Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Kenneth Clarke, Claude Pickard, Jim Wayne Miller


The original department was Intercultural and Folk Studies.

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Applying the standards for delineating folkcraft developed by Japanese scholar Soetsu Yanagi to the work of two Maryland decoy makers, Lem and Steve Ward, revealed that the Wards’ work followed a progression from folk to non-folk. A Hearst newspaper chain article on the two carvers plus winning first place at the New York Decoy Show brought publicity far beyond that usually encountered by the average folk craftsman. These events also exposed the two brothers to a range of wealthy collectors. When the Wards began to experiment with ornately carved birds, they had a waiting, and financially capable market. The extremely high prices of these later birds made their owners afraid to use them through fear of damage or loss. Thus, these recent carvings became non-functional and non-folk since functionality is a prime requisite for folkcraft according to the Yanagi standards. Therefore, price affects folk nature via function.


Anthropology | Art and Design | Arts and Humanities | Communication | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology