The origins of Bulgarian folk art must be sought from the ancient Proto-Bulgarian Slavs. Gradually this art in its development undergoes the influence of foreign elements: residues of Roman and Hellenic culture, influences of the Byzantine and oriental Christianesimn, later still echoes of the West with its styles: Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo. However, even by imbuing itself with foreign elements, Bulgarian folk art, rich in forms, colors and ornamentation, followed its own and original path.
With the Bulgarians, as with all peoples, popular art is manifested above all in everyday objects. In Bulgarian folk art, costumes, national attires and various fabrics are of considerable importance. Textile art is reserved exclusively for the Bulgarian woman. The Bulgarian national costume is the costume suitable for field work; it is made of a thick hemp or wool fabric, decorated with multicolored embroidery. Especially women’s shirts are embroidered, but also men’s shirts: more often with multicolored silk and wool, more rarely with cotton, counting the threads of the canvas. The embroidery designs are generally geometric or taken from the plant world; human or animal figures are rarely encountered. Purely geometric ornaments are very much in vogue in southeastern Bulgaria and Macedonia, representing a great variety of motifs, from the simplest line to the most complicated combinations of lines and surfaces. The strongly stylized plant motifs appear alone or in combination with geometric figures, and most represent stemless and leafless flowers. Bulgarian ornamentation is decorative rather than naturalistic, that is, it is closer to that of the East than that of the West. It bears the signs of an ancient symbolism, the meaning of which is often forgotten today. The Bulgarian national embroidery is distinguished by the richness of its colors. The fundamental color is red in all its shades, starting from soft pink to dark red, which very often becomes deep brown, and also black, under the influence of the purple lilac of Byzantium of the century. IX. Admirable combinations of red, yellow, green and blue come together in exquisite harmonies. The other products of the domestic textile industry – carpets, blankets, pillows, bags, saddlebags and whatever else form with them the main and inseparable part of the furnishing of a Bulgarian home – are no less precious for the original color and for the rich ornamentation.
According to listofusnewspapers, a considerable part in Bulgarian folk art also have metal ornaments, which young girls and women wear to show their wealth and the loftiness of their birthplace or even to protect themselves from the evil eye. Mostly these ornaments are of silver mixed with copper, rarely of gold or gilt. From the technical point of view, they are made of wrought, cast, or filigree metal. The jewels, made up of numerous mobile elements that jangle, bear a great resemblance to oriental ones. Their decoration is very rich; it is preferably removed from the plant world, but sometimes it also has a religious and symbolic character with images of saints, dragons and other animals. Women especially adorn the head with a great variety of hairstyles: round and decorated silver plates, hair clips, tiaras, small pendants, earrings, enamel necklaces, real or false stones. They also prefer ornaments for the arms, such as differently shaped rings and bracelets. The women’s belt is made of metal, or cloth, and in both cases it carries buckles, silver or other metal plates of rich symbolic ornamentation. Some hairstyles, for example the diadems, which had once been a sign of royal dignity and nobility, at the fall of the Bulgarian empire under Turkish rule gradually came into popular use, translated, of course, into more coarse and in the vilest matter. and in both cases it carries buckles, silver or other metal plates of rich symbolic ornamentation. Some hairstyles, for example the diadems, which had once been a sign of royal dignity and nobility, at the fall of the Bulgarian empire under Turkish rule gradually came into popular use, translated, of course, into more coarse and in the vilest matter. and in both cases it carries buckles, silver or other metal plates of rich symbolic ornamentation. Some hairstyles, for example the diadems, which had once been a sign of royal dignity and nobility, at the fall of the Bulgarian empire under Turkish rule gradually came into popular use, translated, of course, into more coarse and in the vilest matter.
The preparation of objects for domestic and ecclesiastical use is part of this industry of. metalworking, of which he constituted a highly developed branch, as appears from the ancient crucifixes, ciborî, from the covers of evangeliarî, notable for the refinement and richness of the work. Copper household utensils are most often encountered: plates, basins, pans, jugs, all richly decorated. Very popular among the Bulgarians is the pavur č e, a kind of vial for brandy, made of lead with rich symbolic ornaments or with the image of St. George.
In the villages, the people always use clay tools, bought from local potters, which repeat ancient forms. The glazed ceramic objects preferably have a very primitive dot or spiral ornamentation, and more rarely vegetal ornaments.
Ancient walled or wooden chests are preserved in the mountain houses. which date back to a century or two, manifestations of a highly developed and refined art of construction. The doors, built-in cupboards and ceilings are mostly decorated with worked wood. The popular art of wood is in fact widespread in Bulgaria and is closely linked to architecture and the church. Its most beautiful flowering dates from the end of the century. XVII and from the beginning of the XVIII, when, with different tendencies, the cities of Samokov, Trevna, Drenova, Skoplje, Debra and others were famous for their woodworkers and their master builders. Not only are many ornaments of the houses made of wood, but also every kind of domestic object: the cones, the looms, the spinning wheels, the coffins, among which it is not difficult to find very harmonious specimens from the point of view of form and decoration. But the art of wood has found wide application above all in churches, where the iconostases and pulpits are almost always entirely of wood, mostly carved with vegetable ornaments and only exceptionally with biblical scenes.
After the liberation of Bulgaria, the influence of Western culture made itself felt more and the Bulgarian national art immediately began to decline. This evolution is felt in the gradual disappearance of national costume and embroidery, which began in the plains more open to European influences and accentuated during the last wars. In our day folk art is more appreciated by the intellectual class than by the popular masses.