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Monday, March 20, 2006

the american folklife center


Unknown Fiddler from Southern US Field Trip, 1959. Photo by Alan Lomax.

an incredible website...................

What is Folklife?
The everyday and intimate creativity that all of us share and pass on to the next generation:
The traditional songs we sing, listen and dance to
Fairy tales, stories, ghost tales and personal histories
Riddles, proverbs, figures of speech, jokes and special ways of speaking
Our childhood games and rhymes


The way we celebrate life – from birthing our babies to honoring our dead
The entire range of our personal and collective beliefs – religious, medical, magical, and social
Our handed-down recipes and everyday mealtime traditions
The way we decorate our world - from patchwork patterns on our quilts to plastic flamingoes in our yards, to tattoos on our bodies


The crafts we create by hand – crocheted afghans, wooden spoons, cane bottoms on chairs
Patterns and traditions of work – from factory to office cubicle
The many creative ways we express ourselves as members of our family, our community, our geographical region, our ethnic group, our religious congregation, or our occupational group
Folklife is part of everyone's life. It is as constant as a ballad, as changeable as fashion trends. It is as intimate as a lullaby, and as public as a parade.
In the end ... we are all folk.

2 comments:

GraemeAnfinson said...

I was listening to NPR a while back and they had a show on that played some old recording that were really cool. I guess they used to just record everything with the hope that some of it would be popular. lucky for us, there are some real gems. no one knows who sang them, but that just adds to the folklore and the legend of the songs.

a rose is a rose said...

sometimes i think i was born too late. i love older recordings. folk and bluegrass and blues..........

there is a great station on the net for acoustic music. it's called hober and the link is right on my blog under the smirking chimp summary on the right sidebar. give it a listen graeme