I have been doing some research for the upcoming Folk Art exhibition which will be held at the Migration Museum in Adelaide over the Christmas, New Year period. The exhibition looks at folk art, but also members of the SA community who continued these tradition in Adelaide.
Folk Art is the inner voice of the people, a creation of the heart and the hands which manifests itself in textiles, pictures, sculptures, carvings. It is a unique and living phenomenon of national culture which reveals a nations understating of life.
Folk art is an art form based on old traditions that have developed from the practical necessities of country life. Farmers would decorate their various utensils and women would weave material for their clothing and for decoration.
Amongst the surviving arts which have preserved the oldest tradition s of Lithuanian folk art are Easter Eggs, woven sashes, wood carvings, and straw compositions.
Generally, the ornamentation consists of geometric figures, zig-zags, triangles, wheels, segmented stars, suns and moons, combined with motifs from plant and animal life, blossoming flowers, rosettes, lilies, fir-trees, birds, rams, horses, and snakes.
Textiles, all prepared by women in the home, particularly linen and wool, are among the oldest and richest branches of Lithuanian folk art. These were represented in daily and ceremonial costumes, sheets, bedspreads, towels, and table cloths.
The folk especially loved the saints whose functions were related to the pre-Christian gods. Saint George, the dragon-killer, can be linked with the ancient Indo-European warrior-god and a spring-god. As the protector of animals he became extremely popular in Lithuania. A knight on a white steed is an emblem of Lithuania, a country whose economy in past ages was predominantly pastoral and whose people were great horse lovers.