Yary Livan is seen working his magic on a potter’s wheel. The Cambodian ceramicist had examples of his ware on display at this summer’s Lowell Folk Festival. Many festival goers asked about purchasing his ware, but the crafts area was not set up for sales. Turns out, Yary has not found a place to sell his work locally. But that is about to change. He will soon have some of his work for sale at the Heritage Shop at the National Heritage Museum. Yary is one of over 70 artists represented in the museum’s exhibition, Keepers of Tradition: Art and Folk Heritage in Massachusetts.
Photo by Maggie Holtzberg
Porcupine quills — a raw material, that is not so easy to come by. But Eastern woodlands and Great Plains Indians have long been used to decorate baskets, boxes and garments. The tradition has been beautifully revived by Dave Holland, who makes a form of regalia dating back to the early 18th century. Dave sews the quills to leather using a netting technique. Below you see an example of this quill work on a tobacco pouch. Holland’s regalia is used by pow wow dancers and reenactors, as well as in film work. When asked how he got started making regalia, Dave says, “I used to do some reenacting myself but I couldn’t afford to buy the regalia. But once I found a road kill, and the rest is history.”
Photo by Jason Dowdle
Folklorist Millie Rahn knows the history of folk music in Massachusetts – and serves as the archivist for Club Passim. Catch this recent story on NPR celebrating the legendary folk music venue.