin art paintings, folk art paintings serve a specific cultural significance and are created for rituals or traditional purposes. 

Folk Art Definition for Kids

If one were to boil it down to the simplest words to explain it to a child, folk art is the art used to understand the lifestyle and society of people when people made the art. 

Folk art is a rich medium that covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture. So next time you travel, take the time to visit local markets or folk art exhibits to drink in the rich artistic history the world offers.

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