Every year, folklorists from across the western states reunite at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. OFN Associate Director, Emily Hartlerode, joined colleagues to staff the festival as stage manager and host to cowboy musicians and poets Feb 1-3. This year’s 34th annual festival theme, “Basques & Buckaroos: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond” made the beret, or Basque txapela, as common as the ten-gallon hat. A rich assortment of Basque music, dance, language, and rhymes came gathering from near as Elko and far as Spain’s Basque Country. Oregonians performing at the Gathering included photographer Mary Williams Hyde (Klamath Falls), poet Annie Mackenzie (Jordan Valley), and musicians Caleb Klauder Country Band (Portland) who played the famous Saturday Night Dance. Mary Williams Hyde, whose family has been ranching in Klamath Falls since 1911, shared an hour of her photo slides in a collection called “Images of the Buckaroo: On the Ranch and in the Arena.” Her documentation of this culture specializes in the rare million+ acre ranch of the Great Basin, like Oregon’s ZX Ranch in Paisley. Annie Mackenzie was a fresh new voice in Elko, attending her first Gathering as a recipient of the Rod McQueary & Sue Wallis Scholarship. This fund, established by an anonymous donor in memory of two of the Gathering’s earliest poets, brings emerging poets, writers and reciters to the Gathering. OFN looks forward to adding to our artist roster Ms. Mackenzie, who writes thoughtful and humorist poetry of her experiences on her family’s fourth-generation ranch in southeast Oregon. Interested in performing or exhibiting at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering? Get in touch with OFN, or watch the NCPG website where applications for 2019 will be posted soon!
World Learning is administering an exciting initiative on behalf of the U.S. Department of State called Communities Connecting Heritage.
The initiative will connect US-based organizations with like-minded organizations abroad to work on a collaborative cultural heritage project, culminating in a public exhibition and reciprocal exchange program to each other’s countries.
If your organization would like to receive the application, please fill out this five-question Inquiry Form. Kindly pass this along to other individuals or organizations whom you think may have an interest in this opportunity. Thank you.
Program Officer, Global Exchange
1015 15th Street NW | 7th Floor | Washington, DC 20005
T: 202.355.6466 | C: 202.413.5140
The call is now open to established American Indian and Alaska Native artists to apply for a one-year NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship to mentor an emerging American Indian and Alaska Native artist apprentice. Established artists should have at least ten years of experience in the Traditional Arts or Contemporary Visual Arts fields.
Awarded Mentors will develop lesson plans intended to increase their apprentice’s skill level, and provide an experience of intergenerational exchange of cultural knowledge within the apprentice’s traditional arts or contemporary visual arts practice. To assist in developing lesson plans, awarded mentors and their apprentices are required to attend a training session before the mentorship begins. The training date will be announced upon notification of the awards.
This is a regional fellowship focusing in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest and Upper Midwest areas of the United States. Eligible applicants must be at least a five-year resident of, and enrolled in an American Indian tribe or Alaska Native corporation located in Alaska, Arizona, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Southern California (Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties), Washington or Wisconsin. Submission of documentation of American Indian and Alaska Native heritage is part of the application process.
First year Mentor Artist Fellow Lani Hotch (Chilkat Indian Village) said of receiving her award, “I’ve tried to work with groups of weavers, and I’m excited to work one on one with somebody so they know all the steps. In the last few months we’ve lost two weavers (…). I’m feeling a real compulsion to teach somebody.” Mentor Artist FellowShirod Younker (Coquille, Coos) said in response to the mentor training, “[A] good way to build focus [on] what we are doing and think about the macro vision of the projects in conjunction with each other.”
The Mentor Artist Fellowship is a monetary award of $30,000 — $20,000 to the mentor, $5,000 for the joint art project and $5,000 for the apprentice’s expenses — gas, supplies. Applications will undergo a selection process and fellowship awardees will be announced in the Spring of 2018. The mentoring period will be from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. To demonstrate the experience and success of the mentoring, a completed joint mentor/apprentice art project is required at the Fellowship’s end.
For more information and to apply click here.
To learn more about previous NACF Mentor Artist Fellows, visit our website at http://www.
The Mentor Artist Fellowship Program is generously supported by individual donors and regional funders committed to preserving and perpetuating Native arts and cultures. NACF is grateful to the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation for supporting an Oregon Mentor Fellow.
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.
With deep sadness, we mourn the passing of dear friend and colleague Carol Spellman, 1951-2017. Carol was a folklorist’s folklorist. The Oregon Folklife Network, the state of Oregon, and the entire field of folklore would be the poorer without Carol’s impressive body of work for the Oregon Folklife Program.
“All who knew Carol are invited by her family to honor her memory at a Celebration of Life/Irish Wake at The Evergreen, 618 SE Alder St, Portland on March 8 from 5 to 8 p.m.”
The UO Folklore community is very grateful for the Spellman family’s very generous designation of UO’s Folklore Program to receive donations in Carol’s memory.
“The Folklore Program at U of O has established a fund in Carol’s name to assist graduate students to work in the field that she loved so much. Donations may be made to the Carol B. Spellman Public Folklore Fund, Attn: Beth Magee, Folklore Program, 1287 University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403.”
“Carol Beth Spellman passed away peacefully with her family by her side on January 26, 2017 due to complications from treatment for leukemia.
Born October 19, 1951 in Oakland, California to Edmund and Helen (Heber) Stone, Carol lived her early years in Hayward before the family moved to San Leandro. Continue reading
Oregon Folklife Network RFP: Due August 5, 2016
Folklore Fieldworkers for Portland Metro
FY2017 (November 2016)
The Oregon Folklife Network seeks to hire one or two emerging/early career folklorists (1-3 years’ experience in public folklore or with non-degree focused folklife fieldwork) to work in collaboration with veteran folklorists Nancy Nusz and Douglas Manger during the month of November 2016. Folklorists will conduct folklife field surveys and documentation of cultural, occupational, regional, and religious traditions in the Portland Metro counties of Washington, Multnomah, Yamhill, Columbia, and Clackamas (fieldwork regions will be divvied up based on the experience and backgrounds of those selected). OFN Executive Director, Riki Saltzman, will supervise this project and veteran folklorists Nancy Nusz and Douglas Manger will mentor the emerging folklorists during fieldwork. This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.
Emily Ridout, M.A., is OFN’s Interim Program Manager through July 2016. She holds a concurrent position as the Program Coordinator for the Confucius Institute for Global China Studies. Ridout has an MA in Folklore and a certificate in New Media and Culture from the University of Oregon where she filmed, edited, and produced documentary films on topics ranging from environmental tourism to the chemistry of effective birth control. Her research interests include intersections of culture and environment, poetics, foodways, documentary, and religion. While a graduate student intern and post-graduate fellow at OFN, Ridout worked on the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship nomination.
Ridout strives to develop and promote meaningful cultural programming in ways that are innovative, sustainable, and respectful. Before coming to the University of Oregon, Ridout led educational and adventure trips in the Fiji Islands, the Southern California mountains, Kentucky, and throughout the Midwest and Appalachia. When she is not working with cultural programming, she can be found teaching and practicing yoga, hiking, or writing what she hopes is the next great American novel.
Bruno Seraphin, Oregon Folklife Network’s Winter Fellow, is a folklorist, narrative and documentary filmmaker, and musician. Originally from Massachusetts, he earned a BFA in Film Production from New York University and lived in Appalachian North Carolina for several years, before moving to Eugene to complete an MA in Folklore Studies at the University of Oregon. His academic and professional interests include environmental justice, human-plant relationships, philosophies of place and space, anti-racist organizing, collaborative film-making, and the ways that social movements generate and use stories.
Seraphin produced and directed the award winning experimental independent film “If I Had Wings to Fly,” which explores traditional music and storytelling in Western North Carolina. It was featured at the Folklorists in the South conference in 2012. His newest documentary, “Year of the Possum: The Green Grass Cloggers’ 40th,” will premiere in 2016. Seraphin’s MA thesis, “Stories We Live: On the Hoop with Nomads of the Northwest,” is an ethnography of a grassroots network of nomadic, mostly white “rewilders.” His subjects use Indigenous ecological knowledge to harvest and replant wild foods in the Great Basin region of the United States, particularly northeastern Oregon. Seraphin’s thesis pays special attention to their land ethic and their interactions with Native groups.
During spring 2016, Seraphin will serve as a Project Coordinator for a series of collaborative documentary videos for the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Oregon Tribes.
In September, OFN opened the exhibit “Shifting Tides: Women of the FisherPoets Gathering” in our Knight Library office Window Gallery on the University of Oregon campus. This exhibit highlights the creative work that women fishermen Moe Bowstern, Erin Fristad, and Tele Aadsen perform at the annual FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon. The FisherPoets Gathering encourages commercial fishermen to share their occupational experiences through their creative expressions. The Gathering offers women fisherpoets a space to begin disrupting the underrepresentation of women working in a predominantly male occupation.
The exhibit consists of three cases and two wall panels. The first case provides a brief history of the FisherPoets Gathering, while the second provides an excerpt from Moe Bowstern’s “Subcutaneous Layer of Fat,” a prose work that addresses sexist expectations for women fishermen. Copies of the FisherPoets Anthology, Anchored in Deep Water, and Bowstern’s XTRATUF zine line the bottom of the case.
The final case displays fishing gear, commercial grade rain gear, netting, a slide show of women fishing in Alaska, and various other objects that exhibit coordinator and folklorist, Julie Meyer, gathered during her fieldwork on commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska. A final panel provides excerpts from Erin Fristad’s poem “Advice to Female Deckhands” and Tele Aadsen’s prose piece “Being a Female: An Unwelcome Reminder” both of which deal with issues of inequality that women fishermen face. The exhibit will be on display through mid-February 2016.
by Adrienne Decker
The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) is proud to present its new exhibit Buckaroo Traditions of Oregon. This exhibit celebrates the continuity of occupational traditions in rural Oregon and encourages audience understanding and appreciation of art forms arising from ranching practices. The exhibit was made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the fieldwork of folklorists Douglas Manger and LuAnne Kozma. Featuring artists from Malheur, Harney and Lake counties, the exhibit traces the development from vaquero to buckaroo and promotes the work of some of Oregon’s finest gear makers.
Cowboys have made an enduring mark on the American popular imagination, but not every cowboy is a buckaroo. What sets them apart? In addition to their sense of style and self-sufficiency, buckaroos work almost exclusively from horseback in the manner of their vaquero predecessors. In the Great Basin, knowledge of many vaquero and buckaroo traditions have been passed along through families and become integrated into the lives of working ranchers and horsemen. Buckaroos are unique in their use of extensive horse training techniques and custom handcrafted gear, including traditional saddles featuring intricate leather- and silverwork as well as mecates (ropes) made from horse mane hair and braided rawhide reatas (lassos).
Some of the most vibrant examples of buckaroo artistic traditions are thriving in rural eastern and southern Oregon, despite their decline elsewhere. Buckaroo Traditions of Oregon features a hackamore from the workshop of Bill and Teresa Black, mecates by Merlin Rupp and Helen Dougal Corbari, and the tooled leatherwork of saddle makers Steve McKay and Len Babb. Each of these pieces represents a unique blend of hard work and artistry.
Buckaroo Traditions of Oregon is on display now in the OFN exhibit cases on the second floor of UO Knight Library, Room 242.