The Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998. The materials collected here document the planning, production, and execution of the annual Festival, produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present) and its predecessor offices (1967-1999). An overview of the entire Festival records group is available here: Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection documents the planning, production, and execution of the 1967 Festival of American Folklife. Materials may include photographs, audio recordings, motion picture film and video recordings, notes, production drawings, contracts, memoranda, correspondence, informational materials, publications, and ephemera. Such materials were created during the Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as well as in the featured communities, before or after the Festival itself.
Arranged in 5 series.
Series 1: Program Books, Festival Publications, and Ephemera
Series 2: Fieldwork
Series 3: Photographs
Series 4: Audio
Series 5: Video
The Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998.
The 1967 Festival of American Folklife was produced by the Smithsonian Division of Performing Arts.
For more information, see Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
In 1966, Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley engaged James R. Morris to serve as Director of Museum Services, soon to become a new Division of Performing Arts. Ripley charged Morris to develop a full program of performances on the National Mall - sound and light show, readings and concerts, films, live demonstrations, and special exhibitions. Morris, who had previously organized the American Folk Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1963, proposed that the Smithsonian host a folk festival as the centerpiece of the outdoors activities. Through the Asheville festival, Morris had come into contact with key people involved in the Newport Folk Festival, among them Alan Lomax. It was Lomax who suggested that the Smithsonian hire Newport's then-director of field programs, Ralph C. Rinzler, to help plan a Smithsonian festival. The term "folklife", drawn from Scandinavian usage, was chosen over "folk" as the name of the new Festival.
The first Festival of American Folklife was held July 1-4, 1967 in two tents - one for crafts and one for sales - a music stage, and a performance area on the terrace of the Museum of History and Technology (later, the National Museum of American History). Fifty-eight traditional craftspeople and thirty-two musical and dance groups from throughout the United States demonstrated and performed at the first open-air event. Mountain banjo-pickers and ballad singers, Chinese lion dancers, Indian sand painters, basket and rug weavers, New Orleans jazz bands and a Bohemian hammer dulcimer band from east Texas combined with the host of participants from many rural and urban areas of the U.S. The entire event was free to the public, the expense of the production having been borne by the Smithsonian aided by numerous civic and cultural organizations, business enterprises and State Arts Councils.
The 1967 Festival drew a huge crowd - estimated at more than 400,000 - and strong interest from the press, Members of Congress, and Smithsonian leadership. In the Smithsonian's annual report for 1967, Ripley reflected on the success of the Festival:
Within - in the Museum - the tools, the products of craft work, the musical instruments hang suspended in cases, caught in beautifully petrified isolation. Without, for the space of a few hours they came alive in the hands of specialists from all over America.... It was a moving spectacle and one that underscored the principle that a museum, to be a museum in the best sense of the word, must live and breathe both within and without.
The 1967 Festival marked the inception of a fresh attempt at the evaluation, documentation and celebration of a hitherto unrecognized area of vigorous American expression. Concurrent with the first Festival, an American Folklife Conference was organized (with assistance from Henry Glassie) to address topics of American and international folklife studies, the relationship between folklife and history, applied folklife, and folklife in schools, museums, communities, and government agencies.
The Festival was organized by the Division of Performing Arts, under the direction of James R. Morris. Ralph Rinzler was the Applied Folklore Consultant and Festival Artistic Director, and Marian A. Hope was Project Assistant. No program book or schedule was published, but news articles, congressional remarks, letters from the public, and a list of participants were later compiled in lieu of a program book. That document can be viewed in Series 1.
Harry Belone, 1912-1986, Navajo sand painter, Arizona
Herman Benton, 1914-1994, scoop maker, New York
Mary Bowers, 1922-2002, Seminole patchwork, needlework, Florida
Marie Z. Chino, 1907-1982, Acoma pottery, New Mexico
Mildred Cleghorn, 1910-1997, Indian cloth dolls, Oklahoma
Maisy Coburn, apple face and corncob dolls, Arkansas
Margaret Coochwytewa, 1923-1995, Hopi, coil and yucca leaves basket maker, Arizona
Victor Coochwytewa, 1922-2011, Hopi silversmith, Arizona
Freedom Quilting Bee, Alabama
Taft Greer, 1908-1986, weaver, Tennessee
Joseph Grismayer, 1888-1970, willow basket maker, Pennsylvania
Dewey Harmon, 1900-1972, whittler, North Carolina
Bea Hensley, 1919-2013, blacksmith, North Carolina
Louise Jones, 1910-1973, coil basket making, South Carolina
Robert Keith, chair maker, North Carolina
Mrs. Robert Keith, chair maker, North Carolina
Norman Kennedy, 1934-, carder, spinner, weaver, Massachusetts
Clifford Lucas, Indian dolls, New Mexico
Lila Suzanne Marshall, 1908-1994, corn shuck dolls, North Carolina
Charles Mayac, 1906-1971, ivory carver, Alaska
Leo J. Meyer, scrimshaw carver, Maryland
Alice Merryman, 1906-2007, corn shuck dolls, Arkansas
Norman Miller, 1905-1972, southern pottery, Alabama
Mrs. Norman Miller, southern pottery, Alabama
Hazel Miracle, 1915-2001, apple face, corn shuck dolls, Kentucky
Homer Miracle, 1910-1980, hand-hewn bowls, carver, Kentucky
Ann Mitchell, corn shuck dolls, Maryland
Golda Porter, spinner, North Carolina
Edd Presnell, 1916-1994, dulcimer maker, North Carolina
Wade Ward (1892-1971) and the Buck Mountain Band, mountain string band, Virginia
Yomo Toro Band, Puerto Rican music, New York
Ed Young (1910-1972), G.D. Young and Lonnie Young (1903-1976), African American fife and drum group, Mississippi
Young People's Chorus from the Scripture of Church of Christ, gospel, Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers, cloggers, North Carolina
Chinese Lion Group, Washington, D.C.
Maurice Flowers, square dance caller, Maryland
Los Gallegos d'Espana, Galician dance, New York
Glinka Dancers, Russian dance group, New Jersey
Jochim Koyuk, King Island Eskimo dancer, Alaska
Mrs. Jochim Koyuk, King Island Eskimo dancer, Alaska
McNeff Dancers, Irish dancing with Ceilidh band, New York
Henry Paterick, square dance caller, Virginia
St. Andrews Society Group, Scottish dancing, Washington, D.C.
Shared Stewardship of Collections:
The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage acknowledges and respects the right of artists, performers, Folklife Festival participants, community-based scholars, and knowledge-keepers to collaboratively steward representations of themselves and their intangible cultural heritage in media produced, curated, and distributed by the Center. Making this collection accessible to the public is an ongoing process grounded in the Center's commitment to connecting living people and cultures to the materials this collection represents. To view the Center's full shared stewardship policy, which defines our protocols for addressing collections-related inquiries and concerns, please visit https://folklife.si.edu/archives#shared-stewardship.
Forms Part Of:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1967 Festival of American Folklife forms part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival records .
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: Papers
1967 Festival of American Folklife records - [Ongoing]
Related Archival Materials note:
Within the Rinzler Archives, related materials may be found in various collections such as the Ralph Rinzler papers and recordings, the Lily Spandorf drawings, the Diana Davies photographs, the Robert Yellin photographs, and the Curatorial Research, Programs, and Projects collection. Additional relevant materials may also be found in the Smithsonian Institution Archives concerning the Division of Performing Arts (1966-1983), Folklife Program (1977-1980), Office of Folklife Programs (1980-1991), Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies (1991-1999), Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present), and collaborating Smithsonian units, as well as in the administrative papers of key figures such as the Secretary and respective deputies. Users are encouraged to consult relevant finding aids and to contact Archives staff for further information.
Access to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.
Photographs collected by Willis G. Tilton, a dealer in artifacts and photographs relating to Native Americans. Many of the photographs were made by Field Columbian Museum photographer Charles Carpenter at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904; many others were created by various photographers for Field Museum publications. Notable subjects include Big Foot, dead in the snow at the Wounded Knee battlefield; Arapaho and Cheyenne social dances; Hopi ceremonies; a reenactment of the shooting of Sitting Bull; Sun Dances (Arapaho, Assiniboin, Gros Ventre, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Ponca); and views of the United States Indian School Building and Pawnee people at the the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. Other photographs include portraits and images of artifacts, basket weaving, cradles, dress, dwelling, tipis and other dwellings, and tree burials. There are also some photographs of Henry Field's expedition to Iraq in 1934 (Field museum anthropological expedition to the Near East), work elephants in Burma, Pipestone Quarry in Minnesota, a church in the Yucatan, and a rickshaw and cart in Ceylon.
Willis G. Tilton was a dealer and owner of the store, Tilton Indian Relics, in Topeka, Kansas.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 89-8, NAA Photo Lot 135
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photographs in the Tilton Collection, previously filed in Photo Lot 135, have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 89-8. These photographs were also purchased by the Bureau of American Ethnology from Willis G. Tilton and form part of this collection.
Associated photographs still held in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.
Most photographs included in the card catalog of copy negatives and in the reference file prints by tribe.
Additional photographs by Dorsey held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4721 and Photo Lot 24.
Correspondence from Dorsey held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4821, records of the Bureau of American Ethnology, the J.C. Pilling Papers, and the Ales Hrdlicka Papers.
Additional photographs by Nelson held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 171, Photo Lot 133, Photo Lot 24, and the BAE historical negatives.
Additional Maude photographs held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 90-1 and Photo Lot 24.
Additional E. E. Hall photographs held in National Anthropological Archives MS 4978 and Photo Lot 24.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds Nelson's field reports (SIA Acc. 97-123) and the Edward William Nelson and Edward Alphonso Goldman Collection (SIA RU007364).
See others in:
Willis G. Tilton photograph collection of American Indians, circa 1880-1930 (bulk 1899-1904)
Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
Scope and Contents:
Much of this material is relevant to the Dakotas. Includes: miscellaneous notes on Dakota history, bands, and sign for "Dakota," Autograph Document. Approximately 100 pages. (Box 2); account of the Battle of Little Big Horn by He Dog, Red Feather, and Whirling, Autograph Document. 7 pages. (Box 3); "The Custer Battle with the Sioux, Autograph Document. 10 pages. (Box 3); notes on sign language in general, its history and distribution, Autograph and Typescript Document, 1 box (Box 4).