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Folklore 

Antecedents 
The formal studies of the Venezuelan folklore are of recent it dates, although the concern to 
pick up the popular expressions, is quite old. Those that first they work in this sense they 
are the own columnists whose work is constituted, for it same, in an indispensable 
consultation source. To know how she/he leaves concocting the mestizo hank of the 
venezolanidad, it is necessary to leave of brother Pedro of Watery and their Summary 
record of Venezuela (1581). it is necessary to study brother Pedro Simón News records of 
the mainland conquest in the Western India (1627), to brother Hyacinth of Carvajal 
Relación of the discovery of the river it Hurries until their entrance in the Orinoco (1647). 
This in the concerning thing to the XVI and XVII centuries. In the XVIII century: José of 
Oviedo and Baños Historia of the conquest and population of the county of Venezuela 
(1723), José Gumilla The cultured Orinoco (1741), brother Antonio Caulín History 
corográfica, natural and evangelical of the New Andalusia (1779) and Felipe Salvador Gilij 
Rehearsal of American history (1780). A brief history of the folklore studies in Venezuela 
could be structured in 4 stages. 
First stage 
At the beginning of the XIX century, a clear linking is appreciated among the well-known 
literary current as literature of manners and what will understand each other for the moment 
as «folklore or square of customs», formed by that complex world of details that the writer 
understood and it characterized as characteristic of the Venezuelan town. The literature of 
manners will reflect in its pages what the historical science of the moment had not assumed 
as object of interest: the particularity with which you/they leave profiling towns and 
Venezuelan cities in that complex processes decimonónico of conformation of the new 
national society. It is for it that authors like Pedro Díaz Seijas locate the Venezuelan 
literature of manners as bridge between the history and the novel and although that gender 
participates of both, it will be the call traditionalism, variant of the literature of manners, 
the nearest gender or, like Miguel Acosta Saignes, the most consequent gender with the 
history points. The concern for the national thing will be, however, in the criollismo. One 
of their maximum exponents is Luis Manuel Urbaneja Achelpohl of whose work Antonio 
Requena says: «…Poder to travel the Venezuelan folklore without exotic expression 
guides; to be capable, as it was it, of to dive in the soul of the town and to extract of there 
the inexhaustible flow of a typical fondness for the coalition of races in their formation and 
origins (...) to value the fair environmental proportions, localismo and habit properly, to be 
able to make them universal…» In synthesis, she/he will come off of the literature of 
manners a literary current, the criollismo, another of historical court as it was it the 
traditionalism and a third that when saying of Acosta Saignes, it is built by the effort to 
know the traditional culture of the country scientifically and that it will be formed by the 
first farmers of the folklore in Venezuela. They stand out among these Nicanor Bolet 
Peraza and Teófilo Rodríguez, collaborating regular of The Cultured Cripple. This 
magazine (1892-1915) it was the first Venezuelan publication that included, until their 
disappearance, the folkloric thing with a clearing sense of the particularities of the term and 
of the discipline. In 1885, however, the Venezuelan intellectual atmosphere will know the 
popular Traditions in whose introduction its author Teófilo Rodríguez, without using the 
term «folklore», a series of considerations that you/they could be assumed points like a 
conceptualization. She/he writes: «…Sea which fuere the degree of civilization of a town, 
already old, already modern, she/he prays powerful and rich, she/he prays incipient and 
weak, it is a fact that she/he never stops to have like integral part of their annals, a group of 
concerns and beliefs so generally ingrained, so carefully conserved that end up by 
themselves forming one as special history that can subsist and that, indeed, it subsists, even 
when the nation for that constituted town, you viere in the course of the transformed time, 
dispersed or subjected to foreign dominance…» it is for this reason that Acosta Saignes 
qualifies to Rodríguez like protofolklorista. The initiator of the folkloric studies in 
Venezuela was Adolfo Ernst who first in the magazine Records of the Anthropological 
Society of Berlin (1889) and then in the magazine The Cultured Cripple (1893), it 
published a series of verses with the title «For the popular song book of Venezuela» that, 
Ernst would think, somebody would be in charge of of structuring scientifically some day. 
The term folklore is inscribed for the first time in Venezuela by Red Arístides in The 
Cultured Cripple. They are also to this last one, the first ideologies on that discipline and it 
is clear that Red, for the forcefulness of their considerations, it followed the positions that 
were made in the exterior about the folklore, very closely also, of course, of their own 
conclusions. In their chosen Works (Paris, 1907) it points: «…La popular literature, when 
she/he refers to the intimate history of the family, of the town and it turns on customs, uses, 
beliefs, superstitions, traditions, phenomenons of the nature, this, stories, popular songs, 
riddles, proverbs, the popular reason of all the things, games, omens, etc., transmitted in an 
oral way of parents to children, of generation in generation, it is what constitutes the field 
of the human knowledge that she/he calls himself Folklore…» besides this descriptive 
conceptualization of the discipline, Red it proposes, in general terms, a methodology for 
«…salvar the materials of the Venezuelan folklore…» In the study of the folklore, she/he 
writes, 2 purposes that lead to the folklorist to oneself end exist: the knowledge of the 
history of a town. «…En the one figure the monograph, the cultured dissertation. (...) In the 
other road the folklorist simply relates news that you/he/she picks up, without entering in 
the compared studies: it stacks and it contributes, therefore, to the wealth of the crop…» In 
1918, José Antonio Tagliaferro founds Venezuelan Culture, basically literary magazine. 
Although up to 1934, it dates of their disappearance, it was constant the section 
«Venezuelan Folklore», their content grieves it corresponds with that defined then until that 
as folklore. It, maybe, to the generality like the one that is justified the plan of the magazine 
as for including «…todas those manifestations that constitute the unequivocal exponent of 
our culture…» Of Indian Re, the first Venezuelan magazine specialized in social sciences, 
enters in circulation the month of September of the same year that the previous one. It will 
be the organ of diffusion of the Venezuelan Society of Americanist Free Studies and the 
folklore area is one of its sections, the same thing that that of ethnology in which will be 
included, according to Acosta Saignes, some important articles for what will understand 
each other in following years as folklore. With their fourth number, Of Indian Re she/he 
stops to exist and the concern for the folklore, from then on and until the creation of the 
Service of National Folkloric Investigations, it is made singular rather. José E. Machado, 
collaborator of the mentioned magazines, will publish in 1919, Song book popular 
Venezuelan; in 1920, lyrical, Lampooned Patchwork and songs, Epigrams and Mexican 
ballads; in 1922, the second edition of the Song book; May of 1924, 11 present before the 
National Academy of the History the first dissertation it has more than enough folklore; in 
their exhibition it won't only valorize the work of Red Arístides but rather it also links what 
was the Venezuelan interest for the folklore with the interest until that moment that, for the 
same one, it exists outside of Venezuela, amen of exposing their own considerations: 
«Academic …Señores: the invasion of new ethnic elements that the easiness of the 
communications and the growing commercial and industrial movement impels toward these 
places, full with promises for the future for the multiple gifts with which it endowed them 
the nature, it spreads to sweep our traditional and historical characters. (...) The duty is 
imposed that will call patriotic, of fixing the types, uses and customs of our past that if not 
always better (...) it is the first link of the chain that connects us to the future…» TO 
Machado, in the historical sequence, Enrique Planchart continues him with his rehearsal 
«Observations on the Venezuelan song book» that publishes in Venezuelan Culture (1921). 
In the same decade, and from the interior of the country, the presbítero J.M. Guevara 
Carrera publishes in City Bolivar popular Traditions of Venezuela (1925). In 1930, the 
critical Rafael Angarita Arvelo publishes popular Poetry, Illustrations of the Castilian 
romancero, Song book and Venezuelan romancero. Another farmer of the gender, Víctor 
M. Ovalles, will publish in 1935 Creole Sentences and in his folklore concept, they 
reappear the bonds with the literary thing of final of the XIX century. With Eloy González 
the folklore studies obtain clear scientific tendency. The course that dictates in 1939 to 
students of letters and of history in the Pedagogic Institute of Caracas represents, mainly, an 
important didactic element. Venezuelan records will make their appearance in 1945. It is 
the bulletin of the group of Caracas of the Interamerican Society of Anthropology and 
Geography. The folklore was one of its areas of interest, and already in the núm. 2, Tulio 
López Ramírez wrote its titled rehearsal «I Study and perspectives of our folklore». The 
significant of this article, was worth it of the publishing group of Venezuelan Records, 
Walter Dupouy, Tulio López Ramírez, José M. Cruxent, Gilberto Antolínez, Tulio Febres 
Cordero, among other, and the bonds of this and of that with the Museum of Natural 
Sciences prepare the transition toward a second stage in the studies of the folklore in 
Venezuela. It is illustrative, for example, the town definition given by Ramírez, in which 
includes: «…no only to those that take a to live rural, but also to the urban low classes and 
those people that possess an enough culture but that in many of their facts they maintain a 
net traditionalist character…» they are equally significant Francisco Tamayo's rehearsals of 
linking the popular thing with the different biophysical landscapes of the state Lara and that 
of Miguel Acosta Saignes on the rural housing in the town cojedeña of Macapo, since they 
provide a new element to the concerns of theoretical type of the folklore. 
Second stage 
The creation of the Service of National Folkloric Investigations (I decree núm. 430 of 
October 30 1946) that worked in the Museum of Natural Sciences of Caracas starting from 
February of 1947, 9 it is the institutional fact that inaugurates a second stage of the folklore 
studies in Venezuela. That same year, it publishes their National Magazine of Folklore, first 
Venezuelan publication specialized in that matter and of which 2 numbers were only 
published. Luis Felipe Ramón and Rivera, Luis Arturo Domínguez, Rafael Olivares 
Figueroa, Juan Pablo Sojo, Pedro Grases, Isabel Aretz is some of the new names of 
studious of the Venezuelan folklore that under the direction of Juan Liscano, they will offer 
the results of her respective works that they are characterized, in a first moment, for the 
mere gathering of data. As for the theoretical level, it is important Olivares Figueroa's 
contribution in connection with the word town to which gives «…más that the etymological 
sense of the old language Anglo-Saxon folk or masse, that of the Latin populus, in their 
born meaning, this is, as soon as she/he understands in yes all the social classes; convinced 
that the folklore is not exclusive of a social stratum, but rather it fluctuates, in more or 
smaller proportion, in periodic evolutions, through all; being one of the reasons that have 
taken us to serve us, with the forced cautions, of a documentation, mainly oral, coming 
from culture individuals and condition varies, what reveals the lexicon in each case…» AT 
1950 it corresponds another significant contribution that Juan Liscano offers in Folklore 
and culture: «…En reality has always had folklore (...) The folklore is the knowledge for 
communion that you/they always have certain human groups, in opposition with the 
knowledge for distinction…» Another of its more significant reflections is its critic to the 
gathering excess, characteristic already pointed out by López Ramírez. Liscano was 
overwhelming: «…El mere reporter of folkloric data and, unfortunately, they are the more 
ones, it should not aspire to folklorist's denomination, if we want to conserve some dignity 
for this term. It is need, to understand the folklore, a firm base of historical conscience, a 
minimun of intellectual knowledge and certain human sensibility. With sadness we aim that 
many of the calls folklorists, are not but true bricklayers recolectores, peons of the thought, 
lacking of the most elementary sense in the culture and shielded more or less behind a 
method happy of classification…» These words reveal what began to be characteristic and 
that it is still it, of the studies of the Venezuelan folklore. During this period she/he will 
take place the first public national sample that as a summary of the national folklore or 
Party of the Tradition will be presented in the New Circus (17-21.2.1948) with reason of 
the taking of the president's possession Galician Rómulo. Another very important activity is 
the course that the specialist Stith Thompson dictates in the Museum of Natural Sciences 
that, when saying of Acosta Saignes, «…Orientó to many, put order in the ideas of other 
and it sowed restlessness for the classificatory rigor and the scientific treatment in the 
materials, as well as for the systematizing of the field works…» In 1949 Francisco Carreño 
it assumes the address of the Service that, from July 1 1953 Institute of Folklore will be 
denominated. Before it, we have other significant elements of the last expressions, maybe, 
of the scientific treatment with the one that the study of the folklore was confronted in 
Venezuela; they are them, the appearance of the Venezuelan Files of Folklore, of the 
seminar been founded by Olivares Figueroa in the Central University of Venezuela (1948) 
and the creation of the department of History, under the direction of José Antonio Of 
Armas Chitty. These last ones pass to form part of the Institute of Anthropology and 
Geography, been founded in 1949, which will publish the 4 numbers of Files under the 
Ángel responsibility Rosenblat, Miguel Acosta Saignes and Rafael Olivares Figueroa. 
Other contributions in the decade of 1950 deserve shallow reference. The first one, of 
individual character, refers to the one that made Luis T. Laffer to the incipient filmography 
and discografía folkloric Venezuelan. Their recordings, almost a hundred, they pick up 
indigenous music, Creole and thematic as: Bolivar sung by their town and The history and 
politics in the Venezuelan folklore. In fact this it is the only collection well-known 
discográfica recorded in situ of music traditional Venezuelan. The other contribution 
represents it the first national tour of The Altarpiece of Marvels. It was a movement of 
popular-nationalist court been founded by Manuel Cardinal red Rodríguez, official of the 
cultural area of the Ministry of the Work, with more than 1.000 hard-working youths. It 
assumes as their repertoire dances and popular representations of Venezuela that were 
shown in tours in practically the whole country. In fact, this experience will be the second 
national sample of a part of our traditional culture. And lastly, between 1953 and 1955, they 
are published 3 important works of Lisandro Alvarado posthumously: Glossary of 
indigenous voices of Venezuela, Glossary of the Spanish first floor in Venezuela (First 
Part) and Glossary of the Spanish first floor in Venezuela (Second Part), a specialist that, 
along their life, it was always aware of the historical meaning of the gathering of data that 
you/they offer to the investigator contemporary sure rules on our to make popular. The 
conception of its own work doesn't leave place to doubts about the destination that she/he 
wanted to give to its considerations: «…Escribimos [she/he says] it doesn't stop the sages, 
but for the men consecrated to the agricultural and cattle tasks, taken in general away from 
all source of information…» 
Third stage 
Soon after of the edition of the Venezuelan Files of Folklore, the first number of the 
Bulletin of the Institute of Folklore, new name of the Service of National Folkloric 
Investigations, will appear now under the direction of Luis Felipe Ramón and Rivera whose 
conception of the folklore and of its study signará in good part the work in this Institute. In 
this Bulletin whose hard publication up to 1955, they incorporate new names: Pilar 
Almoina of Career, Miguel Cardona, Gustavo Luis Carrera, Abilio Reyes. While the 
husbands Career is in charge of of the literary Folklore, Miguel Cardona specializes in the 
material folklore (his works are picked up in a posthumous book: Folklore topics) and 
Abilio Reyes in the dances and popular parties. In May of 1968, directed by Luis Felipe 
Ramón and Rivera, it circulates the first number of the Venezuelan Magazine of Folklore 
like organ of the Institute of dependent Folklore of the National Institute of Culture and fine 
arts, and that, in 1972, it changes their name for that of National Institute of Folklore. In 
this magazine, of which 4 numbers circulate, works of a great number are published of 
studious of the whole country. In 1971, be believed the Interamerican Institute of 
Etnomusicología and Folklore, directed by Isabel Aretz up to 1985 and in 1972, the 
National Museum of Folklore. For the training, mainly of educational, in the areas of the 
folklore, the Center of Technical Formation will work (CEFORTEC, 1972-1977). Isabel 
Aretz, in her Manual of Venezuelan folklore, goes in the folklore the empiric culture of the 
town transmitted for via oral; she/he affirms that «folkloric made …Los, it doesn't care 
their origin, they have an unequivocal individuality and they form a cultural package, as 
those that are distinguished in Ethnography when the indigenous cultures are studied…» 
This synchronous and descriptive vision is the one that will characterize the studies of the 
folklore. In spite of this, the interest for the popular thing during the decade of 1960 won't 
be subordinated to this institucionalización that the Venezuelan State consolidates up in the 
entities mentioned for the study of the folklore. Along the decade and extending up to 1985, 
they will give a series of facts that you/they will be critical answers, but not connected to 
each other, to the stagnation in the one that the studies of the folklore have been caught in 
Venezuela. To say it in words of Miguel Otero Silva written in 1979: «…el folklore has 
been bounded to its condition of study matter (...) We believe firmly that, as long as the 
museums, the libraries, the orchestras, the radio, the television, the cinema, the theater and 
the folklore exist to the margin of the town, of the neighborhoods, of the county, as long as 
she/he is not awarded to the town its creative paper, our state organisms of culture won't 
surpass the bureaucratic limits neither they will stop to be unwrapped as sterile 
laboratories…» A sample of those facts should begin her with the Cultural Congress of the 
city of Cabimas, taken place in December of 1970. Although their thematic one didn't refer 
specifically to the folkloric thing, the reports and resolutions on the social, economic 
situation, politics and cultural discussed in him they will give objective elements that will 
be recaptured, later years, in a discussion still effective, have more than enough popular 
culture in general and on culture popular Venezuelan in particular. In June of 1976, she/he 
takes place in Tovar, the First Encounter of Organisms and Workers of the Culture of the 
occident of the country; in December of 1977, she/he took place in Barquisimeto the 
Encounter for the National Defense of the Cultura Aquiles Nazoa whose celebrated 
sentence «I Believe in the creative powers of the town», she/he goes to guide fungir in this 
and many other national and local events, among those that the Encounter of Prison and the 
Student National Encounter stand out and of Workers of the Education taken place in 
Merida between the 1 and June 4 1978. In May of the same year, it is given in the Zulia the 
Encounter of Maracaibo and in July, in Barquisimeto, they settle the First National Days of 
Critical Anthropology. July 17 1979 are inaugurated in Caracas the First Day about the 
Native and the National Identity. In April of 1980, in a street act taken place in Caracas, it 
is given to know the National Foundation of the Popular Culture, at the moment become 
Federation. Toward final of May of 1981 the celebration of the Days of the Black Culture is 
announced; for November of that year she/he gets ready the Festival of the Other Culture, 
in the Park of the East and that same month, she/he takes place the First Seminar of 
Cultural Promotion and Alternative Communication. The National Encounters of Exciting 
Culturales-Plan Sebucán and the First Interamerican Congress of Etnomusicología and 
Folklore were events organized by cultural institutions of the Venezuelan State in 1983. 
Their historical importance rests in that the tendency of most of the reports and mainly, of 
the conclusions of the table works, they will highlight the characteristic markedly 
descriptive of the studies of the folklore and the eventismo in the one that what will be 
denominated the fell «official popular culture». 
Fourth stage 
For resolution of June of 1985, 20 the National Council of the Culture (BRANDY), believe 
the Comisión Reestructuradora of the Interamerican Institute of Etnomusicología and 
Folklore, of the National Institute of Folklore and of the National Museum of Folklore, 
integrated by J.M. Cruxent, Erika Wagner and Rafael Strauss. As a result of an exhaustive 
investigation, the Commission recommended to the Presidency of the BRANDY the 
unification of the 3 entities in what would be denominated Center for the Study of the Arts 
and Popular Traditions. At the beginning of the decade of 1990 this institution would be 
constituted in the Foundation of Etnomusicología and Folklore (FUNDEF). Toward final of 
1985 news of the creation were had of we were FOUNDED or Foundation Miguel Otero 
Silva, one of whose areas of interest would be the popular culture. And for the same time, 
she/he gets ready the creation of the CEDOCUPO or Documental Center of the Popular 
Culture, in the Central University of Venezuela (schools of History and of Education, 
mainly). The Athenaeum of Caracas, on the other hand, it has already celebrated several 
significant days in which the traditional popular culture and the urban popular culture have 
constituted the center of interest. Outside of Caracas, they have come being also given 
actions of theoretical-practical reinterpretación of that that, starting from the decade of 
1970, she/he has come being denominated, inside the mark of a healthy and fruitful 
discussion, «popular culture».


 

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