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Quilts of 19th-Century British Soldiers Are Threaded With Mystery 0 E. Mee Natasha Frost — “There are almost as many myths about 19th-century military quilts as there are mysteries. These intricate patchwork textiles were once believed to be the work of recovering soldiers, painstakingly stitched in some far-off corner of the British Empire. The fabric came from the uniforms of fallen comrades—a way to remember those who had given their lives for queen and for country—and the skills from occupational therapy in a clean, well-maintained hospital. They were known as ‘convalescence quilts,’ and they offered reassuring proof to the folks at home that Queen Victoria’s army were being well looked after. Or, at least, so the story went. But many things about this tale are worthy of further investigation, says Annette Gero, an international quilt historian, author, and collector. We don’t know who precisely made these quilts, beyond that they were soldiers; why they made them; what they were used for; or how they picked up the ability to do so. The more scholars like Gero look into these quilts, the more unconvincing the accepted explanations seem. .…” To continue reading, visit the full article on Atlas Obscura’s website. Frost, Natasha. “The Dazzling Quilts of 19th-Century British Soldiers Are Threaded With Mystery.” Atlas Obscura (June 19, 2018). <https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/soldiers-military-quilts-crimea?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=20448bc743-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-20448bc743-66399901&ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_21_2018)&mc_cid=20448bc743&mc_eid=2f47b1a004>
by E. Mee
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Water Sprites, Fairies and Elves, Photographer Bego Antón Explores Iceland 0 E. Mee Kerri MacDonald — “Bego Antón can’t see elves. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t try to photograph them. ‘My work is always kind of weird, you know?’ the Spanish photographer admitted. ‘For me it’s a reality, but depending on who sees the story, it’s more of a fantasy.’ The last time Lens spoke with Ms. Antón, the conversation was about dancing dogs. Her latest project, ‘The earth is only a little dust under our feet,’ is the result of five years spent traveling back and forth to Iceland to explore the world of mythical, folkloric creatures. ‘There are elves in Iceland,’ Ms. Antón wrote in her book’s introduction. ‘Also fairies, unicorns, huldufolk, trolls, beach dwarfs, water sprites, mountain spirits and ghosts.’ Ms. Antón, 35, started chasing these sprites during an artist’s residency in Iceland in 2013, when her research led her to a website for an elf school in Reykjavik. ‘I was like, ‘Really? Elf School?’ ‘I talked to the people in the village where I was staying and I realized how close they are to these invisible beings,” she said. “It’s not that they believe in them, but they can see them and talk to them and they relate to them as if they were people, neighbors.’ .…” To continue reading, visit the full article on The New York Times’s website. MacDonald, Kerri. “Water Sprites, Fairies and Elves, Oh My.” New York Times (June 7, 2018). <https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/lens/iceland-fairy-folktales-elves-photography.html>
by E. Mee
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
José Feliciano to Sing Star-Spangled Banner, Donate Guitar to Smithsonian 0 E. Mee   Judy Cantor-Navas — “José Feliciano will sing the national anthem at a naturalization ceremony for 20 new U.S. citizens which will take place at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on June 14, Flag Day. At the ceremony, Feliciano will gift his bespoke Concerto Candelas guitar, that he played during the recording of his breakout hit ‘Light My Fire,’ to the Smithsonian, along with other items from his personal archives. The artist is celebrating 50 years since the release of his Grammy-winning cover of the song by The Doors, which took him to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The track appeared on Feliciano!, the enduring album of Latin-tinged covers which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart upon its release. That success resulted in an invitation for the Puerto-Rican singer-songwriter to perform ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ during game five of the 1968 World Series at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium. .…” To continue reading, visit the full article on Billboard’s website. Cantor-Navas, Judy. “José Feliciano to Sing 'Star-Spangled Banner,' Donate Guitar at Smithsonian Citizenship Ceremony: Exclusive.” Billboard (June 6, 2018). <https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/8459567/jose-feliciano-sing-star-spangled-banner-donate-guitar-smithsonian-citizenship-ceremony>
by E. Mee
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Why We Don’t Read, Revisited 0 E. Mee Caleb Crain — “A little more than a decade ago, I wrote an article for The New Yorker about American reading habits, which a number of studies then indicated might be in decline. I was worried about what a shift to “secondary orality”—a sociological term for a post-literate culture—might do to America’s politics. “In a culture of secondary orality, we may be less likely to spend time with ideas we disagree with,” I wrote. I suspected that people might become less inclined to do fact checking on their own; “forced to choose between conflicting stories,” they would “fall back on hunches.” I’ll go out on a limb and say that I don’t think that I got this part wrong. But I’ve often wondered whether I was right about the underlying trend, too. Were Americans in fact reading less back then? And are they reading even less today? Whenever I happen across a news article on the topic, I wonder if I’m about to find out whether I was Cassandra or Chicken Little. In assessing reports about reading habits, I keep in mind a couple of lessons from the research that I did a decade ago. First, although American adults seem to get a kick out of worrying about whether American children are reading enough, this is an enormous waste of time in the world in which we happen to live. Children who have any hope of getting into or remaining in the middle class are under great social and economic pressure to excel at academics, and, of all Americans, they are perhaps the least likely to change their reading habits of their own volition. Even the amount of pleasure reading they do seems likely to reflect the social pressure they’re under—not where America in general is headed. .…” To continue reading, visit the full article on The New Yorker’s website. Crain, Caleb. “Why We Don’t Read, Revisited.” The New Yorker (June 14, 2018). <https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/why-we-dont-read-revisited>
by E. Mee
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Meet Willie Durisseau, the 100-year-old Purveyor of Creole Fiddle Playing 0 E. Mee Ben Myers — “Willie Durisseau apologized for the hoarseness in his voice that made it difficult to speak. Irma Durisseau, his wife of 75 years, fielded most of the visitors’ questions in their Opelousas home last week. 'We met at a dance,' Irma explained. 'Country dancing, a long time ago.' The half-hour conversation was far too short, as any would be that’s meant to cover the life of a 100-year-old black man from south Louisiana who raised 14 kids, served in the U.S. Army in Okinawa and possesses a skill that would be protected behind museum glass if it were an object Durisseau is one of the few remaining Creole fiddle players, and almost certainly the oldest, who learned to play when the style was popular. He lived in obscurity for most of his life until Herman Fuselier wrote about him this month in a column for the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Now there’s a movement within the Acadiana music community to honor Durisseau in some fashion, although the organizers have not yet decided exactly how. They regard Durisseau as a prophet, and speak of transcendence when describing their meetings with him. .…” To continue reading, visit the full article on The Acadiana Advocate’s website. Myers, Ben. “Meet Willie Durisseau, the 100-year-old Purveyor of Creole Fiddle Playing Who's Inspired a New Contest.” The Acadiana Advocate (June 17, 2018). <http://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/article_898dd8e8-70c7-11e8-904e-93f8e17cb785.html >
by E. Mee
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Posters, Banners, Boarding Passes: Museums Try to Get a Head Start on... 0 R. Rini Larson By Alex Marshall — “The day after Ireland’s recent abortion referendum, Brenda Malone woke up early, walked to her car and took a stepladder and some wire cutters out of the trunk. Then she started climbing up lampposts and cutting down any campaign posters she could find. The first one had a picture of a fetus on it, with the words ‘Don’t repeal me.’ Ms. Malone may have looked like an activist claiming mementos of the referendum or a protester making a final act of defiance after Ireland’s vote to rescind the Constitution’s ban on abortion. But Ms. Malone had different reasons: She is a curator at the National Museum of Ireland who is working to preserve the posters. Since that day, Ms. Malone has put out a call for flags, banners and signs used in the campaign — she received her first item last week, and is in discussions for around 25 more. She also successfully asked  for airline boarding passes from women who flew back to Ireland for the vote. She asked friends via Facebook, too — but advised them not to climb any lampposts. Other Irish museums have made similar requests. The National Gallery said on Twitter it was interested in collecting 'anything with artistic intent and merit' tied to the referendum. Dublin City Council Library tweeted that it was looking for 'ephemera.' Those calls are just the latest examples of 'rapid response collecting,' a practice that is increasingly being adopted by museums in Europe and America. …” To continue reading, visit the full article on The New York Times' website. Marshall, Alex. “Posters, Banners, Boarding Passes: Museums Try to Get a Head Start on History.” The New York Times (June 18, 2018). <https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/arts/design/rapid-response-collecting-ireland-berlin.html>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, June 22, 2018
This Map Shows the U.S. Really Has 11 Separate “Nations” 0 R. Rini Larson By Mark Abadi —  "The United States comprises several different regions, each with its own rich history and cultural identity. Exactly where those regions start and end has been a long-running debate, but according to author Colin Woodard, the United States can be divided into 11 distinct sub-nations. Woodard mapped out the regions in his 2012 book "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America." Some of his regions might sound familiar, like the "Deep South"; others might surprise American readers, like his "Midlands" region that stretches from New Jersey to northeastern New Mexico. Recognizing the distinct values of each region is critical to understanding the United States, Woodard said. "The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately, including state roles and individual liberty," Woodard, a Maine native, told Business Insider in 2015. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on the Business Insider website. Abadi, Mark. "This Map Shows the U.S. Really Has 11 Separate “Nations” with Entirely Different Cultures." Business Insider (June 18, 2018). <https://amp.businessinsider.com/regional-differences-united-states-2018-1>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, June 22, 2018
Greg Sharrow Fund 0 R. Rini Larson In April, the folklore world lost Greg Sharrow: educator, documentarian, and longtime staff at the Vermont Folklife Center. "Above all else Greg was an educator," the VFC memoriam page states, "[who] developed and continually refined an innovative approach that put VFC's tools and skills into the hands of teachers and their students so that they could conduct rich research projects in their home communities." This project continues today as the Discovering Community Education Program. The Vermont Folklife Center has established a Greg Sharrow Fund in honor of Sharrow's work. Donations to that fund help to support the Discovering Community Education Program. If you are interested in giving, you may mail a check, payable to the Vermont Folklife Center: 88 Main St. Middlebury, VT 05753 Send it to the attention of John Barstow. Simply write "Greg Sharrow Fund" on the check's memo line, and your gift will go to the fund.    For more information, you may contact Mary Rizos, the education director: mrizos@vermontfolklifesociety.org. Please see the VFC's In Memoriam page for Greg Sharrow, or the VFC page about Greg’s legacy.
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, June 22, 2018
The Surprising History of Old-Timey Swahili Postcards 0 R. Rini Larson By Melody Schrieber — “The photos are mostly of women, decked in elaborate clothing and jewelry, wearing serious or playful or romantic expressions. Many of the images have been colorized — hand-painted to bring ruby lips, golden pendants, emerald chairs to life. These portraits were captured in photography studios throughout Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia from the 1890s to the 1920s. The images offer glimpses into the subjects' lives — and have an unusual history. Unbeknownst to the subjects, photographers often turned the negatives from private shoots into postcards for Westerners to sell or send back home as mementos from their East African trips. Now, these historic postcards are being viewed once more as part of a new exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean showcases 160 objects from museums and private collections on four continents, displaying art and history from the region known as the Swahili coast in East Africa. The exhibition runs until September 3. …” To continue reading, visit the full article on NPR.com. Schrieber, Melody. “The Surprising History of Old-Timey Swahili Postcards.” NPR (June 10, 2018). <https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/10/614361414/the-surprising-history-of-old-timey-swahili-postcards>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, June 22, 2018
Chasing the Pearl of Lao Tzu 0 R. Rini Larson Michael Lapointe — “Legend says the diver drowned retrieving the pearl. Trapped in a giant Tridacna clam, his body was brought to the surface by his fellow tribesmen in Palawan, a province of the Philippines, in May 1934. When the clam was pried open, and the meat scraped out, the local chief beheld something marvelous: a massive pearl, its sheen like satin. In its surface, the chief discerned the face of the Prophet Muhammad. He named it the Pearl of Allah. At 14 pounds, one ounce, it was the largest pearl ever discovered. A Filipino American, Wilburn Dowell Cobb, was visiting the island at the time and offered to buy the jewel. In a 1939 article that appeared in Natural History magazine, he recounted the chief’s refusal to sell: “A pearl with the image of Mohammed, the Prophet of Allah, is earned by devotion, by sacrifice, not bought with money.” But when the chief’s son fell ill with malaria, Cobb used atabrine, a modern medicine, to heal him. “You have earned your reward,” the chief proclaimed. “Here, my friend, claim this, your pearl.” In 1939, Cobb brought the pearl to New York City, and exhibited it at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, on Broadway. There, a new legend emerged, eclipsing the first. Upon seeing the pearl, Cobb said, an elderly Chinese gentleman “of highest culture and significant wealth” named Mr. Lee “burst into an hysteria of trembling and weeping.” This wasn’t the Pearl of Allah; this was the long-lost Pearl of Lao Tzu. …” To continue reading, visit the full article on The Atlantic’s website. Lapointe, Michael. “Chasing the Pearl of Lao Tzu.” The Atlantic (June 2018). <https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-pearl-of-lao-tzu/559109/>
by R. Rini Larson
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
The Increasingly Intricate Story of How the Americas Were Peopled 0 R. Rini Larson Ed Yong — “Tens of thousands of years ago, the places that have since been named Russia and Alaska were not separated by water, but connected by a continuous bridge of land. People walked across that land, heading eastward from Asia. For a time, their journey was blocked by two gigantic ice sheets that smothered most of what is now Canada. But once the ice started melting, those early pioneers—the ancestors of today’s Native Americans—spread southward. Sometime between 14,600 and 17,500 years ago, they split into two main lineages: a northern group and a southern one. The northern group gave rise to the Algonquian-, Na-Dené-, Salishan-, and Tsimshian-speaking peoples of Canada, and to the Ancient One—a famous 8,500-year-old skeleton found in Kennewick, Washington. The southern group included the ancestors of modern Central and South Americans, as well as Anzick-1—a 12,600 year old infant skeleton from the widespread Clovis culture. This narrative comes from archaeology, linguistics, and most recently, genetics. By studying and comparing the DNA of the Ancient One, Anzick-1, and two infants from Upward Sun River in Alaska, scientists have started to piece together the movements—and existence—of ancient peoples. “There have been a lot of interesting ancient DNA findings in the Americas, but always based on one or two genomes,” says Christiana “Freddi” Scheib, from the University of Tartu. “I wanted to see if we could fill out this picture by getting as many ancient genomes as we could.” Scheib and her colleagues ultimately analyzed DNA from the remains of 91 people, who lived in California’s Channel Islands and southwestern Ontario, between 200 and 4,800 years ago. And their study both confirms and complicates the existing story of how the Americas were peopled. …” To continue reading, visit the full article on The Atlantic's website. Yong, Ed. “The Increasingly Intricate Story of How the Americas Were Peopled.” The Atlantic (May 31, 2018). <https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/the-increasingly-intricate-story-of-how-the-americas-were-peopled/561638/>
by R. Rini Larson
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Island Folklorists Receive Prestigious Marius Barbeau Medal 0 R. Rini Larson “Georges Arsenault and John Cousins, two of Prince Edward Island’s most esteemed folklorists, will receive a special honour this week. They will be presented with the Marius Barbeau Medal by the Folklore Studies Association of Canada/L’Association canadienne d’ethnologie et de folklore. The medal is given in recognition of remarkable individual contributions to folklore and ethnology through teaching, research, and communication―activities in which both Arsenault and Cousins have excelled. Previous recipients of the Barbeau Medal with fieldwork links to P.E.I. include John Shaw and the late Edward ‘Sandy’ Ives. From May 25–27, the association will be holding its annual meeting at UPEI in collaboration with the Institute of Island Studies. This year’s theme, “Carried on the Waves: Contemporary Currents in Folklore and Ethnology / Porté par les Vagues: Courants Actuels d’Ethnologie et de Folklore,” inspires researchers to explore the flow of expression among various groups over time and place. …” To continue reading, visit the full article on The Guardian’s website. “Island Folklorists Receive Prestigious Marius Barbeau Medal.” The Guardian (May 25, 2018). <http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/community/island-folklorists-receive-prestigious-marius-barbeau-medal-213078/#.WwivZv3jzEw.facebook>
by R. Rini Larson
Monday, June 4, 2018
The Bizarre Lies Mothers Tell Their Kids: ‘Crying Makes Your Head Fall Off' 0 R. Rini Larson By Eric Grundhauser — “Being a mom is a tough job, in large part because you just can’t reason with small children. What you can do, however, is lie to them. In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked readers to send us the most outlandish white lies their mothers ever told them. As it turns out, moms all over the world are telling some wonderfully inventive lies. We received over 500 responses, and as uniquely crazy as many of them were, there was also plenty of common ground. Many mothers still tell variations on the classics: if you make a funny face, it will stay that way; if you eat before you swim, you’ll get cramps (or die); moms have eyes in the backs of their heads, and so on. But then there were the more esoteric fibs, such as the dangers of dragonflies sewing your lips together, that playing in puddles will give you polio, or that a little man lives in your eyes and signals your mom when you aren’t telling the truth. …” To continue reading, visit the full article on The Guardian’s website. Grundhauser, Eric. “The Bizarre Lies Mothers Tell Their Kids: ‘Crying Makes Your Head Fall Off.’” The Guardian (June 1, 2018). <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/01/bizzare-lies-moms-told-kids?>
by R. Rini Larson
Monday, June 4, 2018
A Wolflike Creature Was Stalking Livestock in Montana 0 R. Rini Larson By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. —  "In Montana, it’s legal to shoot wolves that get perilously close to people or livestock, and that’s exactly what a rancher in Denton thought he did, putting a bullet into something with four legs and canine teeth that came within stalking distance of his herd. But when he summoned wildlife officials to investigate, something was off. The dead animal’s canine teeth were too short, the front paws were tiny for a wolf, and the claws on those paws were too long. The ears were too big as well, experts told The Washington Post, and the coat was wrong. This was no wolf. It was a young, non-lactating female and a canid, or member of the dog family, Montana wildlife officials concluded, but that’s about as far as animal experts got. 'We have no idea what this is,' Bruce Auchly, information manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. 'And we won’t know until we get the DNA tests back.' ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on the Washington Post website. Wootson, Cleve R., Jr. "A Wolflike Creature Was Stalking Livestock in Montana. Authorities Have No Idea What It Is." The Washington Post (May 25, 2018). <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/05/25/a-wolflike-creature-was-stalking-livestock-in-montana-authorities-have-no-idea-what-it-is/?utm_term=.5d0ace927d38>
by R. Rini Larson
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Anti-Racist Barbecuers Take Back Oakland’s Communal Backyard, Lake Merritt 0 R. Rini Larson By Jonathan Kauffman —  "By 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a meaty, righteous aroma wafted up from hundreds of grills set up around the northeastern shore of Lake Merritt. Oakland barbecue stalwart Everett & Jones was flipping yard-long racks of ribs to give away. Vendors of skateboard decks airbrushed with the greats of African American history set up next to political organizers calling out for registered voters. BBQ’n While Black was barely getting started. Three Sundays before, Kenzie Smith and Onsayo Abram had fired up their Weber on the same strip of lawn. They had set up the cooler, the folding table and a couple of folding chairs when a white woman approached the two African American men to complain that they were using a charcoal grill in a non-charcoal-grilling area. Then she called the police and stood there for two hours, sunglasses blocking out her gaze, face stern, cell phone glued to her ear. About 90 minutes into the one-woman standoff, Michelle Snider, Smith’s wife, took out her own phone and filmed herself attempting to talk to the woman. She was still filming when a police officer arrived and the confronter broke down sobbing, telling the officer that she was being harassed. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on the San Francisco Chronicle website. Kauffman, Jonathan. "Anti-Racist Barbecuers Take Back Oakland’s Communal Backyard at Lake Merritt." San Francisco Chronicle (May 20, 2018). <https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Barbecuers-take-back-Oakland-s-communal-12929602.php>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, May 25, 2018
3D Scans Help Preserve History, But Who Should Own Them? 0 R. Rini Larson By Laura Rydell —    "War, natural disasters and climate change are destroying some of the world's most precious cultural sites. Google is trying to help preserve these archaeological wonders by allowing users access to 3D images of these treasures through its site.   But the project is raising questions about Google's motivations and about who should own the digital copyrights. Some critics call it a form of "digital colonialism."   When it comes to archaeological treasures, the losses have been mounting. ISIS blew up parts of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and an earthquake hit Bagan, an ancient city in Myanmar, damaging dozens of temples, in 2016. In the past, all archaeologists and historians had for restoration and research were photos, drawings, remnants and intuition.   But that's changing. Before the earthquake at Bagan, many of the temples on the site were scanned. One of them, Ananda ok Kyaung, stands out for Chance Coughenour, a manager at Google Arts & Culture. "This is a temple that has incredible murals, floor to ceiling across the inter-passageways and the inter-chamber of the temple," he says.   ..."   To continue reading, visit the full article on NPR.com.   Rydell, Laura. "3D Scans Help Preserve History, But Who Should Own Them?" NPR (May 21, 2018). <https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2018/05/21/609084578/3d-scans-help-preserve-history-but-who-should-own-them>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, May 25, 2018
Skokie, Ill., Has Great Bagels—And An Even Better Story Behind Them 0 R. Rini Larson By Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein —  "When my mother passed away in Sarasota, Fla., my sisters and I had 48 hours to pack up her condo and book it back to our hometown of Skokie, Ill., for her funeral. Embarking on a road trip together across six states, we could only fixate on one thing: Kaufman's bagels and trays for the shiva (the Jewish tradition of seven days of mourning after burial). When it came to our mother's shiva, my sisters and I held a long-standing promise to invest in the best bagels and trays at all cost. There was just one problem: It was Passover, when Jews celebrate the great Exodus out of Egypt. As we careened toward our own personal Promised Land, we worried that Kaufman's, a famous 50-year-old kosher-style deli and Skokie institution on Dempster Street, would be closed for the holiday. After much begging and pleading over the phone, Kaufman's came through with its grand fish and deli meat trays featuring the finest Nova lox, thinly sliced corned beef, tuna salad, gefilte fish, chive cream cheese, herring, sturgeon, sable, egg salad, chopped liver, black olives and salty pickles. But according to Jewish law, Jews are not allowed to eat bread over Passover in honor of those who fled Egypt before their bread could rise, so Kaufman's put the kibosh on bagels, much to our dismay. As grieving daughters, the need for bagels as a comfort food at our mom's shiva trumped any sort of allegiance to the Jewish laws of Passover. Suddenly, we had a bagel crisis on our hands. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on NPR.com. Lichtenstein, Amanda Leigh. "Skokie, Ill., Has Great Bagels—And An Even Better Story Behind Them." NPR.com (May 16, 2018). <https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/05/16/610244617/skokie-ill-has-great-bagels-and-an-even-better-story-behind-them>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, May 18, 2018
Zora Neale Hurston’s Story of a Former Slave Finally Comes to Print 0 R. Rini Larson By Casey N. Cep —  "Captain William Foster left Mobile in secret and returned the same way. On July 8, 1860, he dropped anchor in the waters off the coast of Mississippi, hid his cargo below deck, slipped ashore, and travelled overland to fetch a tugboat from Alabama. By then, Foster and his ship had survived a hurricane, a mutiny, an ambush, and a transatlantic journey, but late that Sunday night, after the tug carried him up the Mobile River to Twelve Mile Island, the Captain emptied his hold, dismissed his crew, and set fire to his ship. The Clotilda, Foster would forever after complain, was worth more than his share of what it had smuggled. Although the international slave trade had been outlawed in America more than half a century earlier, Foster and three co-conspirators, a trio of brothers by the name of Meaher, had purchased a hundred and twenty-five men, women, and children, from Benin and Nigeria, to traffic them into the United States. The plan had been hatched a year before, when one of the Meahers got into an argument: a New Yorker insisted that slaves could no longer be transported across the Atlantic, a Louisiana planter wagered a hundred dollars that it could be done, and Timothy Meaher bet a thousand that he could be the one to do it. The market for slaves had grown tremendously in the previous five decades. Absent imports, slavers relied on reproduction and relocation for their supply, and, as labor-intensive agriculture shifted to the Deep South, more than a million enslaved people were forced there by ship, rail, and sometimes by foot, in coffles. By the middle of the nineteenth century, domestic slave prices were so high that many planters had begun lobbying to reopen the global trade. ..." To continue reading, visit the full article on The New Yorker's website. Cep, Casey N. “Zora Neale Hurston’s Story of a Former Slave Finally Comes to Print.” The New Yorker (May 7, 2018).<https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/14/zora-neale-hurstons-story-of-a-former-slave-finally-comes-to-print/amp>
by R. Rini Larson
Friday, May 18, 2018
Folkloristics Spotlighted in World's Foremost Climbing Journal 0 R. Rini Larson Brad Rassler (Sustainable Play, Founder and Editor-in-Chief) has written the cover story for Alpinist Magazine, Issue 61 (Spring 2018) about mountaineering’s folkloric tradition as applied to one of the sport’s most colorful characters, the late Fred Beckey. Rassler quotes AFS members Lynne McNeill (Utah State University), and Spencer Green (Penn State Harrisburg) in this article, along with invoking the work of Alan Dundes.   To quote briefly from the article: "When he died last October, Fred Beckey, often referred to as the ‘indomitable,’ left behind an unprecedented legacy of first ascents across North America, as well as a legend shaped by decades of lore from all who encountered him in the mountains."   To purchase the issue online, visit: https://shop.holpublications.com/products/alpinist-magazine-issue-61. To purchase the app/digital edition, visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alpinist-magazine/id566714955.  
by R. Rini Larson
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Every Culture Appropriates 0 R. Rini Larson  By David Frum — “Meet the Death Metal Cowboys of Botswana. In black leather decorated with metal studs, they play a pounding style of music that people who know more than me trace to the British band ‘Venom’ and its 1981 album Welcome to Hell. Question: Is this cultural appropriation? Why or why not? The question is inspired by a spasm of social-media cruelty that caught wide attention last week. A young woman in Utah bought a Chinese-style dress to wear to her high school formal. She posted some photographs of herself on her personal Instagram page—and suddenly found herself the target of virulent online abuse. For once, the story has a happy ending. Good sense and kindness prevailed, and instead of her prom being ruined, the young woman exited the dance buoyed by worldwide support and affirmation, most of all from within China. …” To continue reading, visit the full article on The Atlantic’s website. Frum, David. “Every Culture Appropriates.” The Atlantic (May 8, 2018). <https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/559802/>  
by R. Rini Larson
Saturday, May 12, 2018

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