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Category: Animals

Group of people laying long poles across lit barbecue pit in ground

Caught My Eye: Buckaroos and Barbecues

Posted by: Allina Migoni

This is a guest blog post by Drew Holley, a master's student in the Folklore Studies program at Utah State University with a particular interest in food and film. Drew completed his internship at the American Folklife Center earlier this year. Today’s blog will showcase foodways collections (traditions and practices surrounding food) found at the American Folklife Center.

In this picture of Tlacuatzin Son Huasteco, a man holds a violin, a woman holds a large guitar, and another man holds a smaller guitar. Photo is accompanied by the Homegrown 2022 logo, which includes the words "Library of Congress American Folklife Center Homegrown 2022 Concert Series, "Homegrown at Home." Tlacuatzin Son Huasteco

Homegrown Plus Premiere: Tlacuatzin Son Huasteco from Mexico

Posted by: Stephen Winick

We're continuing the Homegrown Plus Premiere series with Tlacuatzin Son Huasteco, a trio playing one of the traditional music styles of eastern Mexico, known as son huasteco or huapango music; As is usual for the series, this blog post includes an embedded concert video, an interview video, and a set of related links to explore! Son huasteco music is built around two variants of the guitar, the jarana and the quinta huapanguera, as well as the violin and the voice. Son huasteco singing employs a distinctive falsetto style. Improvisation plays a strong role in this music, with each group adding their own lyrics and arrangements to a standard repertoire of songs. The result is acoustic string-band music that is both traditional and contemporary, with direct emotional appeal.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Politics and Possum Feasts: Presidents Who Ate Opossums

Posted by: Stephen Winick

A photo in the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division (known colloquially around the institution as P & P) shows white men in formal attire, sitting row upon row at tables, apparently waiting to be served. The caption, which came to us with the photo itself, is “’Possum’ dinner tendered to President-elect William Howard …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

A Possum Crisp and Brown: The Opossum and American Foodways

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This is the third in a series of posts about folklife related to the Virginia Opossum, the only marsupial native to the United States.  Find the series here! In 1910, Maggie Pogue Johnson, an African American woman from Virginia, published a dialect poem about classic African American cuisine, or what we would today call “soul food.” …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Awesome Possum!

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This is the first of a series of blog posts celebrating Didelphis virginiana, commonly known as the North American opossum. (Find the whole series here!) This cat-sized nocturnal animal is the only new world marsupial that lives north of Mexico, and therefore the only marsupial native to the United States. In most American dialects of …

A fairy-like goddess plays a long pipe. A hare sits next to her on a mushroom, and a cherub and three more hares listen to her tune.

Ostara and the Hare: Not Ancient, but Not As Modern As Some Skeptics Think

Posted by: Stephen Winick

If you’re curious about modern holiday beliefs and calendar customs, you might be reading or doing research about them online. Chances are, you come across some stories that the presenters claim are ancient, and reach into the pre-Christian past. One popular story you might have seen recently involves the origin of the Easter Bunny. Essentially, …