The Power of Tradition(?): Folk Revival Groups as Bearers of Folk Culture



Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Folklore Revival Movements in Europe post 1950
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Czech Lands; traditional folk culture; folklorism; folk revival movement; folk revival groups
Description A growing interest in rural folk culture among the intelligentsia could be seen throughout Europe in the nineteenth century. This often had a symbolic aim of fi nding–or confi rming–a national identity, which was in line with the philosophies of Pre-Romanticism and Romanticism prevalent at the time. A similar trend could be found in the Czech Lands in those days. The turn of the twentieth century saw the demise of many archaic manifestations of folk culture in the everyday life of the rural population; that, however, marked the beginning of their “second life”. This trend continued in the fi rst half of the twentieth century. Some traditional manifestations of culture were still vivid in the memories of their bearers, while others were presented in new contexts. The other notable phenomenon was the manipulation of folk traditions in the name of social ideologies. This was particularly marked in Czech society during the Nazi occupation and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when the Communist party took over. State-supported folklorism grew particularly strong after World War Two, when huge numbers of folk revival groups were established. Folk traditions were thus carried on not only by individuals living their everyday lives within their communities, but also by individuals taking part in the folk revival movement.