Sights & Sounds

Gaye Adegbalola and Lorie Strother

The blues is a name given to both a musical form and a genre of music that originated in African American communities of the United States toward the end of …

Sights & Sounds

Wayne Henderson and Jayne Henderson

Wayne Henderson was born, raised and still lives in tiny Rugby, Virginia in Grayson County. He built his first guitar using traced patterns and the wood from the bottom of …

Sights & Sounds

Dudley Biddlecomb and Peter Hedlund

Because of the Chesapeake Bay’s ideal brackish waters, its oyster population was once one of the most plentiful in the nation, and oyster harvesting was long a booming industry throughout …

Sights & Sounds

John Hollandsworth and Sam Gleaves

Patented in 1881 by German instrument repairman Charles Zimmerman, the autoharp first reached popularity in the United States as a novelty instrument. By 1900, by the time the fad had …

Sights & Sounds

John del Re, Kelly Macklin, John Alexander and Diane Ober

Shape note singing is a folk art dating to post-Revolutionary War days, when Americans set folk tunes to religious texts using patented shaped notes to facilitate sight-reading. Meant to encourage …

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

Gail Hobbs-Page and Kyle L. Kilduff

Gail Hobbs-Page was given her first pair of goats as a child growing up on a North Carolina farm. “I loved their milk, and I loved the idea that I …

Sights & Sounds

Dave Young and Yvonne V. Young

A cobbler is a craftsperson who specializes in repairing shoes. Although traditionally, cobblers also made shoes, most modern cobblers focus on repair and restoration rather than manufacture of new shoes. …

Sights & Sounds

Sammy Shelor and Ashley Nale

Enslaved Africans brought the earliest versions of the banjo to Virginia. By the nineteenth century, the banjo was America’s most popular instrument, but it was not until the 1940s when …

Sights & Sounds

Northern Neck Chantey Singers and Lewis R. Blackwell Jr.

Menhaden fishing has been a significant economic engine on Virginia’s Northern Neck since shortly after the Civil War. Menhaden are bony, oily fish in the herring family. Unfit for human …

Sights & Sounds

Emily Spencer and Kilby Spencer

The “clawhammer” banjo style is an essential aspect of “old time,” an ensemble-based, hard-driving music form that has inspired dancers across Southern Appalachia for generations. Unlike the more popularized bluegrass …

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