Making Life Richer: The Importance of Sharing Culture

My time as an intern this summer was spent exploring the Smithsonian Folklife Festival through the lens of a camera: the traditional Mixteco masks and chivarras, the joyous shouts and whistles of the Basque dancers, the jubilant cheers at the end of an evening concert. … Continue reading Making Life Richer: The Importance of Sharing Culture

Clay-Covered Memories:
Master Potter Blanka Gomez de Segura

During the Folklife Festival, I found myself repeatedly drawn to the Basque pottery tent where ceramicist Blanka Gomez de Segura worked through each day on her wheel. I was hypnotized as she appeared to effortlessly guide mounds of red clay into shapely bowls, plates, pitchers, and vases. … Continue reading Clay-Covered Memories:
Master Potter Blanka Gomez de Segura

A Thousand Things Connected:
FandangObon at the Festival

It was the Fourth of July, and it was raining. Martha González, lead singer and songwriter of GRAMMY-winning band Quetzal, had just finished performing in a lively FandangObon performance at the 2016 Folklife Festival. During our interview, she said that she recognized us as audience … Continue reading A Thousand Things Connected:
FandangObon at the Festival

Filosofía Caribeña: Transmitting Afro-Cuban Sacred Traditions through Song

In 1937, Cuban public radio broadcast for the first time the sounds of the batá drums. Danzones and boleros were popular in 1937, but these genres, though they carried various degrees of African influence, are largely based in the European forms and expressed nothing as boldly African as the rhythms … Continue reading Filosofía Caribeña: Transmitting Afro-Cuban Sacred Traditions through Song

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