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Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Learning About Folklife:

The U.S. Virgin Islands & Senegal

The 1990 Smithsonian Folklife Festival featured the U.S. Virgin Islands and the country of Senegal. Participants from the two programs found that they had much in common, including some foodways, music, and storytelling traditions. Following the Festival, the education team at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage used materials from the research and documentation of these two programs to create our first-ever multimedia kit. The materials, written on the eighth grade level but scalable up or down for other age groups, were distributed and used by classrooms throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands. Although the examples used in this kit concentrate on the rich folklife of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Senegal, the activities are universal to the study of folklife and culture.
The original kit contains a four-part videocassette, two audiocassettes, and a teachers’ guide with maps, photographs, and line illustrations. Included here are PDF chapters of the teachers’ guide, digital copies of the videos, and a slide show of the photographs used in lessons in the original kit.

View of download the entire guide as one document
Learning about Folklife: The U.S. Virgin Islands and Senegal

The materials are divided into chapters for easier access.
Part 1: Introduction and Table of Contents
Part 2: Unit 1: Introduction to Folklife
Part 3: Unit 2: Geography
Part 4: Unit 3: Music and Story
Part 5: Unit 4: Celebrations
Part 6: Appendices

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Featured Video Click to watch video

Part One, Introduction

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Part Two, Traditional Foodways

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Part Three, Storytelling Examples

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Part Four, Folklife Celebrations