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Family Folklore

The Festival overall was intended to make Americans aware of the beauty and value of the traditions that form so large a part of our national culture. Within this large structure, the Family Folklore program complemented the other Festival areas by helping visitors discover and recognize their own particular traditions, the home-based folkways that decorate life and make it meaningful. In this area, a group of folklorists interviewed interested festival goers about the customs, sayings, and stories in their own families. On display were samples of the many traditional ways in which Americans preserve and remember their past - family photo albums, baby books, scrapbooks, family history quilts, charm bracelets, and others.

A small theater continuously showed two Smithsonain films: one that treated home movies as an American folk art, another on the ways members of a family relate to each other through folklore. Finally, the program displayed a book in progress, a history of America through family stories, with the hope that Festival goers would contribute their own memories.

The program was coordinated by Steven Zeitlin (Program Coordinator), together with Sandra Gross (Folklore Coordinator), Holly Cutting-Baker (Folklore Specialist), and Amy Kotkin (American Culture Specialist).

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