Folklore is the oral creation of the nation, and the result of its united intelligence and emotion. Dating back to the ancient times, it has been developed including the outlook, secular life experience and wisdom of the nation. Folklore, as the most important aspect of spiritual culture, doesn’t have any origin, it passes mouth by mouth. It has originated together with the Armenian troops and Armenian language.
Folklore, was followed by the Armenian written language education, and for ages has been the only method of satisfaction among the spiritual arts and its requirements in the 5th century, then its oral category was developed independently. In XII—XVI cc. it was introduced with separate genres (puzzle, illustration, music, conversation),and later folklore was used in the modern literature.
The folklore samples of Old and Middle ages have been consigned in written old and middle Armenian, and they have been undertaken into literary changes by writers. Some epic manuscripts (myths, novels) are reflected in the compositions of Movses Khorenatsi, Pavstos Buzand, Agatangeghos, Sebeos, Hovhan Mamikonyan, and the literary developed riddles are used in Anania Shirakatsi, Nerses Shnorhali’s works, fables – “Arak Vadrana” collections of Vardan Aigektsi, love and joy riddles are most common in the manuscripts of XV—XVIIcc., and some lyrical and rituals- in some songs etc.
Folklore has been used in different Armenian dialects, within many nations of diverse age and gender. In Soviet times, the most viable genres of folklore were national songs and conversation. Whereas in 1920-30s epic and lyric songs were the leading ones. The soldier and war songs appeared during the years of The Great Patriotic and Artsakh War.
There’re new types of genres in Folklore, which are more popular in these days: joke, fable, various sketches- moral, social, political etc. The science which deals with Folklore, originated in the 19th century.
The Armenian intelligentsia paid attention to the publication and study of some national genres. There’re some prominent people, who contributed to this job- G. Srvandztyan, M. Abeghyan, G. Shermazanyan, M. Barkhudaryan, G. Ghapantsyan, A. Ghanalanyan, K. Melik-Ohanjanyan, S. Harutyunyan and others). They managed to save the cultural treasure of Armenians. The Folklore research and collection process belongs to Srvanztyants (“Grots and brots of David Sassoon or door of Mher” 1874).
Folklore is divided into 3 groups:
- prose- narrative– fairy-tale, fable, legend, conversation,
- verse-musical-folk novel, epic, ritual and lyrical songs,
- formula- puzzle, swear, curse, blessing, prayer.
In addition to this, Folklore has the following groups: ritual, epic, lyric, proverbs and sayings, riddle. In general, it compositions can be of two types: epic and lyrical.