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  • Cowbells for Carnaval: Meet the Joaldunak

    Throughout the first week of the 2016 Folklife Festival, the rhythmic clang of bells frequently echoed down the National Mall as the Joaldunak marched along paths, between tents, and, on one occasion, around the Washington Monument. With their bushy sheepskin vests, tall ribboned hats, and all the clamor, the Joaldunak attracted lots of attention from excited visitors and confused passersby.

    The Joaldunak came to the Folklife Festival from Ituren, a small town in the Basque country province of Nafarroa. The original purpose and story behind their march are unknown, but it now serves to alert locals of the arrival of Carnaval. The Joaldunak were delighted by the opportunity to bring such a vivid and memorable piece of Basque tradition to a new audience in Washington, D.C.

    Production and editing: Lillian Schneyer
    Videography: Albert Tong, David Barnes, Gary Francis
    Photography: Cristina Díaz-Carrera

    Lillian Schneyer is a video production intern for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and a student at Carleton College, where she is studying sociology and anthropology.

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