next previous contents
Next: Ornament Previous: Dances

FOLK ART

In the simplicity of its forms and its practical application, in the reserved ornamentation and colour scheme, folk art has not departed very much form man's everyday needs. The manner in which applied art objects were executed was greatly determined by the properties of local materials - wood, flax, wool, iron, straw.

Among the surviving arts which have preserved the oldest traditions of Lithuanian folk art are Easter eggs with wax ornaments on them, the verbos or Palm Sunday flowers of the Vilnius region (they are growing in popularity in Poland too), ornamental sashes, bedspreads, tablecloths, towels, pottery, toys, towel racks, decorative distaffs, sabots, gardens" (compositions made of straw), wooden statuettes. In the last few decades paper cuttings and amateur painting have gained a lot in popularity.

Folk artists have founded the Lithuanian Folk Artists' Union, which is responsible for the supply of materials, exhibitions and sales. Although a large part of the production of art-objects on the patterns of ancient folk traditions is organized, the number of independent folk artists exhibit a tendency to increase. Since 1971 mass organized activities have been very important for the popularizing of crafts and folk art. The Kaziukas Fair, for example, held in Vilnius at the weekend nearest to March 4 since last century, attracts craftsmen not only from all over Lithuania, but also from far beyond its borders.

The best examples of ancient folk art have found their way to the Historical and Ethnographic Museum in Vilnius or to local ethnographic museums in smaller cities and towns.



next previous contents
Next: Ornament Previous: Dances

J. Kudirka "THE LITHUANIANS"

Copyright ©, 1996 Lithuanian Folk Culture Centre.