“Ranger Lore” Uploads Completed

That’s a wrap! Full interviews with the more than 30 participants in “Ranger Lore: The Occupational Folklife of Parks” have now been uploaded to the “Ranger Lore” YouTube channel.

These interviews, along with detailed interview information and verbatim transcripts, have also been deposited at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and Mammoth Cave National Park. Although this content is not yet available online, interested parties may contact the American Folklife Center for more information.

 To learn more about this project, visit www.rangerlore.org.

“Ranger Lore” Videos Uploaded to YouTube Channel

As we approach the end of the academic school year, Graduate Assistant Hannah Davis is in the process of sharing more “Ranger Lore” content with the public. Visit our YouTube channel to see full-length interviews with rangers and guides at Mammoth Cave National Park. As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial in 2016, this project aims to document and present important aspects of the park’s folklife: the practices, traditions, and attitudes that make Mammoth Cave and the people who work there unique.

“Ranger Lore” Now Accessible to Public

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In 2013, Björkman and Jon Kay of Traditional Arts Indiana were awarded the Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. This fellowship is awarded each year to select projects dedicated to occupational folklore research. Björkman and Kay’s project, Ranger Lore: The Occupational Folklife of Parks, focuses on the lives and work of national and state park rangers in Kentucky and Indiana.

While Kay worked with individuals within Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources, Björkman turned his attention to Mammoth Cave National Park, where he conducted fieldwork with over thirty current and former park employees. As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial in 2016, Björkman aimed to document important aspects of the park’s folklife: the practices, traditions, and attitudes that make Mammoth Cave and the people who work there unique. Björkman’s graduate assistant, Hannah Davis, built a website to showcase the work. It is now accessible at www.rangerlore.org. The videos included here represent a small portion of the information collected. For full interviews and more brief clips, visit our YouTube channel as we add content over the course of the year.

Full interviews, detailed interview information, and verbatim transcripts have been deposited at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Although this content is not yet available online, interested parties may contact the American Folklife Center for more information.

New Jam Series

In addition to our ongoing Pioneer Log Cabin Concerts series, the Kentucky Folklife Program is launching a new monthly jam. Join us for good songs and good fun as we explore a new genre of music each month.

The first jam, held Saturday, February 27, from 2 – 4 p.m., will feature old-time tunes lead by Laura DeLancey, Todd Seguin, and David Carpenter. All levels are welcome! Although this is not a vocal jam, those who do not play an instrument are welcome to attend. Suggested songs might include “Valley Forge,” “Arkansas Traveler,” “Angeline the Baker,” “Over the Waterfall,” “Mississippi Sawyer,” “Red Wing,” “Ebenezeer,” “Red-Haired Boy,” “Boatman,” “Red Steer,” “Old Joe Clark,” and “June Apple.”

Information for each month’s event will be posted under the “Projects and Events” tab above. Please contact Folklife Specialist Virginia Siegel for additional information at (270) 745-4133.

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KFP Celebrates Oral History Day

20151020_143947Today is Oral History Day! The Kentucky Folklife Program is celebrating by announcing our new initiative to engage the Bosnian community of Bowling Green and represent the issues and aspects of their culture they feel are most important to share with the general public. As a part of WKU’s International Year of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a working group of five young members of the Bosnian community and members of the Department of Folk Studies (including our director, Brent Bjorkman, and folklife specialist, Virginia Siegel, pictured here) will be conducting oral history interviews over the course of 2016 and 2017. Resulting programming will be a collaboration between the Kentucky Folklife Program and the Kentucky Museum, and include an exhibit as well as smaller community events.

This week, we are also depositing interviews, photos, and videos collected by Josh Chrysler in the Mammoth Cave region this summer into WKU’s Folklife Archives. The archives are housed at the Kentucky Museum as a part of Library Special Collections, and are available for public access.

KFP at the Horse Cave Heritage Festival

KFP is making the trip to nearby Horse Cave, Kentucky, for their annual fall festival tomorrow, September 19. Dr. Tim Evans’ graduate-level public folklore class will work with us to facilitate six narrative stages and document the festival. Visit the Horse Cave Heritage Festival website for a schedule of events, and stay tuned for students’ photos and videos. Hope you can join us!

Beekeeping in the Mammoth Cave Region Narrative Stage

Sanders and Priddy tend one of their hives.
Sanders and Priddy tend one of their hives.

Please note: The time for this event has been changed from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Early settlers kept bees and used honey to sweeten their food, but beekeeping is still an active and important tradition in the Mammoth Cave region. Join folklorist Josh Chrysler and special guests, Edmonson County beekeepers Sherry Sanders and Nathan Priddy, for a discussion about beekeeping in this part of the state on Thursday, August 20, at 7:00 p.m. at Mammoth Cave National Park’s amphitheater. Topics will include changes over time and the practice’s significance in the community and larger ecological system.

For more information, contact Chrysler at chrysler.joshua@gmail.com.