Sights & Sounds

Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe and Hannah Johnson

The square dance is the “official dance” of Virginia, as it is in a majority of states throughout the country. First introduced by European settlers, the square dance developed over …

Sights & Sounds

Sochietah Ung and Matthew Regan and Lena Ouk

In the years between 1975 and 1979, the Maoist-inspired radical group, the Khmer Rouge, committed horrific acts of genocide in Cambodia, attempting to collectivize Khmer socioeconomic operations, destroy the traditional …

News

Bolivian Traditions to Come Alive at the Richmond Folk Festival

Virginia is home to the largest Bolivian-born population in the country. In celebration of Bolivian cultural vitality in the Commonwealth, the Virginia Folklife Program will spotlight the traditions that connect …

News

Celebrating Youth “Tradition Bearers” and the Masters Who Taught Them at 2015 Richmond Folk Festival

Fans of the Richmond Folk Festival may notice a bit of a younger vibe at the Virginia Folklife Area this year. While the Virginia Folklife Program will continue to celebrate …

Sights & Sounds

Susan Gaeta: From Her Nona’s Drawer

Flory Jagoda, a 2002 recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship, is known as “the keeper of the flame” of the once rich Saphardic Jewish song tradition. Flory sings the songs she learned from her nona (grandmother) as a child in pre-WWII Sarajevo – songs which have been passed down in her family since they fled the Spanish Inquisition in 1492. All of her ballads are sung in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language dating back centuries.

Susan Gaeta, an accomplished musician in her own right, demonstrates a deep intellectual and personal interest in carrying on this precious traditional art form.

Sights & Sounds

A Conversation With Laura Ortiz

A Mexican Folk Dancer connects to her daughter and heritage through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program By Anna Kariel “The story of Virginians, other than the story of Virginia Indians, …

Sights & Sounds

Jessica Canaday Stewart and Vanessa Adkins

The Chickahominy Tribe, currently the second largest tribe in Virginia, is based primarily in Charles City County. Because of their historic proximity to Jamestown, members of the autonomous Algonquin-speaking Chickahominy …

Sights & Sounds

Earl and Scottie Blake

Earl Blake. (Peter Hedlund/The Virginia Folklife Program) The Latin roots of the term Carnival mean “farewell to meat,” as Carnival falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of …

Sights & Sounds

Gankhuyag Natsag and Zanabazar Gankhuyag

Tsam is an ancient Buddhist ritual performed by skilled dancers wearing elaborately ornamented costumes and masks. The Tsam was first introduced in Mongolia at the beginning of the eighth century when …

Sights & Sounds

Laura Ortiz and Ariel Hobza-Ortiz

Mexicans comprise one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations in Virginia. This emerging cultural community has already contributed a plethora of traditional folkways to the diverse tapestry of Virginia Folklife, including …

Sights & Sounds

Ofosuwa Abiola-Tamba and Monica James

While there is now a greater understanding and appreciation of the African origins of much of Virginia’s expressive culture, these roots were long ignored, misunderstood, or held in diminished regard …

Sights & Sounds

Brenda and Shannon Joyce

Flatfooting, an old-time dance style closely associated with traditional string band music, is quite distinct from its closest cousin, clogging, in that the dancer’s feet barely leave the floor. Distinct …

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