We are pleased to announce the release of Oregon Folklife Network’s first publication: Culture Keepers of Eastern Oregon. In the Spring of 2016, Folklorists Douglas Manger and Joseph O’Connell visited communities throughout the Eastern Oregon region and interviewed cowboys, ranchers, quilters, water witchers, stone masons, old time musicians, community poets, fly tiers, fishing guides and more. This folklife survey into the “deep west” of Eastern Oregon, was made possible thanks to generous funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, and the Oregon Historical Society.
Culture Keepers of Eastern Oregon features over 40 photographs and biographies of traditional artists throughout the Eastern Oregon counties of Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler. Douglas Manger explains, “Our effort was to record unique culture keepers at their home place, particularly those held in close esteem for the craft they are upholding, their striving for excellence, their giving back while teaching others.” Joseph O’Connell notes, “Our conversations explored how broad traditions, like rodeo sports or cowboy poetry, take on new dimensions in local places.”
Keep an eye out this summer for our upcoming publication, Oregon Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Master Artists: 2012-2016, which will highlight the 23 master artist teams who received TAAP awards from 2012-2016. This photo essay provides a tantalizing glimpse into Oregon’s cultural traditions and the artists who make them thrive.