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Dance!

Note: This 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! April 29 is International Dance Day, established by the International Dance Council (CID) in 1982 to call attention to the importance of dance worldwide.  So get your dances […]

World Storytelling Day: Stories of Strong Women

March 20 is World Storytelling Day.  Tying storytelling with the equinox in March is thought to have originated in Sweden as Alla berättares dag (all storytellers day) in 1991 or 1992. Other countries joined to celebrate storytelling on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere and the first day of autumn in the […]

Native American Cultural Revitalization Today

I remember a history class my junior year in high school dealing with the period in United States history when Indian tribes were being forced onto reservations. Presented as a better option were Indian schools where children were taught to assimilate into American society. To ensure that they would learn English and American customs these […]

Reflections on the Life of a Native American Marine

November 10, 2015 marks the 240th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Semper fidelis! It just so happens that this birthday falls during November, the month set aside to celebrate the rich history and culture of Native Americans/American Indians. Interestingly enough, while recently doing some research for a media event, I came across a […]

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 […]

More AFC Recordings on the National Recording Registry

In my last post for Folklife Today, I shared some of the great recordings on the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry, a program of the Library that honors historically significant recordings and draws attention to the importance of audio preservation and audio archives in the stewardship of American culture and history. Specifically, I discussed […]

Honoring Vernacular Sounds: AFC Recordings on the National Recording Registry

Last week, the Library announced this year’s inductees to the National Recording Registry.  There, along with classics by The Doors, Radiohead, Steve Martin, and Joan Baez, was a fascinating AFC collection: The Benjamin Ives Gilman Collection Recorded at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago. This collection of 101 wax cylinder recordings was created by […]

Moving Day and a Major Anniversary

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center’s Judith Gray, an ethnomusicologist who curates the largest body of early recordings of indigenous American songs and stories recorded in the United States. After all the identifying, rehousing, cataloging, labeling, barcoding, and databasing activity on the part of AFC staff over the past year, the actual […]

Omaha Hethu’shka Society Songs and Dances

Historically, the Omaha Indian Hethu’shka Society were a group of highly respected men, voted into the group by unanimous consent of the society, who aimed to set a strong example for their people of the best attributes of a warrior. Although traditionally deeds in combat were the central test for inclusion in the society, such […]

American Indian and Alaskan Native Veterans Served Proudly Too

When talking about United States military veterans, there is a group that often gets overlooked–that of American Indian and Alaskan Natives. In fact, growing up, I don’t recall learning too much at all in school about their rich history and culture. Their story would only be a small part of the chapters on Christopher Columbus, […]