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An Essay on Memory, Identity and Aesthetics Embodied in Traditional Material Culture of Polish Spisz

2017 Prace etnograficzne  
Th e presented article concerns a change in the function and importance of the material elements of traditional folk culture in Polish Spisz (southern Poland). Older, usually wooden handicraft s related to farming (carts, cart wheels, ploughs, harrows, troughs, benches, etc.) have already lost their original functions in the highly modernised environment and are now used as aesthetic historical objects, hung on the walls of new buildings or placed in one's garden by the house. At the same time,
more » ... . At the same time, they become part of a wider project of garden aesthetics by being placed alongside popular elements such as fl ower beds, water features, plastic or plaster garden gnomes and farm animals, which serve as mementos of a bygone culture. Th e museum-like expositions of these remainders also suggest that the nature of cultural memory has changed from "true memory" (unrefl ective, authoritative) into "historical memory" (refl ective, discoursive). Th ey become part of displays of memory and cultural heritage that expresses the transvaluation of the obsolete. As unique material mythemes, they form a tale connecting the cultural past with the present, a narration that is understandable for its inheritors, and quality objects that are included in cultural change and thus uphold a feeling of homefulness. Th is makes the entire process of cultural modernisation, from which the discussed material elements of traditional folk culture have not been totally removed, relatively gentle and gradual.
doi:10.4467/ fatcat:a67bazbx2jbdlcur2u3ll33nii