Sights & Sounds

Mac Traynham and Robert Browder

While the first European and African settlers of Southern Appalachia carried with them a strong stringed-instrument music tradition, instruments were often difficult to acquire, leading players to be resourceful in …

Sights & Sounds

John Buck and James R. Lumpkins Jr.

The importation and manufacturing of firearms have been part of Virginia’s history since European settlement. The first documented firearms brought to Virginia in 1607 were muskets equipped with matchlocks, snaphances, …

Sights & Sounds

Ubaldo Sanchez and Jorge Cabrera

Alfombras de arracin (rice carpets) are created in Guatemalan cities and villages during Holy Week. Using dyed sawdust, rice, dried beans, and other vegetable materials, teams of artists create a …

Sights & Sounds

Deborah Pratt and Teddy Bagby

Master oyster shucker Deborah Pratt (Photo by Morgan Miller/Virginia Folklife Program) For communities on Virginia’s Northern Neck, the oyster fishery was perhaps the largest and most influential industry from the …

Sights & Sounds

Mark Campbell and Barrow Wheary and Isaac Akers

The early folk song-collecting expeditions of Cecil Sharp and others informed the rest of America about the remarkable breadth of fiddle tunes in Southern Appalachia, many of which closely resembled …

Sights & Sounds

Jimmy Price and Alex Handley

Working from his home business not far from the site of his grandfather’s farm in Amherst, Virginia, Jimmy Price is a master of traditional building craft skills once prized and …

Sights & Sounds

Frances Davis and Annie James

Known as “Fried Apple Pies,” “Dried Apple Pies,” or even “Fried Dried Apple Pies,” these locally made pies seem to have a ubiquitous presence throughout Southwest Virginia, appearing on the …

Sights & Sounds

Kathy Coleman and Callie McCarty

When the American Folklore Society was established in 1901, a critical part of its stated mission was to document the “oral literature” of the southern Appalachian Mountains, as this region …

Sights & Sounds

Moges Seyoum and Bililign Mandefro

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the oldest of all Eastern Christianities. A defining characteristic of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the elaborate singing or chanting which takes place often for …

Sights & Sounds

Frank Newsome and Buster Mullins

The singing of the Old Regular Baptists is one of the oldest and deepest veins of American spiritual singing traditions. This hymnody, with elaborate, lined-out, unaccompanied singing is prevalent throughout …

Sights & Sounds

Sandra Bennett and Linda Wright

Sandra Bennett, master of Traditional Fiber Arts (photo by Morgan Miller/Virginia Folklife Program) An appreciation of Appalachian fiber arts has often been hindered by stereotypical images of Appalachia as a …

Sights & Sounds

Tom Van Nortwick and Andrew Elder

Tom Van Nortwick, master of automobile pinstriping (photo by Morgan Miller/Virginia Folklife Program) Tom Van Nortwick of Franklin County is Virginia’s master of pinstriping, the precise application by hand of …

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