Posted on Fri Dec 13, 2013
Ever seen a ghost? What about a town full of Swedish ghosts in the Rio Grande Valley?
After seeing a photo my neighbor posted online today, I uncovered a tradition and even deeper history of the Swedish influence on Texas. My neighbor is a native Texan whose great-grandfather emigrated to the United States from Sweden. Today, December 13, happens to be the Swedish Catholic holiday of St. Lucia...
Posted on Thu Nov 7, 2013
It seems like one of the easiest words in Texas to use as a pun is wurst. My head was full of clever puns after attending Wurstfest in New Braunfels last weekend. A two-week celebration of the German influence on Texas culture through food and music is what this 50 year old festival is all about. As always, my reason for going was to hear some of the best German & Czech bands from around the...
Posted on Thu Oct 31, 2013
Elements of an altar to La Santa Muerte
Our presentation at BookWoman inspired us to build a mini altar to the Santa Muerte as demonstration. We got most of our information from Andrew Chesnut's book, "Devoted to Death," and from a documentary by Mexican filmmaker Eva Aridjis.
Here's a list of items that are typically seen in a Santa Muerte altar, and pictures of our version at...
Posted on Thu Oct 31, 2013
Last weekend I attended the Blackpot Festival in Lafayette for the first time. Blackpot is a music and food festival celebrating the culture of Southern Louisiana's Acadiana Region. There is a wide range of musical styles and a variety of foods, each being prepared in - you guessed it: black pots. One of the things I found interesting was the similarities between this region and the Gulf Coast...
Posted on Tue Oct 29, 2013
Texas Folklife fieldworker Julie Ardery recently conducted research at Wursbraten for our Foodways: A Place at the Table program. Check out this year's event! 42nd Annual Wurstbraten
Zion Lutheran Church & SchoolWalburg, Texas
Monday, November 4, 2013Serving 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.Adults $10.00 Children $6.00 (12 & under)Homemade Desserts $2.00Fast and Convenient Drive-Thru Line...
Posted on Wed Oct 23, 2013
Support Your Feminist Bookstore, She Supports You! BookWoman began 38 years ago in an upstairs shop on Guadalupe. We started out as a collective called The Common Woman Bookstore (based on the Judy Grahn poem). From there we moved into Susan Post's house at the time, and then we became BookWoman and moved to 6th Street. Then we moved to 12th and Lamar, and since 2008 we're located at 5501...
Posted on Wed Oct 9, 2013
On Tuesday April 2nd I attended Cyril 'Big Chief Iron Horse' Green's funeral in New Orleans.
As Big Chief or leader of the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indian tribe, Iron Horse was a well-respected community leader of New Orleans' 8th ward. His use of a wheel-chair earned him his nickname, but Iron Horse didn't let his condition slow him down.
Green was involved...
Posted on Thu Oct 3, 2013
La Santa Muerte ˆ Mexican Folk Saint Personifying Death
A relatively new and controversial folk saint has emerged in the Americas ˆ La Santa Muerte (Saint Death or Most Holy Death,) a syncretic version of the European grim reaper influenced by Meso-American views on death and folk religion. Most media accounts of Santa Muerte focus on the faith practices of traffickers and murderers, but in...
Posted on Mon May 19, 2014
This post is long overdue, but it's important that I get something down while the events are still somewhat fresh in my mind. I try to travel to New Orleans at least once a year, both for the pure fun and enjoyment the city provides, but also to stay in touch with people and communities I have worked with over the years. Last year I attended a second line funeral for Mardi Gras Indian...
Posted on Thu Nov 1, 2012
Taquerías Southmost: Expressing Cultural Identity through the Business of Food
Photos by Chuy Benitez
Texas Folklife partnered with the Brownsville Historical Association (BHA) to conduct research and document the history of Taquerías in Brownsville and launch and promote an exhibit titled "The Taquerías of Southmost." The Southmost area of Brownsville houses approximately 33,009 residents and is...