New Hampshire
Learning Center

One way to explore folklife & traditional arts of New Hampshire is by learning about the communities from which these traditions have emerged.

A community can be any group that has something in common-a place, a culture, a language, a religion, or an occupation.

Father and son Kevin and Kenny Martin working on a lapstrake canoe.

Father and son Kevin andKenny Martin working on a lapstrake canoe.

A community can share the same culture & language. The country of origin, ethnicity, or language helps shape the traditions. In New Hampshire distinctive cultural groups includes Abenaki, Franco-American, Yankee, Scottish, Irish, African-American, Polish, Greek, Jewish, Hispanic, and Southeast Asian.

A community can share the same religion. The form of worship and cultural background helps to shape the traditions. In New Hampshire distinctive religious arts include Russian Orthodox icons, which are regarded by believers as direct visual windows to the spiritual world. Jewish prayer shawls-called tallitot-are worn during special religious observances.


A hayrake in front of barn in a field.

A community can also be defined by a shared occupation. The tools of the trade and the nature of the work itself help to shape the traditions. In New Hampshire distinctive occupations include furniture making, farming, granite quarrying, stone wall building, timber framing, restoration carpentry, logging, and fire fighting.

Photo credits
All: Photographer - Lynn Martin Graton