Answer: William Thoms a British antiquarian invented the word “folklore” in 1846. Folklore has always been linked to ecology and has endured; it is the human relationship to nature and time.
The term “folk” may be used to describe any group of individuals who have at least one thing in common. It makes no difference what the connecting element is– it might be a shared vocation, language, or religion– what matters is that a group forms for whatever reason it chooses to name its own.
Oral tradition literature is the primary source of folk literature. To read the past in the present, it relates to archives, buildings, monuments, and archaeological sites. It is often noticed that mainstream art and literary genres never objectively or inclusively portrayed previous facts of existence. As a result, researchers rely on folk literature to explain a wide range of social undercurrents, which, obviously, has a tight relationship with all social sciences.
The origin of folk literature is founded on the beliefs and widespread conviction that the elements prevalent in nature possess phenomenal force and are sensitive to the same degree as any other human person. Some of these ideas are seen to have institutionalised friendly qualities, while others may have institutionalised adversarial powers. As a result, out of fear, practises of praying to both god and evil have become institutionalised. Songs, prayers, folk tales, myths, gods, goddesses, and consternation stories were commonly constructed for these powers’ petitions. Puranas, Rigveda, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Upanishadas constitute the repository of Indian culture. The best examples of folk Indian literature include Narayan Pandit’s Hitopadesha, Gunadhya’s Brihatkatha, Somdeva’s Kathasaritasagara, Shivada’s Vetalpanchvimashti, and Sukhsaptati and Jataka Tales. Although most of these texts and literature are written in Sanskrit, substantial efforts have been made to look into the origins and development of folk literary traditions in them.
Folk culture cannot be defined only on the basis of geographical or literary considerations. It can be shared by persons of the same race, gender, religion, or profession. It has the ability to cut past geographical barriers and have close human-to-human engagement. Technology and contemporary civilization can also influence it. Net surfers, for example, might have their own unique folk culture that sets them apart from the rest of the globe. Folk indicates a sense of collectivity since it is a shared experience shared by several people. A folk culture cannot exist until it is shared and collectively generated, even if it is created by a single person. It is not required for all members of the people to know one another. They might be far apart and unconnected in any way. The term “folk” does not always mean “rural” or “lower class.” There may be a sizable urban literate population. Jokes, songs, tales, and myths have all been influenced by television, computers, and the telephone. It has evolved into a powerful instrument for transmitting and generating new folk cultures.
Folk culture is alive and well in the United States. Folklore was thought to be a dead culture in the nineteenth century, however this is incorrect. It is inextricably linked to any region’s rich, ever-changing cultural legacy. Its meaning and value may shift throughout time, but its essence remains the same. Certain jokes and proverbs, for example, have lost their societal importance yet remain part of folk culture. Folklore conjures up images of deception and imagination in the minds of many people. Folk tales and legends are sometimes said to be based on myths and inaccurate facts. While this is true for some types of folklore, such as tales and stories, it is incorrect to assume that all kinds of folk culture contain elements of deception. It is very much based on people’s everyday lives, and certain forms, such as theatre and performance, are based on concrete truths.
Folk culture is made up of a people’s taught habits, beliefs, rituals, institutions, and expressions. However, this does not have to be confined to oral habits; it might also involve material culture. This is closely related to the concept of a folk society, which is a group of people who are united by a shared interest.
Folk culture and folk society are inextricably linked. As previously said, folk culture has undergone significant transformations. Folk culture was once conceived as a rustic and ordinary people’s culture, centred on idealised, romantic notions. It has also been related to nationalism. Folk culture, on the other hand, covers everything.
Scholars of folklore have a variety of definitions. “Traditional cultural forms that are conveyed between persons through words and acts and tend to exist in variety,” according to Klintberg. Folklore is thought to be passed down orally through informal techniques by scholars for a long time. They argue that because folklore is mostly verbal, it may vary drastically depending on the context. However, informal communication should not be viewed as the only mode of communication because it may be delivered in a variety of ways and through a range of techniques. Folk beliefs are communicated through both literary and visual media. Well-known artists have used creative forms such as theatre, dance, and painting to convey their ideas. In his play Hayavadana, for example, the well-known writer Girish Karnad explores traditional themes.
Folklore is inextricably linked to tradition. Because tradition entails change and continuity, folklore’s cultural symbols, artefacts, and emblems are all subject to change. Folklore is fundamentally dynamic and in a constant state of transformation.
Folklore is inextricably linked to social life and the processes of change and transformation that it undergoes. As a result, this is a creative and inventive artistic process that is in constant movement and change. Folklore is notorious for its inconsistency. We frequently witness people’s faith in particular concepts and ideals being questioned. Folklore, on the other hand, upholds a set of cultural values. This may be found in folk music, where ideals such as mother-child love, family connection, patriotism, and man-nature oneness are consistently promoted. Folklore may bring people together, as with music, or tear them apart, as with embarrassing jokes. Folklore is full with contrasts.
Folklore might be personal or public, global or local, national or international. Folktales about a hero saving a princess from the hands of evil, for example, are widespread, but tales from Rajasthan, such as Dhola Maru, are exclusive to the region. Folklore, like art and folk crafts, is closely tied to aesthetics and the sense of beauty. Folklorists define this in terms of aesthetics and artistry. Jokes, riddles, and ordinary art objects like clay pots and textiles are not considered innovative or attractive by certain researchers. Art objects, common idioms, speech patterns, and vocal utterances, on the other hand, are artistic communication patterns.
Folklore, on the other hand, has a high level of authenticity and dependability. In high culture, authenticity is determined by the person, and originality is determined by the individual. Authorship is nameless in folklore, on the other hand.
Folklore is inextricably linked to aesthetics and the sense of beauty, as evidenced through art and folkcraft. Folklorists use the terms “style” and “artisanry” to describe this. Jokes, riddles, and ordinary art objects such as clay pots and textiles are not considered creative or attractive by certain historians. Art objects, common idioms, speech patterns, and vocal utterances, on the other hand, are artistic communication patterns.
Folklore, on the other hand, has a high level of authenticity and dependability. In high culture, authenticity is determined by the person, and originality is determined by the individual. Authorship is nameless in folklore, on the other hand. They consider this social organisation as the driving force behind the entire folklore process, whether it’s communication, cultural preservation, or cultural symbol conservation. The family mediates patterns of belief, behaviour, art, rituals, institutions, and expressions. To this, we might add that folk culture symbolises the portrayal and reaffirmation of a group’s whole identity, whether it be a family, a community, or a nation.
Folk life is always presented in contrast to the elite, who are portrayed as civilised, urbanised, or wealthy. Folk culture, according to some, belongs to a tiny technologically backward population. Folk culture is considerably larger, and it may be seen in urban contexts as well, such as among migrant workers in India’s great cities or tiny shopkeepers in metros. Folk is a term used to describe a group of people that share some characteristics that allow them to work together. A group might be large or tiny, or major or secondary in nature. Size, goal, duration, communication patterns, kind of social control, and the individual’s level of engagement in the group are some of the characteristics that may be used to distinguish this. A main group is often small, and community members engage face to face and in a direct manner. A secondary group, on the other hand, is larger and may persist longer.