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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Festival Video

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

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

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

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

Wu Man: ‘Night Thoughts’


During the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Wu Man performed an original composition on the pipa entitled “Night Thoughts,” based on a work by ChineseRead More

August 10, 2014   No Comments

Preserving the Process and Beauty of Batik


Lian Xiaoyin is a performer with the Leishan Miao Music and Dance Group and a student of the ancient artRead More

August 9, 2014   No Comments

Pete Akwabi and John Nzenze: The Kenyan Twist


During one of the “Songs of Struggle” discussion sessions at the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Kenya program, musicians Peter AkwabiRead More

August 7, 2014   No Comments

Mongolian Worship Song by Ih Tsetsn


The Inner Mongolian ensemble Ih Tsetsn won over crowds at the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival with their complex harmonies andRead More

July 31, 2014   No Comments

Songs of Struggle: Political Music and Media in Kenya


In a 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival workshop, Kenyan musicians Makadem, Justo and Joseck Asikoye, and Singing Wells project advisor BillRead More

July 25, 2014   No Comments