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Festival of American Folklife: Not Just a Festival

The video begins with elderly and lanky farmers from the U.S. Midwest, plucking their stringed instruments in a way suggesting the strangeness of their music. Next on the screen women from Iowa puff on brass trumpets; the camera angle and sound mix again suggests the exotic quality of their performance. Next come images of monumental Washington seen not so much as landmarks, but as evidence of the presence of visitors from Chiapas, Mexico - the subjects of the video. Deliberately, a story of the 1991 Festival of American Folklife unfolds through the eyes of a video crew that accompanied a delegation of native Mayan and Lacandon people from ...

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