Click on one of the subject areas below to find short essays on folklife & traditional arts in New Hampshire. You can print them out to create your own book!
Age Group: 6th grade through adults
Folklife and traditional arts are passed down from one generation to another within families, groups, and communities. Communities can be any group that has something in common. The common thread can be a place, an occupation, a language, an ethnicity, a religion, or even a sport.
Many of the traditions found in New Hampshire are rooted in the culture brought by English colonists that settled here in the early 1600s. They learned a lot of what they needed to know to survive the long cold winters from Native Americans--tribes of the Penacook and Abenaki--whose ancesters had settled this region over 11,000 years. The hardy and resourceful culture that emerged from this early settlement, became known as Yankee.
Bob Morin of Berlin makes woodcarvings that reflect the logging traditions of northern New Hampshire.
Through the 1700 & 1800s, people from other parts of the world moved to New Hampshire. They came from Quebec (French-speaking Canada), Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Poland, Greece, and Scandinavia. In more recent years, people have been coming to live in New Hampshire from Mexico, Central & South America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia.
Fiddlers gather at the home of Richard and Fabienne Cote for a French Canadian style house party.
Today, there are many cultures in New Hampshire, each group has folklife and traditional arts that they cherish and want to preserve.
Regina Delaney is active in the Irish community, playing Irish harp and holding ceili dances.
Newt Washburn of Bethlehem, is of Abenaki ancestry and a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship (1988) for his work in ash basketry.
All: Photographer - Lynn Martin Graton