Colombia

Researching Traditions

Through these pages, we explore a three-year process of preparation for the Colombia program. We begin with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, which blazed the way with Tradiciones Latinas project, which recorded traditional Colombian music in some of the same regions to be featured in the Festival. We can then journey through curatorial fieldwork trips and view field diaries and videos; review an interview example and a sampling of the database; and look at fieldwork guidelines, workshops, and plans.

The Fundación Erigaie in Colombia directed the research and fieldwork for this project. Researchers traveled to various regions to interview people and document their traditions as they practice them in their communities. Following fieldwork guidelines, researchers recommended traditions that would best illustrate the relationship between culture and environment, knowledgeable practitioners skilled in their art or trade, and contexts for presentation that coulf evoke home settings.

To complete the research phase, Colombian researchers accompanied the Smithsonian curatorial team on two fieldwork trips in 2010. Our first itinerary, July 30—August 12th, took us to the Andean Highlands, the Coffee Triangle, the city of Medellin, and finally, the Momposino Depression. On the second trip, October 19—31st, we traveled to the Southeastern Plains and the Pacific Rainforest. Map designed by Sandy Wang.