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Chapter 4 Folk and Popular Culture
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  1. Chapter 4 Folk and Popular Culture Key Issue 2 Why is Folk Culture Clustered?

  2. Isolation promotes cultural diversityInfluence of the physical environment • Folk culture typically has unknown or multiple origins among groups living in relative isolation. Folk culture diffuses slowly to other locations through the process of migration. A combination of physical and cultural factors influences the distinctive distributions of folk culture.

  3. Isolation Promotes Cultural Diversity • Folk customs develop of centuries of isolation • Himalayan Mountains • Neighboring isolated cultural groups • Distinctive culture seen in their artwork

  4. Varying Art in Himalayas Art shows how religion and environment influence these different cultural groups

  5. Influence of the Physical Environment • Many groups of similar environments adopt different social customs • Many groups in different environments adopt similar social customs • Contradicts “Environmental Determinism” theory • People DO respond to environment, but it isn’t the only factor in social customs

  6. Influence of the Physical Environment • Food, clothing, shelter • Determined by climate, soil, vegetation • Arctic Climates • Fur-lined boots, snowshoes • Warm & Humid Climates • Footwear not needed • Netherlands • Wooden shoes: farmers needed waterproof shoes for wet fields because Netherlands is below sea-level

  7. Influence of the Physical Environment • Folk societies • Very responsive to environment • Low level of technology • Likely to be farmers • Grow their own food • Use hand tools, animal power • Some societies ignore the norms!

  8. Distinctive Food Preferences • Food habits derive from environment • Inhabitants must consider soil, climate, terrain, vegetation to produce food • Rice: milder, moist climates • Wheat: colder, drier regions

  9. Distinctive Food Preferences • Access to fuel can determine food supply • Limited Fuel: Asia, Italy • Abundant Fuel: Northern Europe • Soy beans: toxic in raw form • Sprouts, soy sauce, bean curd: don’t require extensive cooking • Italy: quick frying foods • Northern Europe: slow stews, roasts

  10. Distinctive Food Preferences • Terroir: the contribution of a location’s distinctive physical features to the way food tastes (terre: land) • Ex: wine can taste different based on where grapes are grown

  11. Distinctive Food Preferences • Istanbul, Turkey • Bostans: small gardens (1000) that supply the city with produce • Farmers maximize yields through clever manipulation of space, season & resources • Different crops grown throughout year • Crops vary each year • Reduces risk of damage from poor weather

  12. Transylvania, Romania

  13. Food Diversity in Transylvania • Transylvania, Romania 1900s • Home to many different migrating cultural groups: Hungarians, Romanians, Jews, Armenians, etc • All eat lots of soups, poor people food • However, each cultural group has a different type based on their background • Food habits often migrate to new places

  14. Food Attractions and Taboos • Certain foods eaten because they “enhance qualities” desirable by society • Strength, fierceness, lovemaking ability

  15. Food Attractions and Taboos • Continue the Chart while reading p.122-124

  16. Eating Rat • • Goat Fetus •

  17. Folk Housing • Product of cultural tradition & natural conditions • Good reflection of cultural heritage, current fashion, functional needs & impact of environment

  18. Distinctive Building Materials • Type of materials influenced by resources available in environment • Two most common building materials: • Wood (preferred when available) • Brick • Other materials: Stone, grass, sod & skins

  19. Distinctive Building Materials • MDCs • Lumber cut into needed shapes • Frame, floors, ceiling, roof • Shingles, stucco, vinyl, aluminum used for exterior, insulation, decoration

  20. Distinctive Building Materials • Limited access to forests use alt. materials • Hot, dry climates (US Southwest, Mexico, Northern China, Middle East) • Bricks: bake mud in sun • Europe & South America • stone

  21. Distincitive Building Materials • If desired material isn’t available: • Import materials • United States • Save money by using alternatives to lumber • drywall

  22. Distinctive House Form & Orientation • Form of house • Customary beliefs or environmental factors • Orientation of house can vary • Religious values • Fiji: east wall of house is sacred • China: northwest wall is sacred • Middle East, India and Africa: similar religious values with sacred walls

  23. Madagascar • Religious considerations for each part of house • West: main door • Northeast: most sacred • North: honoring ancestors, where guests are seated • East: bed placement, head facing north

  24. House Types in 4 communities of western China

  25. Southeast Asia • Laos • Head is considered “high and noble” • Feet considered “low and vulgar” • People sleep head to head or feet to feet • Thailand • Ignore position of neighbors head/feet in bed • All sleep with head faced East, most favorable direction • Staircases cannot face West: the direction of death and evil spirits

  26. Housing and Environment • Construction of house can relate to environment • Pitched roof snowy, wet climates • Window direction/size  extreme climates • Folk housing can vary in similar climates • North & West China-drylands • Similar building materials: adobe, timber • Similar objective: protection from extreme temps • Different, Individual designs based on social customs

  27. House Types in 4 communities of western China

  28. US Folk House Forms • Older houses display folk culture tradition • Pioneers, 1700s & 1800s • Brought their “east coast” housing styles westward as they migrated • Three Major Hearths • New England, Mid Atlantic and Lower Chesapeake

  29. U.S. House Types by Region Small towns in different regions of the eastern U.S. have different combinations of five main traditional house types.

  30. US Folk House Forms • New England • Migrants brought house types northward and westward across Great Lakes region • Four major house types were popular, 18th & 19th century

  31. US Folk House Forms • Mid Atlantic • “I” house: 2 full stories with gables to the sides, resembles the letter “I”

  32. Lower Chesapeake • One story, steep roof, chimneys on either side • As it spread to wetter regions, these homes were raised on stilts • Less regional distinctness today • Knowledge of other styles • Construction companies build the homes