Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Hearing the Voices of Deaf Culture at the 1981 Folklife Festival

The landmark event introduced many hearing visitors to the stories, poems, sign play, jokes and traditions of the deaf community

Carolyn Smith collecting beargrass in Klamath National Forest, 2015. For beargrass to be supple enough for weavers to use in their baskets, it needs to be burned annually. Ideally, it is burned in an intentionally set cultural fire, where only the tops are burned, leaving the roots intact. Prescribed fires in the Klamath National Forest are few and far between, so weavers “follow the smoke” and gather, when they can, after wildfires sweep through the landscape. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Smith)

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