Set beside the Sounds of California Stage & Plaza, La Cueva was a space for musicians to show their related crafts: mask making, instrument building, and whip braiding. Two 2016 Smithsonian Latino Studies Program fellows, Verónica Rivera-Negrón and Fernanda Espinosa, spent a day there with … Continue reading A Day in La Cueva with Grupo Nuu Yuku
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival has taken on countless forms and meanings in its forty-nine years. At the 2016 Festival, we asked visitors, participants, and presenters for their own definition of the Festival. Videography: David Barnes, Helen Lehrer, Alexis Ligon, Claudia Romano, Albert Tong Editor: Helen … Continue reading How Do You Define the Festival?
Bakailaoa pil-pilean is perhaps the Basque country’s best known dish. The recipe itself is simple, but the dish is not easy to make. In the txokoak, or Basque gastronomy clubs, cooks compete to see who can make the best bakailaoa pil-pilean. The dish is made … Continue reading Basque Recipe: Bakailaoa Pil-pilean
“A genie gave this to me.” Low Leaf gestured to her necklace: a thick black string looped around a yellow tiger fang. Throughout our interview, she often referenced dreamlike interactions with magical figures, including a fairy who welcomed her to a treehouse deep in the … Continue reading The Musical Universe of Low Leaf
Raymundo Guzmán, also known as MixteKo, is an artist based in the San Joaquin Valley of California. He came to the 2016 Folklife Festival as a dancer in Grupo Nuu Yuku, performing the traditional Danza de los Diablos de San Miguel Cuevas in the Sounds of California program. … Continue reading MixteKo: A Multilingual Voice in California Rap
Every time there was a rural sports demonstration at the Folklife Festival’s Frontoia, or Basque handball court, you could hear cheers of “aupa neskak!”—let’s go, girls! Herri kirolak, or Basque rural sports, require great amounts of strength, speed, endurance, and willpower. Out of the fifteen … Continue reading Aupa Neskak! Women in Basque Rural Sports
George Abe is an energetic, enigmatic man. A Japanese American born and raised in California, he presented and performed as part of the Sounds of California program. This was not his first time at the Folklife Festival—he also came in 1986 for the Japan program that was featured alongside Tennessee. When … Continue reading George Abe: Ripples of Japanese Internment