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  • Day Four: Top Ten Photos

    Catch some cashew chicken, master the martial arts, and sow some seeds at the 2023 Smithsonian Folklife Festival!

    At the end of our first week, crowds of visitors came not only to witness the music, crafts, and foods of the Festival—but to participate right alongside. Everywhere you went, you could see someone dancing to the endless offerings of live music, catching a whiff of the fragrant aromas from our kitchen stages, or trying their hand at a day-long apprenticeship with our artisans. We closed off the night with a dynamic collaboration between Sufi devotional music group Riyaaz Qawwali and gospel group The Jones Family Singers.

    What’s the best thing you’ve seen at the Festival? Share your stories in the comments and your photos on social media with #2023Folklife.

    wo women reach their arms out overhead, with more dancing audience members in the background.
    Get your groove on to the sounds of Fran “Lady Strings” Grace on the steel guitar!
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Sauce-covered fried chicken with cashews, onions, and scallions on a white plate.
    We won’t cash-you saying ew to cashew chicken! D.C. chef Tim Ma showed us how to make this Springfield, Missouri, classic drawing on Chinese cuisine.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A frame animation of Kumu Ramsay Taum demonstrating martial arts with Kalewa Correa, with Taum pulling Correa’s arm while pushing his hand down on Correa’s neck.
    Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center curator Kālewa Correa got a lesson in respecting his elders at Kumu Ramsay Taum’s Kauhewalu Lua martial arts workshop.
    Photos by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A purple patchwork quilt with different stripes and diamonds with a woman threading a needle through the quilt at the far end away from the camera.
    The journey of a quilt begins with one thread. Come make your own contribution to this beautiful piece in the Ozarks Quilting tent!
    Photo by Craig Fergus, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    In the left, a woman sings with her eyes closed while strumming a guitar. A man in a Hawaiian shirt and a woman dance, holding each other in their arms.
    There’s nothing more romantic than being serenaded by Missouri folk duo The Creek Rocks, who just celebrated their ten-year wedding anniversary at the Festival! Come bring your special dance partner down to the Pickin’ Parlor for the perfect date.
    Photo by Craig Fergus, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
     A woman in a hat bends over to hand a small plant to a visitor, with two visitors smelling plants in the background.
    Traditional knowledge on gardening and herbs is handed down through the generations—sometimes literally! Tina Marie Wilcox shared her boundless wisdom at the Teaching Garden throughout the day.
    Photo by Craig Fergus, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Two women in yellow skirts with woven waistbands and black tops thrust their right arms out straight ahead, their left arms tucked in near their cheeks.
    Get lost in the rhythm of traditional hula dance, taught by the Waimea hula school Halau Na Kipu‘upu‘u.
    Photo by Grace Bowie, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman with a green headwrap and green blouse smiles over a pile of yellow and pink marigolds.
    Rosanna Esparza Ahrens is bringing the flower power! Make your own paper marigold and contribute to the altar the Esparza family is building over at the Ofrenda Tent.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman in a green head wrap and top with striped pants dances with a man in a Hawaiian shirt and khakhi shorts. A crowd of visitors watch on in excitement, with the American History Museum and the flag of Puerto Rico visible in the background.
    Everyone is welcome to the bomba circle! Visitors and Bomba Yemayá shared an afternoon of dance by the National Museum of American History—with the flag of Puerto Rico flying right behind them!
    Photo by Stanley Turk, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man holding a drum in a red vest stares straight at the camera, while other qawwali singers and gospel singers perform on the stage.
    Looking at the Creative Encounter right in the eye! Riyaaz Qawwali and the Jones Family shared an evening of incredible collaboration, trading songs back and forth.
    Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

    Tomorrow, look forward to hula dance and chants, sing along to Mennonite hymns, listen to bluegrass music with Sylamore Special, explore the traditional Afro-Puerto Rican art of bomba, forage the edible world of the Ozarks, participate in the creation of herb and apple cider vinegar, and experience the wonderful smells of traditional Persian egg dish kuku sabzi.

    Daniel Zhang is a media intern for the Folklife Festival.

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