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  • Day Ten: Top Ten Photos

    On a bustling Sunday on the National Mall, visitors learned about the Anacostia watershed right here in D.C. and planted seeds to take home with them. At Earth Optimism × Folklife’s Wavelength station, we sanded down sandstone whales while learning about the Tongva and Čumaš people from California. A large crowd gathered for the poetry showdown between the UAE’s Rooftop Rhythms and the D.C.’s Busboys and Poets in Folklife Studio and cheered and snapped along with the passionate words.

    At Festival Foodways, we learned how to make watermelon and veggie gazpacho and how to introduce invasive species like lionfish into our diets. We heard stories of migration and exile at the Story Majlis and listened to female leaders discuss their work in conservation. To close our Sunday, the crowd was treated to a preview concert from Riyaaz Qawwali in anticipation of one of the featured programs for the 2023 Folklife Festival, Creative Encounters: Living Religions in the U.S.

    A woman speaks into a microphone as another woman next to her smiles, eyes closed, holding a piece of artwork depicting red hearts with eyes and smiles, some holding UAE flags.
    At the end of the panel “People of Determination: Disability Inclusion in the UAE” panel, artist Asma Baker presented Festival director Sabrina Lynn Motley with a piece created during her stay in D.C.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman in gray blazer and hijab presents an archival photo in a box to a man in a gray suit. Others behind them watch and laugh.
    Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, also accepted gifts and met with participants at the Festival today. Staff members from Lest We Forget, a community-based initiative that preserves vernacular photography and oral histories, presented him with a book of their documentation.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A large wooden honeycomb structure with yellow translucent panels frames the red-brick Smithsonian Castle.
    A sweet view of the Smithsonian Castle from the Earth Optimism × Folklife honeycomb installation.
    Photo by Craig Fergus, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Close-up on a pair of hands holding a west piece of yellowish seaweed over a bowl of water and more seaweed.
    Jolie Pollard, founder of Belize-based beauty brand IKOOMA, introduced us to sensational seaweed and how she harnesses its minerals in natural hair care products.
    Photo by Craig Fergus, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A person sitting at a blue table folds together pieces of yellow and green paper, cut out from the sheet of paper below that reads orchid-gami.
    In the People-Powered Science area, visitors crafted their own paper orchids to take home.
    Photo by Stanley Turk, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Two people look at a tablet screen, showing an augmented-reality view of the National Mall, with a digital camel sitting to the side.
    In reality, we couldn’t bring a camel to the National Mall, but in augmented reality, anything is possible.
    Photo by Ronald Villasante, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Close-up on three pairs of hands as they manipular gray pieces of wool. The hand in focus wears a brightly colored beaded bracelet.
    In the Festival Marketplace, they joined a felt making demonstration with Mongolian artisans Enkhbild Togmidshirev and Munguntsetseg Lkhagvasuren.
    Photo by Ronald Villasante, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A crowd watches a film on an outdoor screen, showing a young girl and a white and black falcon. Captioning on the screen reads ‘I will take you with me to hunt.’
    Osha the falconer attended the screening of Osha the Falconer in Folklife Studio’s Pocket Cinema. Seated at center, she brought a bird along to watch as well.
    Photo by Stanley Turk, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Close-up on a hand holding a gold pen. Abstracted Arabic text in gold shines against a blue and purple painted background.
    Every day, calligrapher Mohammed Mandi has dazzled audiences with brilliant script.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Five men performing on stage in matching white shirts and pants, some with red vest. Two in front play harmonium and tablas while others clap. Smithsonian Folklife Festival logo on the screen behind them.
    Riyaaz Qawwali from Houston gave us a taste of Sufi musical tradition and what to expect in 2023.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

    Join us on July 4 at the National Mall for the final day of the 2022 Folklife Festival! For an Arab twist  on a classic American tradition, drop in at Festival Foodways to learn about barbecue in the UAE, and stick around for an Emirati brunch demonstration. Stop by the Crossroads Stage to learn about the majlis as a social practice and how the concept has changed over time. Tune in to Earth Optimism Stories to hear about cultural and ecological conservation and return in the afternoon for a discussion on the future of the Earth Optimism movement at the Smithsonian.

    Need a souvenir? Visit the Marketplace for a parting gift, including Festival T-shirts, Smithsonian Folkways albums, and crafts from artisans in the UAE and around the world. End your visit with a special panel at Folklife Studio featuring young people from both the UAE and Earth Optimism programs sharing insights on building a sustainable future.

    We can’t wait to see you to celebrate the holiday and the end of this year’s Festival together.

    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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