Week-long festivals and conventions are held in appreciation of folk art and its ancestry. Generations of Indians have mastered bowl carving and basket weaving. These artists make money doing what they love to do. The baskets that they weave are truly works of art. If you’ve ever purchased one, you’d be amazed at their beauty and durability.
Paintings, dance and even music are all appreciated as forms of folk art. These include square dancing, polka and practically any form of music. With so much interest in celebrating folk art, there are a few folk culture center operations in existence. The Stephen Foster folk culture center exists in the state of Florida. The first Saturday of every month the public is invited to share a poem, a story or a song.
At the folk culture center in San Antonio, Texas, dances are held and several types of dance are done. These include Contra dancing, Scottish country dancing and Polish folk dances. Located on the campus of Our Lady of the Lake, the organization was established as a non-profit entity and monthly offers the public a chance to engage in their folk art activities.
Many interesting people take part in these activities and their dress is unusual. While Scottish country dancers don’t necessarily wear kilts, but the display of their national colors, red and green are proudly displayed in hats, shoes and large, wide belts.
The Polish folk dancers are garbed in their traditional polish dress. This includes a dark colored pair of pants and a white shirt with a ruffled collar for the men and a dark colored dress that falls right above the knee, with a white “apron” type smock over the top with knee high socks and shoes that mimic tap shoes for the women. Celebrating their ancestry and the traditions of generations past, the Polish folk dancers engage in many fast-paced dances. These dances are not for the timid of heart. Most involve jumping in and out of a stainless steel tub while maintaining a quick paced dance step.
The celebrations of folk art are important family events for many people. Preserving their heritage and passing along their time honored traditions and other culturally specifics dress and even foods is of utmost importance in order not to loose touch with their origins. The next time you hear of the Polish folk dance called the “chicken dance”, you’ll know that there is usually some sense to be made out of this. The chicken dance is popular dance done at Polish wedding receptions to welcome the new bride into the family. Not just the bride and groom participate, it’s a family folk art event.