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  • Day Four: Top Ten Photos

    Crowds roamed the National Mall to celebrate the first weekend of the Festival and Smithsonian Solstice Saturday, with activities inside and out of the museums into the late night.

    Taking shelter in the shade of the trees, visitors enjoyed workshops, talkbacks, and demonstrations. We learned about mushrooms and foraging at an Earth Optimism Stories session and checked out mushroom arrangements. Local Motion Project led a dance workshop inspired by the Three Sisters Garden, and Festival Foodways celebrated UAE participant Aisha Alobadliy’s birthday! Wanderers learned about celestial navigation and smelled different fragrances along the Story Majlis. The night came to a close with a lively musical tribute to the beloved Puerto Rican musician Tito Matos.

    A man paints Arabic calligraphy on a red, green, and black painted-wooden wall, using a picture with the same calligraphy taped to the wall for guidance.
    Calligrapher Mohammed Mandi painted Arabic calligraphy on his wall in the Story Majlis. The calligraphy references the “thousand-mile journey” that has just started.
    Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    In a mirror from above, a man rolls out a circle of dough with a wooden pin. In front of him, various ingredients in bowls, and pans on the stove to his left.
    Chef Iulian Fortu started his chanterelle dumplings by rolling out dough in the Festival Foodways kitchen.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Two hands pull back on a squeegee, scraping paint through a mesh screen.
    Local artists from Soul & Ink shared their silk-screening skills in the Wavelength activity area, printing whale-inspired origami paper.
    Photo by Phillip Lee, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man in traditional Emirati dress lifts the white sails of a small, model wooden boat.
    Pearl singers lifted the sails on their traditional boat.
    Photo by Aaron Crabtree, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man sits at a loom, weaving a design in pink, green, and white, talking with a person standing to watch.
    Visitors learned about traditional tapestry weaving in the House of Creativity.
    Photo by Aaron Crabtree, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Four individuals sit on an elevated stage in front of a blue screen with the logo reading “Earth Optimism × Folklife Studio.”  A sign language interpreter stands in front of the stage.
    Panelists at the Earth Optimism × Folklife Studio session “Fiber and Fashion: Green Is the New Black” spoke to a crowd of visitors.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman in a hat is playfully caught in a light blue-green fishing net. Her arms are outstretched holding the net and she is smiling.
    A visitor got caught up in a fishing net while learning about conservation at the Earth Optimism × Folklife tents.
    Photo by Stanley Turk, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man in white shirt and head covering sits on the ground, working with black yarn. Another man sits in a chair, smiling and watching him. Coils of rope hang around them and lay on the ground.
    Emiratis in the Maritime Crafts tent wove fishing net in the traditional style, although fishermen no longer use large nets, in an effort to responsibly sustain sea life.
    Photo by Aaron Crabtree, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman in top white and black and flowing white patterned skirt dances on stage in front of a crowd of people.
    During the tribute to plenero Tito Matos, the National Mall transformed into a dance floor for our largest evening concert crowd so far. Dancer Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera with Los Pleneros de la 21 led the way.
    Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Five men in matching white shirts, khaki pants, white sneakers, and tan hats plays hand drums and sing on stage for a crowd of people.
    Los Pleneros de la Cresta continued the dance party into dusk.
    Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

    Join us on Sunday to round out the first weekend of the Folklife Festival! Learn about Bird Friendly coffee with Earth Optimism × Folklife and the mural painted by artists and visitors on-site with the UAE. Drop into the Folklife Studio for conversations on faith and conservation, sun-powered solutions, and landscape restoration, and a performance weaving together UAE poetry and song. Visit Festival Foodways to learn about oyster shucking! Make orchid origami and join an artist workshop.

    The afternoon will close with a special preview performance of the 2023 Folklife Festival The Ozarks: Faces and Facets of a Region at 4 p.m. in the Folklife Studio.

    Annabella Hoge is the 2022 Folklife Festival media intern, and Elisa Hough is the editor at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Together they are Team Top Ten.

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