The choir performs at the ruins of a mill in Sweetwater Creek State Park in Douglas County, Georgia

Smithsonian Voices

Hear a Georgia Choral Group as They Rediscover the Art of Sacred Harp Singing

Students find lasting resonance in the words and simple notes of the 1869 hymn 'How Can I Keep from Singing?'

The 2,200-square-foot venue is located about ten miles inland from Ocean City, in the town of Berlin, Maryland.

New Maryland Museum Dives Into the Mythology of Mermaids

Blending history, pop culture and folklore, the attraction features a Feejee mermaid, original artworks and more

From Insects, their way and means of living.

Smithsonian Voices

Cicada Folklore, or Why We Don’t Mind Billions of Burrowing Bugs at Once

The earliest documented examples of cicada folklore come from China

A recently concluded auction featured a trove of artifacts collected by Bob Dylan's close friend Tony Glover.

Long-Hidden Trove of Bob Dylan Letters, Handwritten Lyrics Heads to Auction

The archives of harmonica player and close Dylan friend Tony Glover act as a "time capsule" of 20th-century music, says RR Auction

A digital reconstruction of the newly unearthed Norse godhouse

Cool Finds

Ruins of Eighth-Century Pagan Temple Found in Norway

The structure—built to honor Norse gods like Thor and Odin—is the first of its kind discovered in the country

Cryptids like Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch or the mis-translated "Abominable Snowman" abound in folk tales.

Why Bigfoot and the 'Abominable Snowman' Loom Large in the Human Imagination

In cultures around the world, folklore of a 'Wild Man' share a common narrative

The so-called "Letter From Heaven" was marketed as a message from Jesus himself, conveying instructions and conferring protection on those who sent them to others.

Before Chain Letters Swept the Internet, They Raised Funds for Orphans and Sent Messages From God

Recipe exchanges, poetry chains, photo challenges and other ostensibly comforting prompts are enjoying a resurgence amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Folklorists remain alert to the culture (non-biological) of the coronavirus, even as we conduct our research while quarantined. Our research will certainly evolve as the pandemic itself evolves.


How to Detect the Age-Old Traditions of Folklore in Today’s COVID-19 Misinformation

Smithsonian folklorist James Deutsch says the fast spread of stories and memes are cultural expressions that build cohesion and support

An artist’s depiction of Gunakadeit joseeae

215-Million-Year-Old, Sharp-Nosed Sea Creature Was Among the Last of Its Kind

Researchers gave the marine reptile the genus name <u>G</u>unakadeit in honor of a sea monster from Tlingit oral history

The six CD set Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings won a Grammy in the category for Best Historical Album. The set includes some well-known, not-so-well-known, and previously unreleased recordings spanning Seeger’s career.

Grammy Nod to Folkways’ Pete Seeger Collection Is a Fitting Tribute

The producers aim to inspire future generations to carry on the singer’s legacy

Folk musician Pete Seeger performing at the Bread and Roses III benefit concert in 1979.

From the Archives: Pete Seeger on What Makes a Great Protest Song

To mark the centennial birthday of the late folk icon, Smithsonian Folkways has released a six-CD collection featuring 20 previously unreleased tracks

The three-time winning Meryl Streep (above at the 2017 Academy Awards) with 21 nominations under her belt appears to be a rare exception to the Oscar Jinx.

A Smithsonian Folklorist Delves Into the Rituals and Rewards at the Academy Awards

Folk belief holds that if you have won one Oscar, your odds of ever winning a second are greatly diminished by the dreaded “Oscar Jinx”

Giddens with her beloved cherry, maple and rosewood minstrel banjo, a replica of a design by the 19th-century Baltimore luthier Levi Brown.

Hitting the High Notes: A Smithsonian Year of Music

Rhiannon Giddens' 21st-Century Sound Has a Long History

Inspired by long-lost folk melodies, gospel, opera and bluegrass, the electrifying singer and banjo player gives fresh voice to old American traditions

At Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney Phil is proudly lifted like  Simba high overhead by his top-hatted Groundhog Club handler. Will it be six more weeks of winter or an early spring? Only the groundhog knows.

Play a Groundhog Day Song on a Continuous Loop

Like Bill Murray, wake up to Groundhog Day everyday with the Smithsonian Folkways' groundhog playlist

Directed by Otto Bathurst, Robin Hood stars Taron Egerton in the title role, with Jamie Foxx as Little John, Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Eve Hewson as Marian.

Why a New Robin Hood Arises Every Generation

Troubled times always bring out the noble bandit who, in the face of tyranny and corruption, robs from the rich to give back to the people

Armenian shadow puppetry is a technique whose origins can be traced to the 1300s. The puppet theater group known as Ayrogi has set out to keep this imaginative art form alive.


Illuminating the Shadowy Art of Armenian Puppet Theater

Tricksters and beasts dance across the imagination in these silhouetted puppet shows

The staff at Thip Khao in Washington, D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Meet The Devotees of the Growing Lao Food Movement in a New Video from Folklife

Seng Luangrath opened a Lao restaurant in Washington, D.C. and made it a community for other immigrants

Djassi Johnson (left) and Kevin Boseman (right) perform the dance choreographed by Johnson.

Exclusive: Watch a Dynamic Reinterpretation of Joan Baez's "Civil War"

Part of a visual album accompanying the folk icon's new release, this choreographed performance takes a lyrical look at the American conflict

Mick Moloney leads the Green Fields of America at the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

How One Impromptu Jam Session Spawned a Sweeping Irish-American Music Revival

For 40 years, Green Fields of America has told traditional Irish stories through song

Most of the T-shirts had in common the image that appeared on Juan Diego’s cloak: the Virgin modestly looking down, her hands folded together in prayer.

A New Way to Show Your Devotion in Mexico City: Wear a T-Shirt

A Smithsonian folklorist makes the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and discovers an emerging tradition

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