CONCEPTUALIZING THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL NATURE OF FOLK PRACTICE AS ANTHROPOLOGY OF PERFORMANCEJournal: SHODHKOSH: JOURNAL OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS (Vol.3, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2022-01-13
Authors : M. Ramakrishnan Subhashree Sahoo;
Page : 321-340
Keywords : Folklore; Rituals; Festivals; Environment; Epistemology; Etiology; Myths;
Folklore is a dynamic process, and it appropriates the changes in society while simultaneously retaining the elements of tradition and the past to ascertain its continuity of tradition and contemporary relevance. Considering folk practices, the earlier studies had encountered the stereotypical notions constructed around the folklore materials and folklore processes. And some of these notions implied the characteristics of folk practices as traditional, rurality, outdatedness, superstitious, archaic, static, not contemporary, and, to the extent, as irrational. Thus, the later studies on folk practices had to prove the role of folklore in explicating the complex relationship humans have with the natu1re, cosmos and supernatural on the one hand and in contemplating the reflections of their creativity, unconsciousness, and their cognitive encounters in their socio-cultural life on the other hand. However, there are two striking features, namely, anonymity and community representation, that make folklore a more individual creation with community ownership, and it facilitates the study of folklore folk practices as a first step towards understanding the dimensions of community life. Therefore, while representing the ethos of a community, folklore and folk practices show inclusiveness and accommodativeness by providing either intersection between different communities or by identifying points of convergence or divergence. By taking a few examples from the Santal community of Odisha, this article emphasizes the point that folk practices are rich and meaningful sources that play a significant role in understanding the community life by relating them with “cognition and values” Dundes (1975) and also by making us realize how they “bring unconscious content into consciousness” (1975: xi).
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