I am taking a course in ethnomusicology and I am asking this question from an anthropological perspective. I have to make a presentation on a folk music form from Europe and since I have learned a few Chopin Mazurkas, I was wondering if I can use them as a basis of study? Would it be a valid form of folk music, or is it more classical music (I know that Chopin's music is considered from the Romantic period, but I guess you can see where I am going with this question?)
It's originally a Polish folk dance. It was adopted by classical composers later on.
Dances were adopted by classical music from very early on:
In the baroque era, suites consisted of dances like Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Menuet and Gigue.
More often than not, this led to very elaborate forms, which no longer could be danced. Waltzes from the Strauss family still can be recognized as waltzes, but may need quite good dancers to be performed.
Summarized: most of the features of the dances are maintained in their classical music rendition, but for more precision of the intended analysis I would stay with the original dance.