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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Festival Blog

Spotlight on Ali Skanda and the Dhow Sailboat


Ali Abdalla Skanda comes from a family of carpenters and dhow builders in Lamu, Kenya. For the 2014 Folklife Festival,Read More

September 11, 2014   No Comments

Foodways Friday: Swahili Chicken Curry with Coconut Rice


This recipe was taught to me at the 2014 Folklife Festival by Amina Harith Swaleh and Fatma Ali Busaidy, twoRead More

August 29, 2014   No Comments

Connecting through Craft: Elkana Ong’esa Reunites with Earliest Soapstone Sculptures


In 1965, at age 21, Kenyan artist Elkana Ong’esa sold one of his earliest sculptures to an American student doingRead More

August 27, 2014   No Comments

The Evolving Art of Dough Modeling


The Chinese art of dough modeling dates back more than two thousand years. At the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, artistRead More

August 26, 2014   No Comments

A Reunion of Ancient Cultural Roots


Growing up in China, the word “reunion” (tuan ju 团聚) always reminded me of a crowded, cozy, and chatty occasionRead More

August 25, 2014   No Comments

Foodways Friday: Cumin Pork


Tian Yali brought this dish to the 2014 Folklife Festival from Tongchuan City in Yijun County, Shaanxi Province.  A versatileRead More

August 22, 2014   No Comments

Scenes from Roosevelt’s East African Expedition


The 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival was not the Smithsonian Institution’s first work in Kenya. In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt’s African expedition collectedRead More

August 20, 2014   No Comments

Cultural Tradition Meets Economic Difficulties: A Reflection on Sustaining Miao Embroidery


The China program at the 2014 Folklife Festival provided so much to see—even for a native Chinese person like myself.Read More

August 19, 2014   No Comments

Musical Instruments of the Dimen Dong


At the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, musician Qianchun Wu from the Dimen Dong Folk Chorus explains the stringed instruments commonRead More

August 18, 2014   No Comments

Foodways Friday: Mukimo


This urban dish is brought to us from Nairobi, Kenya, by Alice Odour.  Alice explained that in the last fewRead More

August 15, 2014   No Comments