The State Folklorist’s Notebook is a regular column written by state folklorist Emily Hilliard for Goldenseal magazine. This article appears in the Summer 2021 issue.
Please join us on Thursday, September 23 at noon for a virtual showcase featuring apprenticeship pair in old-time banjo of Central West Virginia, Kim Johnson & Cody Jordan of Kanawha County, and old-time fiddle apprenticeship pair Joe Herrmann & Dakota Karper of Hampshire County. The pairs will perform a concert and host a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees should register here.
Please join us on Wednesday, September 22 at noon for a virtual apprenticeship showcase featuring forest farmers Ed & Carole Daniels of Randolph County and apprentice Clara Haizlett of Brooke County. The team, who recently completed their 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship year, will present on their apprenticeship cultivating American ginseng and other forest botanicals, and hold a Q&A.
On Wednesday, August 18 at noon EST on the American Folklife Center’s Facebook page, we will premiere our first film in the Homegrown Foodways in West Virginia series, featuring Dr. Jonathan Hall on foraging and relations.
In partnership with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, West Virginia Folklife is excited to launch the new Homegrown Foodways in West Virginia film series, presenting four short films that explore a range of food traditions in the state. The series will be produced by West Virginia farmers, chefs, and foodways storytellers Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm in Harrison County.
Angelita Nixon of Scott Depot in Putnam County is leading an apprenticeship in home birth midwifery with Christine Weirick of Fayetteville.
In April 2020, in the midst of West Virginia’s Stay at Home Order, the West Virginia Folklife Program issued a call for West Virginians to share documentation of how they were creatively responding to the COVID-19 crisis, through music, stories, writing, craft, art, memes, mask making, and more.
Over the next year, we received documents, photos, and videos featuring homemade masks, quilts, doll clothes, and hooked rugs, original poems and compositions, parody songs, paintings, home herbal apothecaries, and even the Mothman statue. These submissions demonstrated the various ways Mountain State residents were processing, documenting, and occupying their time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please join us on Thursday, June 17th at noon, for a virtual apprenticeship showcase featuring sheep farmer and textile artist Kathy Evans of Preston County and apprentice Margaret Bruning of Randolph County. The pair, who recently completed their 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship year, will screen a video about their apprenticeship in sheep husbandry and fiber arts and hold a Q&A.
Please join us on Wednesday, June 9th at noon, for a virtual apprenticeship showcase featuring herbalist Leenie Hobbie of Hampshire County and apprentice Jon Falcone of Hardy County. The pair, who recently completed their 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship year, will screen their slideshow “Traditional Appalachian Herbalism in the Time of COVID,” lead a guided indoor wild herb walk, and hold a Q&A.
What has the West Virginia Folklife Program done lately? Learn about our 2020 fieldwork, programs, and activities.
Joe Herrman of Hampshire County is leading an apprenticeship in old-time fiddle with Dakota Karper of Capon Bridge. Herrmann is a founding member of the Critton Hollow String Band and has taught old-time fiddle to many private students and at the Augusta Heritage Center.
Kathy Evans of Bruceton Mills is leading an apprenticeship titled “Sheep to Shawl: The Art of Raising Sheep and Creating Fiber Arts,” with apprentice Margaret Bruning of Elkins.