Sunday, July 03, 2016

Smithsonian Folklife Festival, part II

As a mentioned, the Basque Country section was more vintage Folklife the way I like it. Cultural performances, lots of Traditional Artisans, and open Kitchen with food demonstrations, interactive activities for children, a dance hall, food and lots of informational placards to educate and make sense of the lay of the land.

I know very little about Basque culture and so I also found it particularly enlightening. One thing I did notice--no women! I've never been to a festival where I didn't see any women in the role of artisans. Granted, there were two displays where no one was present, one was a pottery display and other featured a loom, so it's possible there were women, but they were on a break.

 What I didn't get a picture of here were the giant bells attached to the men's backs creating a cacophonous raucous as they marched.
 The entire costume was such a colorful and odd mix of components.
 The cooking display comes with an over surface mirror so you can watch the techniques. He was making a dish with squid and squid mushrooms.
 The format sometimes includes a translator like the gentleman on the right. Unfortunately, read the sign, you can't eat it.
 Amazing stone carver.
 CHEESE, Gromet!

 The artisan cheese-maker explains the process to his translator...
 These two had great chemistry.
 Then the translator explained the process to the guests.

 A large area dedicated to various aspects of shipbuilding.
 The craftsperson was willing to even give out his personal contact information to a local boat builder.
 Having the chance to interact with the artisans is a hallmark of the festival.
 Operating a trundle driven lathe.
 There were a lot of displays of local sports and traditional games.
 This structure was set up with a couple of sporting activities and the other side was a little arena for sport demonstrations.

A Bola-Jokoa rink.

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