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 1991 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: Family Farming in the Heartland
Series 3: Forest, Field and Sea: Folklife in Indonesia
Series 4: Land in Native American Cultures
Series 5: Roots of Rhythm and Blues: The Robert Johnson Era
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 1991 Festival of American Folklife was produced by the Smithsonian Office of Folklife Programs and cosponsored by the National Park Service.
For more information, see Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.
The 1991 Festival programs were largely about human relationships to land. Indonesian land punctuates sea and ocean to form some 13,000 volcanic islands. On these islands is an amazing diversity of environments, ranging from the sandy beaches of Sumatra to snowcapped mountains that rise above the rainforests in Irian Jaya on New Guinea. To sample this diversity, the Festival presented cultural traditions from three particular environments - the forests of Kalimantan, the fields of Java, and the sea coast of Sulawesi. Half a world away from Indonesia and much closer to home is the American "heartland." American culture embodies a few elemental self-images with mythic stature - the frontier is surely one; the family farm is surely another. The idea of the family farm also entails some of our strongest values - hard work, self-reliance, family solidarity, and community life, all on view to Festival visitors.
For millennia before Columbus's arrival in the New World, native peoples gathered and cultivated its bounty, bred new crops, derived medicines to cure sickness, mined ores for making tools and ornaments, used its earth, stone and wood for building homes, made dyes for cloth, and invented ways of preparing and cooking food. Land and its use informed social, moral, religious, and cosmological beliefs, and sacred and secular practices. Some of this knowledge and practice of land use and its symbolic elaboration in artistic forms are continued among many Native American groups. At the Festival, culture bearers from the Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian people from Alaska; Hopi from Arizona; Maya and Lacandón from Chiapas, Mexico; Zapotec and Ikood from Oaxaca, Mexico; Shuar and Achuar from Ecuador; Jalq'a and Tiwanaku from Bolivia; and Taquile from Peru illustrated how the land in many varied environments is cared for and thought about, and how, almost five hundred years after Columbus, the wise and humane use, the knowledge and power of land must be re-"discovered."
The 1991 Festival, which also featured a program on the roots of rhythm and blues, took place for two four-day weeks (June 28-July 1 and July 4-7) between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive and between 10th Street and 14th Street, south of the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History (see site plan).
The 1991 Program Book included schedules and participant lists for each program; keynote essays on each of the four programs were supplemented by shorter pieces focusing on particular topics.
The Festival was co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service and organized by the Office of Folklife Programs.
Office of Folklife Programs
Richard Kurin, Director; Diana Parker, Festival Director; Anthony Seeger, Director, Folkways Records; Peter Seitel, Senior Folklorist; Thomas Vennum, Jr., Senior Ethnomusicologist; Olivia Cadaval, Director, Quincentenary Projects; Richard Kennedy, Program Analyst; Betty Belanus, Vivian Chen, Diana N'Diaye, Folklorists; Marjorie Hunt, Ed O'Reilly, Frank Proschan, Nicholas Spitzer, Research Associates; Arlene L. Reiniger, Program Specialist; Jeffrey Place, Archivist
Folklife Advisory Council
Roger Abrahams, Richard Bauman, Henry Glassie, Rayna Green, John Gwaltney, Charlotte Heth, Adrienne Kaeppler, Ivan Karp, Bernice Reagon, John Tchen, Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez
National Park Service
James M. Ridenour, Director; Robert G. Stanton, Regional Director, National Capital Region
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: 1991 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.
Indians of North America -- Northwest Coast of North America Search this
Scope and Contents:
Contents: (1) Vocabulary and grammatical notes, mostly English-Haida, but not alphabetical. 1888. 20, 3 pages. (2) Haida-English vocabulary. Collected 1885-86. 16 pages. (3) Text in Haida, St. Matthew 2; and on last 2 pages, sketches concerning house construction. 6 pages. (4) "Haida legends: Legend of the Stastas; Raven legend; Story of the Clan Gittins; Shamans." 15 pages, typed, numbered 1-8, 18-22,
NAA MS 4117-b
Haida legends: Legend of the Stastas; Raven legend; Story of the Clan Gitins; Shamans
Photographs used to illustrate John Reed Swanton's "The Indians of the Southeastern United States" depicting American Indians of the Southeast and their dwellings, food preparation, and ceremonies.
John Reed Swanton (1873-1958) was an ethnologist and ethnohistorian with the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) from 1900 until his retirement in 1944. Swanton spent his first few years at the BAE studying the Haida and Tlingit groups of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and published a number of significant articles on the language, ethnography, and folklore of Northwest Coast Indians. His focus then shifted to the American Indians of the Southeastern United States, where his interest remained for the rest of his career. In addition to conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the Southeast, Swanton studied extensively the history of the area in order to better understand its indigenous cultures and is considered a pioneer in the field of ethnohistory. During his career Swanton published numerous articles and several major works on Southeastern American Indians, including the reference work The Indians of the Southeastern United States (1946), a Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin (No. 137).
NAA Photo Lot R87-2Q
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional photographs published in BAE Bulletin 137 can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 80-39.
Photographs made by Swanton can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 76 and the BAE historical negatives.
The National Anthropological Archives hold more than 200 manuscripts created or collected by Swanton, in the Numbered Manuscripts.
Objects collected by Swanton, including potsherds from various sites in Southeastern United States can be found in the Department of Anthropology in accessions 111748, 113252, 122679, 129788, 165802, and 062577.
Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology photograph collections, undated
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Copy prints in this collection that represent photographs not held by the National Anthropological Archives are for reference only.
Indians of North America -- Northwest Coast of North America Search this
Scope and Contents:
Concern Indians of the Northwest Coast, mainly Tlingit and Haida.
Contents: (1) "Rough Notes: Unarranged. Ethnology of the N. W. Coast of America. Rough material from which smooth manuscript was prepared." March 10, 1889. Approximately 190 pages. Appears similar to text of Niblack, "The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska and Northern British Columbia," U. S. National Museum Report for 1888, Washington, 1890, pages 225-386. (2) "Notes on Hydah Indians, Alaska." 1886. Notebook, 35 pages. (19 microframes.) (3) Letter received from [George] Barnett. No date. 2 pages. Encloses notes on "Indian Steam Bath," 2 pages, "Indian Doctors Dance," 4 pages. (4) Description of an Indian cremation witnessed at Sitka, Alaska during the winter of 1886-87." ("as described for the writer by Lieut. George Barnett, U. S. Marine Corps.") 3 pages. (5) Letters received from James G. Swan, Port Townsend, Washington Territory. Material on N. W. Coast myths and Haida ethnology. 18 pages, total. July 7, 1885. 2 pages. November 5, 1885. 4 pages. May 4, 1886. 2 pages. December 2, 1886. 4 pages. December 20, 1886. 2 pages. October 18, 1888. 4 pages. (6) Letter received from J. L. Gould, Hydah Mission, Jackson, Alaska. August 5, 1886. 2 pages. Promises to forward myths. (7) Story of the Thunder, by Mr John. [From J. L. Gould.] Hydah Mission, Alaska, 1886. 4 pages. (8) Story of the Flood, by Mr John. [From J. L. Gould.] Hydah Mission, Alaska, August 25, 1886. 5 pages. (9) Drafts of letters sent by Niblack to "Prof." [S. F. Baird, Smithsonian Institution ?] April, June, 1889. 3 letters, 14 pages. Concern details of publication of Niblack's report.
(10) Letter of G. M. Dawson to O. T. Mason. March 25, 1889. Discusses published references to the Haida. 3 pages. (11) The Glacier. Tlingit Training Academy, Fort Wrangell, Alaska. Volume 1, Number 10, September, 1886 and Volume 2, Number 18, May 1887. 8 pages, total. Include articles on myths. (12) "A Hydah Legend." Newspaper clipping, No date. 1 page. (13) Descriptions of artifacts, carvings, or drawings ? 9 pages, legal size. (14) Miscellaneous fragmentary notes on odd-sized slips. Extracts from published sources, small unidentified sketches, page from expense account, etc. Of doubtful value. Approximately 33 pages. (15) Draft of a manuscript on the Juan Fernandez Islands, with sections on Alexander Selkirk, Daniel Defoe, and Robinson Crusoe. Approximately 85 pages, much disordered. Also printed copy of William Minto, Daniel Defoe, New York, 1884, 106 pages. (16) Photographs. Distant views of village or villages with totem poles. 4 prints, identified only as "Key I," "Key II," etc. On each, totem poles are numbered in red ink, but there is no accompanying description of the numbered poles. (17) Printed material, including the following: Boas, Franz. "The Development of the Culture of Northwest America." Science, Volume 12, Number 299, October 26, 1888, pages 194-196. Illustrations clipped from C. E. S. Wood, "Among the Thlinkits in Alaska," The Century Magazine, volume 24, number 3, July, 1882. 7 illustrations.
Photographs of Southeastern Native American people, homes, ceremonial grounds, and events made circa 1900s-1910s by John Reed Swanton. The lantern slides include images of southeastern rivers and bayous and historical maps. Additionally, there are a number of slides with notes and charts relating to linguistic comparisons.
Swanton's original order has been maintained. The photographs are in alphabetical order by language group or tribe. Lantern slides are listed at the end.
John Reed Swanton (1873-1958) was an ethnologist and ethnohistorian with the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) from 1900 until his retirement in 1944. Swanton spent his first few years at the BAE conducting research among the Haida and Tlingit communities of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and published a number of significant articles on the language, ethnography, and folklore of Northwest Coast Tribes. His focus then shifted to Native Americans of the Southeastern United States.
In addition to conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the Southeast, Swanton studied the history of the area in order to better understand its indigenous cultures and is considered a pioneer in the field of ethnohistory. During his career Swanton published numerous articles and several major works on Southeastern Native Americans, including the reference work The Indians of the Southeastern United States, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 137, 1946.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds more than 200 manuscripts created or collected by Swanton.
Photographs relating to Swanton's work with the Tlingit are held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 24.
The anthropology collections of the National Museum of Natural History hold objects collected by Swanton, including potsherds from various sites in Southeastern United States (accessions 111748, 113252, 122679, 129788, 165802, and 062577).
The original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing.
Gyaehlingaay : traditions, tales, and images of the Kaigani Haida / by Carol M. Eastman and Elizabeth A. Edwards ; traditional stories told by Lillian Pettviel and other Haida elders ; illustrated by Duane Pasco