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Producer: Donna Ross
Just Us Folks
Festival of Kentucky Folklife
Usually, Kentucky Life travels around the state to capture a variety of Kentucky sights and sounds. This time, we let the state come to us as we visit the 1997 Festival of Kentucky Folklife, a showcase mounted by the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort to celebrate Kentucky’s occupational, ethnic, and family traditions.
Host Byron Crawford tries his hand at a variety of traditional tasks: He throws lines with towboat pilot Lou Webb of Erlanger and learns how the famous stone fences of the Bluegrass region were built from Richard Tufnell, a Scot who teaches seminars on restoring them. The program also includes an explanation of “mussel brailling,” a method of harvesting mussels for their shells, which are used to generate pearls within oysters in Japan.
And what’s a party without food and music? Watch as parishioners from St. Mary Magdalene Church in Owensboro smoke up some award-winning barbecue and listen to the sounds of Kentucky’s diverse ethnic traditions, from the Mexican quartet Cuarteco Romance to the Rabbit Hash String Band.
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