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3. Institutionalization of Folk Culture

3.1 Institutions

Marko Cepenkov Institut za folklore (Institute for Folklore)

The main institution for the collection and study of folk culture in Macedonia is the Marko Cepenkov Institut za folklore (Institute for Folklore) in Skopje, established by the government in 1950. In June 1979, the Institute was named after the most outstanding and prolific collector of Macedonian folklore treasures, Marko Cepenkov. In carrying-out its activities, the Marko Cepenkov Institute of Folklore sets itself the following main tasks:

  • to follow and study systematically matters of folklore;
  • to implement its scholarly achievements in order to be of service to the community;
  • to perform various scholarly activities, and if necessary teaching and applied activities as well, in the field of the folklore of the Macedonian people, of the national minorities and the ethnic groups living in the Republic of Macedonia.

The institute edits the journal “Makedonski folklor” (“Macedonian folklore”) since 1968.

Zavod za etnologija i antropologija (Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology)

Another institution dealing with popular culture in Macedonia is the Zavod za etnologija i antropologija (Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology) in Skopje, established in December 1946 as Centre for Ethnology at the Institute of Geography. In 1958, it was renamed into Zavod za Etnologija, and in 2005 into Zavod za entologija i antropologija, affiliated with the University of Skopje.

It publishes the journals “Etnolog” (since 1992; it is the review of the Ethnological Association of Macedonia) and the online-journal “Ethnoanthropozoom

Institut za staroslavanska kultura

The Institut za staroslavanska kultura (Institute for Old Slavic Culture) in Prilep also deals with Macedonian folklore, mainly from a historical perspective. From 1972 to 2003 it published the journal “Balkano-Slavica”.

Department for Ethnomusicology

The Department for Ethnomusicology at the Kiril and Metod University Skopje, Faculty of Music, studies, among others matters, Macedonian folk music.

Muzej na Makedonija (Museum of Macedonia)

The major museum for folk culture in Macedonia was the Etnološki Muzej na Makedonija (Ethnological Museum of Macedonia), founded in Skopje in 1949. Its first permanent exhibition was "Traditional Costumes from Macedonia". It operated as an independent institution until 1977, when it became part of the Muzej na Makedonija (Museum of Macedonia), which also has historical and archaeological departments.

Every local museum also boasts its ethnological Collection, such as with "Old City Costumes" in Bitola, or dresses and other artifacts of folk culture in the local museums of Kichevo, Kumanova, Tetovo, Struga and Veles. The first officially established private collection is "The Crosses from Macedonia" by Trifun Kostovski.

3.2 Authoritative Publications

  • Penušliski, Kiril: Makedonskiot folklore (Macedonian folklore). Skopje 1981.
  • Ristovski, Blaže: Makedonskiot folklor i nacionalnata svest (The Macedonian Folklore and National Consciousness), 2 vols. Skopje 1987.
  • Etnologija na Makedoncite (Ethnology of the Macedonians), ed. Krum Tomovski. Skopje 1996.
  • Etnologija na Makedonija (The Ethnology of Macedonia), ed. Muzej na Makedonija, Skopje 2002.
  • A multimedia encyclopedia of Macedonian Musical Folklore was published in 2004

3.3 Folk ensembles

Since socialist times, Macedonia has a large number of professional as well as amateur ensembles for folk music and dances. The most professional ones are the State ensemble for Dances and Songs “Tanec” in Skopje and the Professional Orchestra for Authentic Musical Instruments of the Macedonian Radio and Television, which plays traditional Macedonian instrumental music; and the professional “Čalgija Orchestra” of the Macedonian Radio and Television, which plays old urban instrumental music and songs.

Aside from these state-supported ensembles, there are many amateur dance groups and orchestras. In 2007, 132 of them applied for financial support from the government, and in 1988 111 amateur associations for folk music, dance and drama were counted (see below in the section on arts).