The Marko Cepenkov Institute of Folklore in Skopje was established by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in 1950. In June 1979, the Institute was named after the most talented and prolific collector of Macedonian folklore treasures, Marko Cepenkov.
In the course of its activities, the Marko Cepenkov Institute of Folklore identifies the following main tasks:
- to follow and study systematically matters in the sphere of folklore
- to work out and improve investigative methods in its sphere
- to implement its scholarly achievements in order to be of service to the community;
- to perform scientific, scholarly and research activities, and if necessary teaching and applicative activities as well, in the field of the folklore of the Macedonian people, national minorities and the ethnic groups living in the Republic of Macedonia
- to find, collect, preserve and publish materials, records, documents and manuscripts related to folklore
- to investigate and research folklore materials and to publish works in the sphere of folklore and ethnology
- to follow scholarly achievements in the field of folklore and ethnology in the country and abroad;to create folklore research personnel;
- to collaborate with institutions, organisations, individuals in the country and abroad dealing with folklore matters carrying out at the same time intensive international activity
- to organise scientific and scholarly conferences, congresses, meetings, etc., and, every third year, organise the Traditional International Symposium on Balkan Folklore in Ohrid
- to exchange publications
- to publish research outcomes, make them available and inform the public
- to perform other activities related to the folklore of the Macedonian people, national minorities and the ethnic groups in the Republic of Macedonia
During its 50 years of existence, through the realisation of its main tasks, the Marko Cepenkov Institute of Folklore in Skopje, has established itself as an institution with recognised values and with a significant contribution to illuminating the creative talents of the Macedonian nation, nationalities and ethnic groups in the field of folklore (oral works, ethnomusicology, traditional architecture, ornaments and ethnology). The Institute also performs extensive publishing activities. Twice a year, it publishes its magazine Macedonian Folklore.
The Institute has achieved its scientific and research activities through the following departments:
- Department of Folk Literature
- Department of Folk Music and Folk Dance
- Department of Folk Customs and Dance
- Department of Folklore of the Minorities
- Department of Folk Ornaments and Folk Architecture.
The scientific and research activities of the Institute are carried by 12 researchers, research advisers, senior research fellows, research fellows. The Institute also has its own library with 25,000 volumes and an archive with prolific material containing 3. 470 tapes, 59 colour films, 4,434 photographs, original embroidery and fabrics, 2,372 slides, 3,305 colour drawings, manuscripts, musical transcriptions, enciphered texts, etc.