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Category: Folk Medicine

Group of experts on longevity standing in courtyard.

Now Available: Webcast of Longevity Panel Discussion and New Responses to Audience Questions

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In February 2024, the American Folklife Center and the Health Services Division organized a panel discussion on longevity with experts in public health and the traditional arts. This post provides a webcast of the event and provides responses to audience questions that were unanswered, due to time constraints, during the event.

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

Agnes Vanderburg’s Outdoor School for Traditional Indian Ways

Posted by: Stephanie Hall

“A lot of things come out of my chest,” Agnes Vanderburg explained in 1979 when folklorist Kay Young asked about her reasons for starting a school to pass on her knowledge of Salish Indian traditions (recording at the link, go to 1:50 minutes). She had felt frustrated at carrying knowledge that was disappearing as Indians …

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

Spring Tonics

Posted by: Stephanie Hall

Cultures that rely on limited local sources of food in the winter often have traditions about the restorative and curative powers of foods and herbs that become available in the spring.  The American Folklife Center’s Coal River Folklife Project, headed by Mary Hufford, documented folklife in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley (1992 to 1999).  The …