Sights & Sounds

Olin Bare and Bruce Watts

There is a long history of traditional hunting in Rockbridge County and throughout Virginia. Olin Bare’s family traditions including hunting methods have been faithfully handed down ever since his family …

Sights & Sounds

Mac Traynham and Robert Browder

While the first European and African settlers of Southern Appalachia carried with them a strong stringed-instrument music tradition, instruments were often difficult to acquire, leading players to be resourceful in …

Sights & Sounds

John Buck and James R. Lumpkins Jr.

The importation and manufacturing of firearms have been part of Virginia’s history since European settlement. The first documented firearms brought to Virginia in 1607 were muskets equipped with matchlocks, snaphances, …

Sights & Sounds

Remembering Houston Caldwell

It is with tremendous sadness that we report the passing of Houston Caldwell, eighteen, of Galax, Virginia. Houston was gifted and promising young banjo player, and a dear friend. I …

Sights & Sounds

Breaking Up Christmas

When Christmas is over, the fun is just getting started for many in Southern Appalachia. The tradition of “Breaking Up Christmas” is a week-long series of gatherings, where people get …

Sights & Sounds

The Paschall Brothers and Tidewater Gospel Quartets

A Virginia-based a cappella quartet earned the “gospel album of the year” award at the 2009 Independent Music Awards. The Paschall Brothers of Chesapeake sing four-part harmony in a style …

Sights & Sounds

Acoustic Youth

Many of the musicians who perform at fiddler’s conventions and music festivals throughout southern Appalachia are, in fact, young kids. Late in the night, long past their bedtimes, children and …

Sights & Sounds

Flory Jagoda

“Don’t open your mouth. Just sit and play. Keep on playing.” Flory Jagoda (photo right) sings songs she learned from her nona (grandmother) as a child in pre-WWII Sarajevo – …

Sights & Sounds

The Old Jimmy Sutton

A masterful songster recorded by two folklorists, fifty years apart. When the late folklorist Alan Lomax set out on his now infamous “Southern Journey” in 1959, he stopped in Chilhowie, …

Sights & Sounds

Ubaldo Sanchez and Jorge Cabrera

Alfombras de arracin (rice carpets) are created in Guatemalan cities and villages during Holy Week. Using dyed sawdust, rice, dried beans, and other vegetable materials, teams of artists create a …

Sights & Sounds

Deborah Pratt and Teddy Bagby

For communities on Virginia’s Northern Neck, the oyster fishery was perhaps the largest and most influential industry from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. Men and women employed by the industry …

Sights & Sounds

Mark Campbell and Barrow Wheary and Isaac Akers

The early folk song collecting expeditions of Cecil Sharp and others informed the rest of America about the remarkable breadth of fiddle tunes in southern Appalachia, many of which closely …

Sights & Sounds

Jimmy Price and Alex Handley

Working from his home business not far from the site of his grandfather’s farm in Amherst, Virginia, Jimmy Price is a master of traditional building craft skills once prized and …

Sights & Sounds

Frances Davis and Annie James

Known as “Fried Apple Pies,” “Dried Apple Pies,” or even “Fried Dried Apple Pies,” these locally made pies seem to have a ubiquitous presence throughout Southwest Virginia, appearing on the …

Apply for an Apprenticeship

Virginia Folklife Apprenticeships will begin on May 1, 2020 and run through May 1, 2021. The application deadline for this cycle is January 31, 2020.