Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WORLD CUP OF FOLKLORE


Folk Songs, Folk Music, Folk Dance 


If you are in a group of folklore singers, musicians and/or dancers who want to be seen by other similar groups in the world around the world, then you’ll want to know about the World Cup of Folklore. Held May 24-28 this year in Jesolo Venice, this four-day event is a marathon of activity.

Competition Categories 


  • Folklore songs groups, authentic folklore (choirs and ensembles)
  • Folklore songs groups, modern arrangement of folklore music; - (choirs and ensembles)
  • Folklore dances groups, authentic folklore; (folklore dance groups, ensembles)
  • Folklore dances groups; modern choreography (folklore dance groups, ensembles)
  • Folklore mix ensembles - Authentic performances; (live vocal, instrumental and dance)
  • Folklore mix ensembles - Processed performances; (live vocal, instrumental and dance)
This event was designed to create unity between people and cultures. According to the primary event organizer, Sopravista Internaitonal Festivals, the aim is to foster a sense of tolerance and respect for those how are different.

The organization also sponsors two other festivals in Italy: VII International Spring Festival at Garda Lake and the International Festival for Folklore and Contemporary arts (Le spiagge d'Italia).

Other organizers include Cultural Association (Cultura in movimento), the Municipality of Jesolo and the European Association of Folklore Festivals.

The three-member jury will award First Place Awards and Diplomas for each category as well as gold, silver and bronze medals. The best performers will also receive production of a video clip. Award winners also receive a copy of their performances which have been taped for broadcast on television throughout Europe.

In order to show off your program which won’t exceed 10 minutes in length, register now. For more details, click here

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Sea Shanties



Songs Aboard Ships

Folk songs reflect the lives of those singing them. Sea shanties were popular among sailors from the 18th to the 20th century. This style of work song could be heard in American merchant vessels prior to the Civil War.

These tunes could be heard while men adjusted the rig or raised the anchor. They were also sung when other tasks required the men to work together in rhythm, such as rowing. 
About these team songs, experts say their rhythms were precise and often used call-and-response elements. African Americans who sang while loading these ships, stoking steamboat furnaces and other tasks are credited with influencing these work songs that were belted out by all.


Freedom To Sing

In some instances, the lyrics, which were easily adapted, allowing sailors and slaves alike to sing about what they might not otherwise be able to talk about.

The range of music also included elements of minstrel music, popular marches and regional folk songs. Traditionally, they are grouped into three primary types: short haul shanties for shorter trips; halyard shanties for heavier work and capstan shanties for long, repetitive tasks.

Examples

One classic sea shanty example was a popular American folk song that had Irish roots.  “Poor Paddy Works on the Railway" while being a song about the railroad was adapted to be a work tune about working on a boat on Erie.

Other memorable sea shanties included “Blow the Man Down” and “Drunken Sailor”.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Healing Charms and Medicine


The Folklore of Healing Rituals


If you are interested in learning about the ways healing charms and medicine are being study, then you’ll want to know about this upcoming folklore event:


Interdisciplinary Approaches to the 
Study of Healing Charms and Medicine
Harvard University, April 6-8, 2018

 According to the conference sponsors, charms are understood as a ritual means of addressing situations of sickness, stress, and anxiety by way of a combination of special language and special actions.  They are also universal across human societies. For example, early Latin manuscripts and various other vernacular languages contain several examples of healing charms that blur the lines between magic and science. The link between them has not been severed. It has been noted that today, people routinely consult specialists in naturopathy, Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine alongside, or in preference to, modern, scientific medicine.

Not only does the study of healing charms and other medical beliefs and practices have the potential to yield insight into traditional and historical systems of knowledge, but such study often has major implications for modern medicine. 

Charms can lead to the development of new medication and procedures, as when researchers from the University of Nottingham discovered that a charm from the 9th century Anglo Saxon manuscript “Bald’s Leechbook” proved effective in eradicating strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

Pharmaceutical companies spend significant amount of money on researching the pharmocopiae of indigenous cultures across the planet in order to develop new drugs.

Because of the broad nature of this topic, this conference aims to bring together researchers whose work spans a broad range of areas, time periods, and disciplinary approaches. 

This event brings together the study of medicine, science, and religion, thereby bridging gaps between disciplines and uncovering connections between the traditions of various cultures.

Presentation themes will range from verbal magic in the Middle Ages, quarantines as magic, and women and childbirth.

Featured Speakers

Dr. Jacqueline Borsje, University of Amsterdam. She is a specialist in the study of Religion and in Celtic Studies and is currently leading a project called "The power of words in medieval Ireland."

Professor Richard Kieckheffer of Northwestern University, is one of the most prominent scholars of magic and religion in the late Middle Ages. He has a special interest in church architecture, and the history of witchcraft and magic. 

To learn more about the conference schedule click here. 


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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Black American Folk Hero

Carter Godwin Woodson


December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950

This American folk hero, credited with being the “father of black history” was a first on many fronts. He founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and was one of the first scholars to study African-American history. This historian, author, and journalist also founded The Journal of Negro History in 1915 and launched the celebration of "Negro History Week" in 1926 which is the precursor of Black History Month.

Born in December 1875 he was the son of former slaves. His father, James Woodson helped Union soldiers during the Civil War and later moved his family to Virginia where a high school for black students was being built.

Early Years

Woodson earned his living as a coal miner and attended school irregularly until he entered Douglass High School. At the age of 20 he earned his high school diploma and went on to teach school in Fayette County. By 1900 he was appointed the high school principal and managed to continue his own education until he earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College in Kentucky and later graduated from the University of  Chicago with both a Bachelors and Master’s Degree. He followed that with a docatorate degree from Harvard University and a faculty member at Howard University where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

He felt the role of African-American history and the history of other cultures was being ignored or misrepresented among scholars, and later published with Alexander L. Jackson, The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 in 1915.


Reducing Racism

The Association for the Study of Negro Life an
d History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History), ran conferences, published The Journal of Negro History, and focused on those responsible for the education of black children. He believed that education was a key to reducing racism as were increasing social and professional contacts.

His first book, A Century of Negro Migration, continues to be published by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He also studied many aspects of African-American history, including publishing the first survey of free black slaveowners in the United States in 1930.

He once wrote: "If you can control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions. If you can determine what a man thinks you do not have to worry about what he will do. If you can make a man believe that he is inferior, you don’t have to compel him to seek an inferior status, he will do so without being told and if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the back door, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one."

His tireless effort has created a legacy that lives on. To learn more about him, click here


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