Friday, October 20, 2017

#AdaptingHeritage Forum 2017 - Introducing Lorraine Gillis

Lorraine Gillis can recall being interested in crafts and knitting from a very early age and she is no stranger to taking on a new challenge. She is a mother of one and grandmother of two amazing grandchildren. She was born and raised in a small coastal community located on the west coast of Newfoundland known as the Highlands. Her parents, Johnny and Annie Gillis, together, had 10 children. Settlers in the community used to rely on them for help with everything from sewing of wedding dresses, woodworking/carpentry and delivering of babies to mortician duties. Like her parents before her, Lorraine also wears many hats in the talent department. She has even been known to rewire a burnt out dash panel for a Volkswagen. AbbyShot approached Lorraine back in 2016 to join them as their artisan supplier for their Outlander Scottish Bonnets. 

At the forum, Lorraine will be demonstrating her knitting skills, and displaying some of the products she produces for Abbyshot. 

Forum on Adapting NL's Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place on October 25 and 26. The cost of registration is $75.00, and $18.75 for post-secondary students. For full program details click here. To register click here.

Old Shops of Port Blandford and Folk Cures and Practical Magic Booklet Launches

Katie Harvey discussing "Everything was Wrapped in Brown Paper" in Port Blandford.
The past few weeks have been busy ones at the ICH Office. We've been working on several projects including our two latest booklets which have recently launched. On Thursday, October 12th, Katie and I hit the road to Port Blandford with one of the latest booklets in the Oral History Roadshow series. “Everything Was Wrapped in Brown Paper: The Old Shops of Port Blandford” is the third booklet in the Oral History Roadshow Series produced by the Heritage Foundation. This booklet focuses on the old shops of Port Blandford, and people’s memories associated with these places.
Participants Sarah Greening and Linda Bennett reading the book. 
The booklet developed as a result of conversations with Calvin Efford of the Port Blandford Heritage Society and a public event held in August 2017. This event focused on the shops in the community. There were over forty shops in the town from the late 1800s to the early 2000s. Over the course of a couple of days in August we did some interviews with community members who worked or shopped in the stores. These interviews were combined with background research done by the Port Blandford Heritage Society and the community's summer Green Team as well as photos from the community.

On Tuesday October 17th, Dale and I along with our summer student Andrea McGuire headed out to Spaniard's Bay for the launch of the second booklet in the Oral History Roadshow series, "Folk Cures and Practical Magic". This booklet was focused in Spaniard's Bay but also includes a couple of stories from seniors who were interviewed during the summer as part of the Collective Memories project. It includes sections of charming warts, and curing toothaches as well as memories of the midwives and doctors in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Andrea McGuire and Terra Barrett with some of the participants interviewed for the Folk Cures and Practical Magic book.
This booklet was the result of a roadshow event held in Spaniard's Bay in July 2017 that focused on home remedies like poultices for infections or practical magic such as removing a stye with a gold ring. Andrea McGuire and I completed interviews with community members who attended this Oral History Night and the Spaniard's Bay Heritage Society's summer student, Thomas Lane, completed a series of interviews with identified community members.

Judy Symonds reading one of her excerpts from the book.
Both launches were quite successful and the popular booklets are being sold by each Heritage Society. The Heritage Foundation will also place a PDF version online in the next few weeks which can be accessed and downloaded for free. 

If you would like to know more information about how your community can get involved in the Oral History Roadshow call Terra at 1-888-739-1892 ex. 5 or email or Dale ex. 2 and

~Terra Barrett

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tales from Afar: Why Chickens Scratch the Ground. #FolkloreThursday

"Tales from Afar: Old Stories from New Residents" is a project to share traditional stories which have come from away, created by the St. John’s Local Immigration Partnership and the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is one of the tales we’ve collected so far. 
You can learn more about the project at our Adapting Heritage Forum Oct 25th.

Why Chickens Scratch the Ground

As told by Marissa Francisco Farahbod

Do you know why chickens always seem to be scratching the ground as if they are looking for something? There is a story behind that.

Once upon a time, a hawk soaring in the blue skies noticed a beautiful hen on the ground. Dazzled by her beauty, the hawk came to the hen and asked for her hand in marriage. The hen accepted and asked the hawk to wait until she could grow wings so that she could fly along with the hawk. Upon her consent, the hawk said that he would wait for her and gave her a ring to mark their betrothal. The hen happily wore the ring around her neck.

But alas! She was being deceptive! When a rooster that she had promised to marry before saw her ring, he got angry and convinced her to dispose of the ring and keep her promise to him. Seeing that the hawk was gone, the hen threw her ring away.

But the hawk came back sooner than she expected and was surprised to see the ring gone. When he enquired about the ring the hen lied to him and said that she had lost the ring by accident. But the hawk saw through her lies and cursed the chicken. He told her that she must find his ring and that he would always observe the hen carefully and make her scratch every patch of ground until she has found his ring.

The curse has not yet been lifted as even today, chickens are scratching the ground still looking for the hawk’s ring.

A Visayan folktale from the Phillipines, learned from the storyteller's mother as a child.  Marissa Farahbod is a graduate student in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University. Image: The Little Red Hen, Wikimedia

How can I share a story?

Stories can be submitted in written form, or participants can sit down with a collector and record a spoken version of their story. To share a story, you can:

#AdaptingHeritage Forum 2017 - Introducing Eastern Owl

Left to right: Kayla Stride, Natasha Blackwood, Jaime O'Leary, Stacey Howse, Danielle Benoit, Jenelle Duval, Rebecca Sharr.

Eastern Owl is known locally and nationally as a unique group of women who blend the styles of First Nations Drum Music and Contemporary Folk to create their own innovative sound. A powerful ensemble of seven vocalists, they have been captivating audiences at festivals and concerts across Canada. With deep roots in community, Eastern Owl has committed to deepening their connection with their traditional practices while helping to educate indigenous and non-indigenous audiences alike. They are recent recipients of the 2016 ArtsNL CBC Emerging Artist award and have taken the national stage during Canadian Music Week, Coastal First Nations Dance Festival, and Petapan. The women have been making waves following the release of their celebrated debut album “Not Quite Like You” and are currently one of the most in-demand groups in Newfoundland and Labrador.
At the forum, Easten Owl will conduct the opening ceremony where they will undergo land acknowledgement and perform a couple of their songs.
Forum on Adapting NL's Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place on October 25 and 26. The cost of registration is $75.00, and $18.75 for post-secondary students. For full program details click here. To register click here.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

#AdaptingHeritage Forum 2017 - Introducing Caitlin Bolduc Whelan

Caitlin Bolduc Whelan is a folklore student who grew up in the East End of St. John’s. Throughout her life, her second home is with her family in the nearby town of Placentia. Her grandfather was a natural storyteller and instilled in her an early love of legends, lore and the sea. As with many young people, Caitlin left the island but quickly returned after realizing how culturally rich and unique it was. She enjoys foraging for local food, playing music and engaging with young people. Her experience working with youth and her appetite for foodways aligned well with Fishing for Success and the missions of the organization, she has spent the last two summers working with them on the fishing stages of Petty Harbour. Caitlin hopes to narrow her work onto youth retention and cultural education, and how these two factors can contribute to sustainable community building.

At the forum, Caitlin will be participating in a panel discussion titled Heritage in the Landwash - Safeguarding Coastal Traditions where she will discuss her work with Fishing For Success. If you would like to learn more about this organization, you can listen to Kimberly Orren's Living Heritage podcast episode by clicking here.  

Forum on Adapting NL's Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place on October 25 and 26. The cost of registration is $75.00, and $18.75 for post-secondary students. For full program details click here. To register click here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#AdaptingHeritage Forum 2017 - Introducing Jessica Barry

Jessica Barry is the Project Officer for the St. John's Local Immigration Partnership (LIP). Hosted by the City of St. John's, the St. John's LIP is a community collaboration designed to facilitate the successful settlement and integration of newcomers in the City, and to create opportunities for full participation in social, economic and cultural life. Jessica has a background in Sociology and is involved in various arts and community development initiatives in the city. 

At the forum, Jessica will be participating in a panel discussion called Stories From Here where she will focus on her work with LIP.

Forum on Adapting NL's Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place on October 25 and 26. The cost of registration is $75.00, and $18.75 for post-secondary students. For full program details click here. To register click here.

Braced on rocks in Caplin Cove #folklorephoto

A building braced on rocks in Caplin Cove. Photograph taken August 1993 and is part of the 35mm slide collection at the Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation.

Monday, October 16, 2017

#AdaptingHeritage Forum 2017 - Introducing Dianne Carr

Dianne Carr (nee Vokey) is a Spaniard's Bay native who recently "resettled" in the community after retiring from teaching. Diane became involved with Spaniard's Bay Heritage Society two years ago. Her father was one of the founding members of the society and she decided she would like to carry on his legacy and give back to the community by getting involved with the summer programming and helping to promote the small museum. 

At the forum, Dianne will be discussing her involvement with the Spaniard's Bay Heritage Society. If you would like to hear more about her work, you can listen to our Living Heritage podcast episode with her by clicking here.

Forum on Adapting NL's Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place on October 25 and 26. The cost of registration is $75.00, and $18.75 for post-secondary students. For full program details click here. To register click here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Booklet Launch - Folk Cures and Practical Magic

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) and the Spaniard’s Bay Heritage Society present a booklet launch at Holy Redeemer Parish Centre in Spaniard’s Bay on Tuesday, October 17th, from 2:00-4:00pm.

“Folk Cures and Practical Magic” is the second booklet in the Oral History Roadshow series produced by the Heritage Foundation. This booklet focuses on charms for warts and toothaches, cures for earaches, freckles, and sore throats, and memories of midwives, doctors, and home remedies.

“That would’ve just been white bread, broken up and put into a bowl with boiling water and it had to be applied hot, remembered Jeanette Russell. “So you would get it to a consistency where I guess you could get a ball made out of it so it would be very hot and maybe because of the malleability of the bread you could put it wherever it needed to go and the heat would draw out the substance of a boil or whatever was there that was causing the infection.”
Russell who grew up in Spaniard’s Bay was one of several community members who was interviewed as part of the oral history project completed by HFNL in conjunction with Spaniard’s Bay Heritage Society.

“This booklet developed as a result of an oral history event held in the community,” says Terra Barrett, a folklorist with the foundation. "The evening focused on folk cures, home remedies, and stories of midwifery and this collection of stories is a result of interviews that followed the public event.”

"Folks Cures and Practical Magic" is part of the foundation’s Oral History Roadshow. This project is an initiative of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the HFNL made possible with assistance from the New Horizons for Seniors program. The Oral History Night Roadshow will see us travel from community to community, hosting a series of Oral History Nights, open-mic storytelling sessions led and inspired by seniors in that community.

The booklet launch in Spaniard’s Bay is open to the public and will include light refreshments. There will be copies of the booklet available at the launch as well as a free PDF version which will be placed online. For more information please call Terra Barrett at 1-888-739-1892 ext. 5 or email