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Solar Eclipse: A Moment of Awe, Wonder, and Belief

According to Hindu mythology, there is an unseen “planet” out there in the form of the head of a serpent god, Rahu Ketu. This god wanted to gobble up the sun.  To prevent this Vishnu cut off his head. The head, Rahu, and the body, Ketu, became two entities out there circling the Earth (in […]

A Few Examples of Dads’ Traditions

A celebration of fathers and fatherhood took a long time to be established as a nation-wide observance.  Mother’s Day was being locally observed as it was being promoted in the 19th and early 20th century, and became a regular holiday in May in 1914 by presidential proclamation. Father’s Day was locally celebrated around the country […]

PTSD: A Lasting Impact of War

The following is a guest blog post by Rachel Telford, Archivist for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP). A version of this article was previously published on the Library of Congress Blog, March 6, 2017. “…In January of ’06 for the very first time in my life, I went to the VA and […]

The Inspiring Life of Texan Héctor P. García

The following is a guest post by Christy Chason, Liaison Specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). Until recently, Dr. Héctor P. García was someone about whom I knew precious little. In fact, knowing what I know now, I am embarrassed to say that I had only ever heard his name in the context of […]

Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Goes Online

The following guest post by Ann Hoog is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce a new online presentation of the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection.  The photos and audio […]

Spooky Stories for Halloween

As some of our readers may remember, tomorrow is the second anniversary of Folklife Today, and our very first post was about Halloween.  Last year, we did a series of posts about collecting Halloween and Day of the Dead photos through a special hashtag.  You can see some of the results here and here and […]

The Poet Laureate Joins an AFC Workshop on Corridos

At AFC, we’re excited about the Library’s new Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, Juan Felipe Herrera. He’s a fascinating person and a great poet, and he has a deep interest in folk culture. All this led him to join an AFC workshop, and to perform the result during his inaugural reading this September.  We’d like […]

Collection Spotlight: Anthony D. Lopez

Due in part to the well-known HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, which profiled the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, the accomplishments and bravery of World War II paratroopers are well known. And deservedly so—I can’t imagine hurling myself out of a plane under the best of conditions, let alone while dodging enemy bullets […]

Corridos of the Texas Border Collected by John and Ruby Lomax

On September 15 and 16, 2015, AFC will be featuring a lecture and workshop with Juan Díes, and a and concert with Sones de México Ensemble, presenting the corrido, a type of narrative song native to the Texas-Mexico border region. In honor of these events, I thought I would introduce our readers to some of […]

Farewell to the Holidays

On this snowy January day, I’d like to wish the readers of Folklife Today a happy end to the holiday season.  Many people take down their Christmas decorations immediately after the day itself, and others use New Year’s Day as the end of their holiday. But among many communities, the Christmas season culminates after Twelfth […]