Document Type


Publication Date


Place of conference

Bangor, Maine

Conference Sponsor

Maine Arts Commission

Abstract/ Summary

Just as I believe, as an oral historian, that there is no such thing as oral history, only history, I also believe as a folklorist that there is no such thing as folk art as an entity distinct from other kinds of art, say "primitive" or "high" art. There is only art, the aesthetic response, the shaping of the world experienced into meaningful and apposite forms that can be shared with others. The creation and enjoyment of what we call art is fundamental to being human; it is not limited to any one social class or community but, as my friend Dell Hymes once said, it will "arise wherever people have a chance, even half a chance, to share what they enjoy or must endure," and, if we are ever going to understand what being human is all about, we had better learn to appreciate this differentia called art wherever it is found and however it manifests itself-- symphony orchestra and string band, Faberge egg and Ukrainian pysanky, Jasper Johns and Gilberte Roy of Fort Kent, Pavarotti singing Verdi and my friend Wilmot MacDonald singing a ballad by that woodsman songmaker Joe Scott.


post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)

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