Showing posts with label intangible cultural heritage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label intangible cultural heritage. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2015

Welcome to the world of intangible cultural heritage, here are your fish heads!

I am in Victoria BC this week, teaching a course on Intangible Cultural Heritage for UVic's Continuing Studies program. Today was our first day, and we had a series of great discussions around ICH in communities.

Before students arrived, I gave them all a pre-course assignment. And, because I love food, I made them all think about food experiences and the link to culture. We all eat, but we sometimes don’t think about the deeper meanings of food behaviour, and how the symbols and practices of food consumption are embedded in our daily lives.

Students were asked to prepare a short report on a food event, tradition, or event that has meaning to them, their family, community, or region.

I started them off with a discussion about the Mediterranean Diet, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013. We talked about the link between food, community, and traditional skills, about Newfoundland cuisine, and then I showed them one of my favourite short foodlore videos, "Green Jell-O and Fry Sauce: Food Folklore at the Fair," with folklorist Eric Eliason of Brigham Young University.

Then it was their turn, and we were treated to an amazing array of food experiences. We talked about Iranian Nowruz food traditions, BC sport salmon fishing, NWT cranberry hooch, Starbucks rituals, cider and cured meats, two battling presentations on traditional vs vegan Tourtière, fish heads, potlatches and bum guts, Vietnamese Thit Kho - braised pork with eggs, Norwegian lefse, and Chinese dumplings.

Yum, b'y.

Tomorrow we are off to explore Chinatown, hopefully with some Dim Sum along the way.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Saving Stories: Podcasts, Workshops, and Community Booklets

In this edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for July and August 2015, we announce the launch of the Living Heritage Podcast, give a review of the Saving our Stories workshop held in Corner Brook, and provide some tips for communities wanting to create a short oral history or local folklore booklet.

Download the newsletter as a pdf

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Folklore Photo - The Hole In the Floor and Adolphus's Wake

This week's folklore photo might not look like much, but it comes with a great story, and is a very good example of how intangible cultural heritage and our built heritage are intertwined. 

We've been working on an oral history of the Jenkins House in Durrell, Twillingate, which was owned for a portion of its history by Adolphus and Lucretia Jenkins. 

According to oral history, Lucretia contracted tuberculosis and suffered in the home for many years with the disease. She was confined to her bedroom while her daughter Leah Jenkins cared for her, surprisingly Leah never contracted the disease herself. While Lucretia was sick her husband Adolphus passed away. Adolphus was waked in the home, which was tradition at the time. Bedridden and unable to leave the upstairs of the house, Lucretia still wanted to see her husband one last time. The family decided, instead of trying to bring her downstairs they would saw a hole in the floor by the side of her bed so she could rest and still be able to see her husband, so that is what they did. Today, the cut in the floor is still recognizable by the newer boards that fill where the hole once was. 

Corey Sharpe remembers his Grandmother Leah recounting the story;
“Well, I tell you about that now. I never told anybody about it before. When father passed away, they waked him downstairs. So Lucretia was bed ridden upstairs with TB and separated from the family. She wanted to see her husband while they had him waked. So what they did, instead of bring her downstairs, they cut a hole in the floor so she could look down from her bed and see him. So the floors are to stay like that.”
You can download the full oral history report on the Jenkins House in PDF format here.

- Dale Jarvis

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New on the Digital Archives: Purse Seines to Lobster Pots (1952)

Our colleagues over at Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative are constantly uploading new documents to their already impressive collection of archival material.

Recently added was a fabulous short pamphlet entitled "Purse Seines to Lobster Pots" by F.H. Wooding, published in 1952 by the Department of Fisheries of Canada, and printed by the fabulously-named Edmond Cloutier, King's Printer and Controller of Stationery.

The booklet is from the Marine Institute Collections, 20 pages long, and provides an introduction to everything from British Columbia herring, to ice-fishing on the Prairies, to the fisheries of the Atlantic Coast. It includes some great photos of the era, including the Newfoundlanders with the cod trap, above, and the scene of men launching dories somewhere off the Atlantic coast, below.

The booklet also includes a series of great line drawings, such as the illustration of an Atlantic coast sardine weir, shown below.

The publication can be viewed online, or downloaded as a pdf document. Happy fishing!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reframing and Extending Tradition: Intangible Cultural Heritage and Public Folklore in Newfoundland and Labrador

Last year, I was asked to write an article on the role of brokers and mediators in enacting Newfoundland and Labrador's Intangible Cultural Heritage Strategy. That article was included in a special edition of the folklore journal Volkskunde, which has now been released online.

My article outlines three approaches where ICH safeguarding strategies in Newfoundland and Labrador utilize guided facilitation by professional folklorists: community-based training initiatives; safeguarding ICH within heritage districts; and, the development of public programs as part of folklife festivals.

You can download and view the article in pdf format here.

Or you can download the entire journal here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Our Multicultural Province - An Engaging Evening at The Rooms, 7pm March 11th

Our Multicultural Province
The Rooms
9 Bonaventure Avenue
St. John's, NL
7pm, Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
Free event.

Did you know that Newfoundland and Labrador has a growing multicultural community? Immigrants have brought diversity and the opportunity to experience other cultures, their food, their music, and their art. Come hear the stories and challenges of people who have chosen to make this province their home.

Presented by The Rooms in collaboration with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Folklorist Dale Jarvis will introduce you to three talented and engaged people making a home in St. John's: Zainab Jerrett, Hadi Milanloo, and Hazel Ouano Alpuerto. Come have a chat, and learn more about our growing and changing community.

Zainab Jerrett is the Executive Director of Tombolo Multicultural Festival Newfoundland and Labrador Inc. She is also the owner of two businesses: Multi Ethnic Food Kitchen; and the annual International Food and Craft Expo shows in St. John's, CBS, and Paradise. Zainab is originally from Nigeria but immigrated to Canada in 1992 to do PhD in Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She obtained her PhD in Folklore at MUN in 1998. She has been married to a lovely Newfoundlander from 2000 to the present.

Hadi Milanloo was born in the north of Iran, in a family for whom music was of great importance. He started to play the setar when he was 13. Having finished a BMus and an M.A at the University of Tehran, he and his wife, Saeedeh, moved to St. John's in December 2013 in order to pursue their studies at Memorial University. Saeedeh studies Folklore and Hadi is in the Ethnomusicology programme.

Hazel Ouano Alpuerto is a Filipino-Canadian living here in St.John's. She is a Psychiatric Registered Nurse by profession and is working with Eastern Health. She is also the Philippine Honorary Consul General, whose role is to oversee fellow nationals requiring assistance.

Photo of Zainab Jerrett by Martin Connelly/The Scope.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Join us for "The Fishing Grounds of Cupids" sharing session

On Wednesday February 11th at 7 pm, the Cupids Legacy Centre will be hosting a sharing session on "The Fishing Grounds of Cupids". Please join us and bring along your stories and knowledge of traditional fishing in the Cupids area.

We look forward to seeing you and hearing about your fishing experiences!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heritage grant announced for documenting the historic NL fishery

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is announcing a $5000 grant program for projects that document, record, present or safeguard the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of the fishery in the province. Possible projects could focus on the intangible cultural heritage associated with boats, their builders and those who went to sea, net making and mending, crab or lobster pot repair, knot-tying and ropework, cod traps, make-and-break engines, knowledge associated with marks and berths, the architecture of fishing stages and associated material culture (splitting tables, etc), the business of making fish, or oral histories related to the fishery.

“This new program will give communities an opportunity to record some of the important stories and information about the fishery and its role in the daily life of Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Dale Jarvis, folklorist and development officer with the foundation. “A lot of this information is fragile, and needs to be collected before it vanishes.”

The Fisheries ICH Grants are open to town councils, museums, archives or incorporated non-profit cultural and/or heritage organizations.

Deadline for applications is 22 August 2014.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposal with the ICH Development Officer before applying, by phone at 1-(888)-739-1892 ext 2, or email

(photo: the fish plant and boats, Twillingate, 1963)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fishing For Folklore - An Intro to Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop

Petty Harbour Maddox Cove Community Centre
Tuesday, September 2nd - Friday, September 5th, 2014

Length of Worksho
p: 4 days, 9:00am-4:30pm each day

Cost: $250 (includes all breaks, lunches from Wed-Friday, course materials, workbook).

Proposed Audience: This intensive workshop is intended for museum employees, cultural workers, members of heritage committees, researchers, and anyone interested in folklore field research and planning.

Description: In cooperation with the 7th Annual Wooden Boat Conference, the Heritage Foundation of NL is running a four-day intensive introductory workshop on intangible cultural heritage in the historic fishing community of Petty Harbour Maddox Cove. Participants will learn about planning an ICH project, writing field notes, oral history interviewing, safeguarding traditional crafts and skills, creating memory maps of communities, documenting traditional boatbuilding techniques, public folklore programming, and report writing.

Participants will be required to bring pencils and pens, all other materials supplied. While not mandatory, participants are encouraged to bring a laptop and any kind of digital camera.

The workshop will be run by Dale Jarvis, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He holds a BSc in Anthropology/Archaeology from Trent University, and a MA in Folklore from Memorial University. He has contributed as a board member and volunteer to many local arts and heritage organizations. Local experts and special guests will present on various themes throughout the week.

Participation is limited to the first 12 paid registrants. 
For more details, call Dale Jarvis at 1 (888) 739-1892 ext 2, or email

To register, print and mail registration form with cheque or money order for $250 made payable to “Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador” to:

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
PO Box 5171
St. John’s, NL, A1C 5V5


Name: ____________________________________________________

Organization: ___________________________________________________

Postal Address: ____________________________________________________

Phone: ______________ Cell:______________ Email:_____________________

Monday, June 2, 2014

So Long and Thanks for all the Hits!

After a good run of two and a half years, my time with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office is coming to an end. I started working with the Heritage Foundation in January of 2012, when I was finishing a graduate degree in public folklore and completing my final internship requirement. I loved my time here and thought I'd share with you some of my favorite projects.

I started out working on a documentation project focused on baskets and basket making in Newfoundland and Labrador. I concentrated on Mi'kmaq spruce root baskets and mill lunch baskets and traveled all over the west coast and central portions of the island to collect oral histories and photographs of this traditional craft.

A hard hat, maul, mug and two mill lunch baskets.
These items are housed at the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society, Grand Falls-Windsor
A woven melon shaped rib basket constructed from spruce root.
The basket is about 50 years old. It is thought to have been
 owned by a nurse employed at the International Grenfell Association.

Another project I helped develop was the pillow top workshop. I learned about pillow tops from my grandfather, who wove one as a pass time while working in the lumbercamps. I learned how to make the pillow tops and the frames and have been teaching workshops all over the island. The pillow tops have brought me to such places as Quidi Vidi, Cupids, Winterton, South East Bight and even the Logger's Life Museum bunkhouse in Grand Falls-Windsor. I continue to offer pillow top workshops,  if you're interested in having one in your community, feel free to contact me at

Raymond Russell, who made a pillow top in the lumber camps in Terra Nova in 1958,
shows his daughter,Arlene Penney how to tie off the wool on the pillow top frame.

Another project I really enjoyed working on was the Bay Roberts Telegraph Station exhibit. This exhibit was curated by my friend and colleague, Lisa Wilson, and was on display during the summer of 2013 at the Bay Roberts Road to Yesterday Museum. I was asked to photograph the artefacts, in order to compile an inventory of items to choose from for the exhibit.

A piece of cable photographed at the Bay Roberts Road to Yesterday Museum

Telegraph workers in the Bay Roberts Western Union Cable Station.
Photograph was provided by: Jack Hambling
Collector: Lisa Wilson 

Another part of my job was arranging and describing materials for the Intangible Cultural Heritage Collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative. I love describing oral histories, you always learn something new and interesting. I digitized and wrote descriptions for countless collections such as Baccalieu Trail, Port Union and nursing. I also created several collections for the DAI, such as forestry, high steel, baskets and basket making, pillow tops, woodworking and skateboarding. My work with the DAI provided  invaluable digitizing experience and I continue to offer digitizing services and convert such materials as photographs, tape cassettes, VHS, mini-disks and 8mm cartridges. I also offer photograph preservation and restoration, if you're interested in any of these services, please feel free to get in touch.  

I also led several workshops and was asked to speak with school groups. One of my favorite things about  being a folklorist is talking with people. Recently, Dale and I ventured to Cupids to lead an afternoon sessions focused on digitizing and preserving old recipe books.

Sharing stories at Nan's Cookbook: Tea and Talk.
Held at the Cupids Legacy Centre, March 21, 2014

Sharing recipes at Nan's Cookbook: Tea and Talk.
Held at the Cupids Legacy Centre, March 21, 2014

I had the opportunity to work on some great projects, with some amazing people and I'd like to thank all the heritage folks who have assisted, guided and mentored me through my time here. There are too many to name, but I'd like to thank Dale Jarvis for his guidance and for being a grant writing wizard and Lisa Wilson, for being a friend, mentor and confidant. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my posts and have a look at the Tuesday Folklore Photo. Last, but certainly not least, I want to send my sincere gratitude to all the community members I've had the fortune of meeting, without you none of these projects would have been possible. 

So long and thanks for all the (blog) hits!
-Nicole Penney 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: and now for something completely different

Okay, so I might be cheating a bit with today's folklore photo, as the real focus of the post is actually a reel-to-reel film. We often have the most random items dropped off to us at the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office, which we're more than happy to receive. As cultural and heritage mediators and facilitators, we often become the custodians of items in order to preserve and make them accessible to the public.

We recently came into possession of a 12 inch reel-to reel film entitled Architecture of Newfoundland and were tasked with figuring out how to digitize it. To our delight, it has already been digitized and made available to the public via Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative. This film was produced by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and is a fantastic snapshot of architecture in the province in 1975. The film has been made available to view in its entirety by Memorial University of Newfoundland Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support (DELTS). 

Click here to watch Architecture of Newfoundland!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Nan's Cookbook: Tea and Talk

Recipe for Seven Cup Pudding, provided by Natalie Austin.
This recipe belonged to her grandmother on her mother's side,
 Lily Butt of Carbonear/Old Perlican. 

This past Friday the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office hosted  Nan's Cookbook: Tea and Talk at The Cupids Legacy Centre. It was a lovely afternoon where we invited people to bring out their favorite old cookbooks and recipes and share their memories of cooking and baking.

Along with Mary Ellen Wright, Professional Development and Outreach Officer with the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives, we provided advice on scanning and preserving these documents for long term access and how to best preserve the original cookbooks and recipes, which for many are family heirlooms.

Spanish Cream Recipe provided by Linda Saunders.
This was her mother's recipe and Saunders notes,
 "We used to have this with fruit and jelly for dessert on Sundays."


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What is Intangible Cultural Heritage, anyway?

Earlier today, I gave a guest talk for an intro to folklore undergraduate class taught by Mu Li, one of the PhD candidates in the Department of Folklore. My talk was about intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and what we are doing in Newfoundland and Labrador to safeguard it.

I deal often with ICH, so it isn't every day that I stop and think about what it means to people who've never heard the term before. So here are a few definitions.

The first is from UNESCO, and the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The 2003 convention informs much of our safeguarding work in Newfoundland and Labrador, and this is how ICH is defined therein:
The “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.
UNESCO has a detailed website with great info on the Convention and what has been listed and recognized as ICH around the world.

Closer to home, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador has been working on ICH issues since 2008, and in that year, we published a handy PDF booklet called "What is Intangible Cultural Heritage?" We also run, in cooperation with Memorial University, an ICH website with lots of resources and information about local intangible cultural heritage.  Here is how we define ICH in the booklet:

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) or what some call “Living Heritage” encompasses many traditions, practices and customs. These include the stories we tell, the family events we celebrate, our community gatherings, the languages we speak, the songs we sing, knowledge of our natural spaces, our healing traditions, the foods we eat, our holidays, beliefs and cultural practices.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Nan's Cookbook: Tea and Talk

Nan’s Cookbook
Tea & Talk

Friday, March 21, 2014
3-5 p.m.
Cupids Legacy Centre
368 Seaforest Drive, Cupids

Do you have your nan’s recipe cards? Did your mother keep a scrapbook of her favourites? Do you reminisce about that old copy of the Cream of the West Cookbook with the comments and changes written all over its pages?  Bring your old recipe books and cards, and join us for some tea, buns, and memories of cookbooks and cooking.

Free event, please RSVP to Sarah
1-888-739-1892 ex. 5

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finding Folklore in Foxtrap

Today the ICH office visited Queen Elizabeth Regional High School in Foxtrap to talk about local folklore and supernatural belief. Dale and I visited with Lori-Ann Ash and Darrell Sneyd's grade ten English classes to discuss local superstitions, charms, ghost stories, fairy stories and urban legends. We also explored oral tradition, the transmission of folk belief and offered advice about collecting oral histories. To help the students out, we developed a one-page questionnaire for them to take home and use while interviewing parents, family members, friends, or neighbours.

During our visit the students told us some great stories of the supernatural. The following is an urban legend recalled by a female student:
In grade three or four the older girls at school would tease the younger girls about a monster in the toilet. The legend is that one stall, identified with a mark of red spray paint, has a creature living in the toilet and if you flush it, a green slimy hand reaches up, grabs you and pull you down. When I got to grade six, I realized this was made up but by that time we used it to scare the younger girls too, and kept it going. My younger sister goes to that school and that urban legend is still told today.

Another young woman, whose mother is from Denmark, told a Danish folktale about a man who was plaqued and tormented by the nisse, which are elves. The story the student told is as follows:
An old man was out in his garden, smoking his pipe and tending to his horses, when the nisse began to torment him. The nisse stole his pipe and used it to fill his home with smoke. The old man,thinking his house was on fire, called for help. Firemen arrived to put out the fire but they couldn't find any flames. When the old man suggested it was the nisse and that 'the fire was in his mind', the firemen promptly dowsed the man's head with a bucket of water.
We were also very excited to receive a little narrative regarding fairy belief in the area. According to one student, "in the elementary schoolyard there is a fence and we were told that if we went near the fence while wearing green, the fairies would take you away."

We are heading back to Queen Elizabeth Regional High School tomorrow afternoon to see what the students collected and to help them write up their folklore findings.

Here are the questions the students are using:

  1. Is there a place in your community that people say is haunted? ....a haunted cemetery, a haunted walkway, a haunted cliff or rock, a house, or other building? What are the ghostly stories connected to these places?
  2. When you were growing up, were there any places you were told not to go because the fairies would get you? Where was this and what are the stories you were told?
  3. What are the local stories about shipwrecks? ...buried treasures? What about ghost or weather lights seen on the water?
  4. Are there any people who are believed to be witches in the community? Why do people think this? What kind of powers does this person have? 
  5. Have you ever had a visit from the Old Hag while you were sleeping? What happened and do you believe that this experience was real or just a dream?
  6. Do you know of any special charms, superstitions, cures or remedies that are used in your community?

Teachers, librarians or museums: you can download a pdf of these questions right here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sailor's Valentine

Sailor's valentines are a form of seashell folk art developed in the early nineteenth century, particularly popular between 1830 and 1890. Octagonal boxes with a glass overlay served as frames for symmetrical designs that artists created, using small shells of different colours and sizes.

It was once thought that sailors made these valentines themselves, to pass the time at sea. Contrary to this belief, sailor's valentines were actually a cottage industry on the island of Barbados, the centre of supply and distribution for English, Dutch and North American ships. It is recorded that the primary source for sailor's valentines was the New Curiosity Shop, located in Bridgetown. The shop was owned by English brothers B.H. and George Belgrave.

The valentines were usually assembled by female residents for sailors to purchase and bring back to their loved ones at home. The craftswomen would often include romantic phrases and flower and heart designs.

The sailor's valentine featured above belongs to Georgina Mercer of Bishop's Cove, NL. The valentine was gifted from her uncle and has been in Mercer's family for decades.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What's happening Thursday-Saturday in Intangible Cultural Heritage

It is going to be a busy three days! Buckle up, fans of folklore!
Thursday, 12 December, 2013
12:30pm - Mummering Crosstalk on CBC Radio noon with folklorist Dale Jarvis with the Heritage Foundation of NL, and Dara Valelly, with the Armagh Rhymers. Listen online here or phone in with your memories of janneys, mummers, hobby horses, wren boys, and nalujuit! 
2:30pm - Mumming in Northern Ireland: a documentary and talk with the Armagh Rhymers at The Rooms 
8:00pm - Armagh Rhymers at the Inne of Olde, Quidi Vidi: an evening of traditional fireside entertainment with Northern Ireland's Armagh Rhymers. Come for a drink and a session of Irish songs, tunes and poetry. Facebook event listing. $10 at the door

Friday, 13 December, 2013
1:00pm - ICH Mini Forum, MMaP, Arts and Culture Centre: come see what work is happening in our community related to folklore, oral history, and intangible cultural heritage. Free, and open to the public, but you can RSVP and find more detail here. 
7:00pm - Lighting of the Boats in Port de Grave: one of the province's new, brilliant Christmas traditions. Like them on Facebook!

Saturday, 14 December, 2013 - Mummers Parade!
1:00pm - Rig up at Bishop Feild School 
2:00pm - Parade Starts 
3:00pm - Scoff and Scuff outside The Rooms, with The Concert Crowd and the Armagh Rhymers!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Eleven new inscriptions on the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity

Baku, Azerbaijan, 05 December—The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, holding its 8th session until 7 December, today inscribed 11 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This marks the end of this year’s inscriptions.

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity serves to raise awareness of intangible heritage and provide recognition to communities’ traditions and know-how that reflect their cultural diversity. The List does not attribute or recognize any standard of excellence or exclusivity.

The titles of the newly inscribed elements below (in chronological order of inscription) lead to web pages with information, pictures and videos:

Traditional craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its associated customs—Mongolia
The Mongol Ger is a round structure comprising walls, poles and a ceiling covered with canvas and felt, and tightened with ropes. It is light enough for nomads to carry; flexible enough to fold and pack; and sturdy enough to be dismantled and reassembled. Craftsmanship of the traditional Mongol Ger is a communal enterprise, with men carving the wood and both women and men engaged in painting, sewing and stitching, and felt-making. Traditional craftsmanship is taught through mentoring by a senior craftsperson.

Knowledge, skills and rituals related to the annual renewal of the Q’eswachaka bridge—Peru
The Q’eswachaka rope suspension bridge crosses a gorge of the Apurimac River in the southern Andes. Four Quechua-speaking peasant communities assemble annually to renew it, using traditional Inca techniques and materials. The three-day process involves repeatedly braiding straw into thick ropes, which are then woven together to form the bridge. The process structures the life of the participating communities, strengthens centuries-old bonds and reaffirms their cultural identity. When the bridge is finished, the communities hold a celebratory festival.

Kimjang, making and sharing kimchi in the Republic of Korea
Kimchi is a name for preserved vegetables seasoned with spices and fermented seafood, an essential part of Korean meals. Late autumn is Kimjang season, when communities collectively make and share large quantities of kimchi to ensure that every household has enough to sustain it through the winter. The custom emphasizes the importance of sharing and is a reminder of the need to live in harmony with nature. The collective practice of Kimjang reaffirms Korean identity and is an excellent opportunity for strengthening family cooperation.

Men’s group Colindat, Christmas-time ritual---Romania-Republic of Moldova
On Christmas Eve, groups of young men in villages throughout Romania and the Republic of Moldova go from house to house performing festive songs. The songs have an epic content, which is adapted to each host’s individual circumstances. The performers also sing special, auspicious songs for unmarried girls, to help them find a husband within the next year. After the performance, the hosts offer the singers ritual gifts and money. Colindat plays an important role in preserving social identity and cohesion.

Xooy, a divination ceremony among the Serer of Senegal
The Xooy is a traditional divination ceremony among the Serer community, organized prior to the rainy season. During this long nocturnal gathering, master seers known as Saltigues step into a circle and deliver predictions before a rapturous audience. The combination of their vibrant clothing, songs and dances creates a colourful, dramatic ceremony and the seers hold the audience in suspense until daybreak. The Saltigues are the living mediums of the Xooy and preserve and transmit the knowledge that is vital to the ceremony.

Music of Terchová—Slovakia
The village of Terchová in north-west Slovakia is renowned for its collective vocal and instrumental music, performed by three-, four- or five-member string ensembles with a small two-string bass or diatonic button accordion, combined with polyphonic singing and folk dances. Performances take place at anniversaries, festivals and, most importantly, the Jánošík’s Days International Festival. Transmitted orally, the traditional music culture is a matter of pride and a marker of identity among the inhabitants of Terchová and the surrounding areas.

Feast of the Holy Forty Martyrs in Štip—Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The Feast of the Holy Forty Martyrs is celebrated each 22 March to honour the martyrs of Sebaste and to mark the beginning of spring. Participants hike up the Isar hill, stopping at the church to pay tribute to the martyrs. This event requires the selfless cooperation of many people from all age groups, social classes and backgrounds, thus promoting and encouraging teamwork and solidarity. Grandparents, parents and children all hike together, while the climb also unites people from different ethnic groups and religions.

Turkish coffee culture and tradition—Turkey
Turkish coffee combines special preparation techniques with a rich communal traditional culture. It is mainly drunk in coffee-houses, where people meet to converse, share news and read books. The tradition itself is a symbol of hospitality, friendship, refinement and entertainment, permeating all walks of life. Turkish coffee also plays an important role on social occasions such as engagement ceremonies and holidays; its knowledge and rituals are transmitted in an informal way by family members through observation and participation.

Petrykivka decorative painting as a phenomenon of the Ukrainian ornamental folk art—Ukraine
The people of the village of Petrykivka decorate their living quarters, household belongings and musical instruments with a richly symbolic style of ornamental painting, characterized by fantastic flowers and other natural elements. In folk belief, the paintings protect people from sorrow and evil. Every family has at least one practitioner and the tradition is taught at all levels in the local schools, making Petrykivka painting an integral part of daily existence in the community.

La Parranda de San Pedro de Guarenas y Guatire—Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
In the towns of Guarenas and Guatire, devotees celebrate the Day of San Pedro with a series of popular festivities and rituals. Venerated images of the saint, accompanied by flags, banners, musicians, dancers and troubadours, are paraded through the streets to re-enact the story of San Pedro’s healing of the daughter of a slave. Women decorate the churches, dress images of the saint and cook traditional dishes. Adults and children in the community all celebrate a vital tradition that symbolizes and reasserts the struggle against injustice and inequality.

Art of Đờn ca tài tử music and song in southern Viet Nam
Performed at festivals, death anniversary rituals and celebrations, Đờn ca tài tử is a musical art that evokes the people’s life and work on the land and rivers of southern Viet Nam. Instrumentalists and singers express their feelings by improvising, ornamenting and varying the ‘skeletal melody’ and main rhythmic patterns of these pieces, based on twenty principal songs and seventy-two classical songs. Đờn ca tài tử is handed down through oral transmission, based on imitation, from master to student.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Christmas Cookies for Santa

Courtesy of: The Rooms Provincial Archives
VA 73-8.4; John B. Bisbee dressed as Santa Claus.
John B. Bisbee, medical student and theological volunteer.
The costume, trimmed in rabbit fur, was made by nurse Alice Bates.
Date of Creation: December 25, 1913
It's just 22 more sleeps until the big guy dressed in red shimmies down all our respective chimneys, with gifts for all the good little boys and girls. In order to butter up Santa for a heftier stocking and to thank the jolly old elf for his hard work, a common Christmas tradition is to leave cookies for Santa to snack on. Below are recipes for cookies one might commonly see around the Christmas holidays in Newfoundland and Labrador. So if you don't have your baking started, here's some inspiration to get you going!

Recipes of Newfoundland Dishes. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's. 1971.

Cookbook: Featuring Favorite Newfoundland Recipes. Compiled by George Street United Church Women's Association. Revised Edition. 1956-1957.
Cookbook: Featuring Favorite Newfoundland Recipes. Compiled by George Street United Church Women's Association. Revised Edition. 1956-1957.
Christmas Card from G.S. Doyle to Job Kean. Ca. 1900-1920
Courtesy of: Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Archives and Special Collections Division 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: A Game of Pitch and Toss

Courtesy of: The Rooms Provincial Archives Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador
 A 7-12. "Pitch and Toss": Children playing pitch and toss, Grey River. There is a description of the game in the Dictionary of Newfoundland English: "You stand away so far, an' you pitch your button. The handiest to the peg, after so many pitches [would win]. C 70-15 The object of the game was to pitch a button from the hole [where you stood] so that the button touched the 'nag' (or stick). C 71-22 Make a mot in the ground with your heel. Stand at a distance from the hole and pitch the buttons."
Photographer: Holloway Studio [1913]
Games and play allow children to develop important social skills and negotiate their world through competition, role-playing, and power hierarchies. Children's games/play evolve over time and reflect how communities respond to social and economic changes. The introduction of electricity, telephones, movies, television, radio and internet has had a strong influence on the game and play repertoire of children. As these technologies grew in popularity, children spent less time outdoors playing traditional games such as Rounders, Hoist your Sails and Run, Pitch and Toss, Duck on the Rock and Bandy Ball. Subsequently, the rules of many of these games have been nearly lost. We would like to document these games and play before that happens. 

In the new year the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office hopes to collect memories from tradition bearers across the province. Our goal is to explore the folklore of children's games/play through contextual information, such as rules of play, gender and age requirements, type of equipment used and when and where each game was played.

If you have memories of playing these games or know a tradition bearer who does, please feel free to get in touch with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office, we'd love to hear from you! 

For more on traditional games and play in Newfoundland and Labrador check out our collection on MUN's Digital Archive.