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Publications, Recordings & Videos

 

~ Publications ~

Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains

  • Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains is a groundbreaking compilation thirty years in the making celebrating the proud folk heritage of the Northern Great Plains.  Published by the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA), it is compiled and edited by North Dakota State University Professor Emeritus Dr. Timothy J. Kloberdanz and NDCA folklorist Troyd A. Geist. Published collections of North American folkways seldom include folklore texts or representative traditions from the Great Plains region.  Invariably, much attention is given to such areas of the country as New England, Appalachia, the Ozarks, and the Deep South. Duncan Emrich’s Folklore on the American Land, for example, runs more than 700 pages but other than for a few black-and-white photographs taken in the 1930s and 1940s, it is nearly impossible to find folklore examples from the northern plains.  Sundogs and Sunflowers represents a concerted effort to remedy this oversight and to focus long overdue attention on the folk traditions of North Dakota and the Northern Great Plains. This 352 page, coffee-table-size, full color, hardcover volume features more than a thousand examples of folklore and folk art, as well as more than three hundred images. NDCA invites you to take a look at the following short online video promotion below, or via this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIDJ6zQstZ8.
  • The book is only $34.95 plus 6% tax (and shipping/handling). E-mail comserv@nd.gov or call (701) 328-7590 to order (wholesale prices are also available, please call for more information).

Art for Life cover

"Art for Life: The Therapeutic Power and Promise of the Arts"

  • Produced by the North Dakota Council on the Arts in the hopes of encouraging individuals, organizations, and institutions to utilize art therapy or therapeutic art activities. This complimentary publication documents a pilot program and study with elders in a long-term care facility.

 


Faces of Identity cover Faces of Identity, Hands of Skill: Folk Arts in North Dakota

By Troyd A. Geist

  • This 40-page, full-color, book focuses on the traditions embodied in the lives of North Dakota folk artists representing twelve cultural groups: Mandan, Dakota Sioux, Sisseton Sioux, Lakota/Hidatsa, Metis, Banat German, Ukrainian, German-Russian, Armenian, Khmer, Kurdish, and Vietnamese. It attempts to illustrate the integrated nature of culture and to show how folk art brings a face to familial, religious, and cultural identity. The traditions of these folk artists have passed the test of time, surviving and reflecting immigration, "hard years," political and religious persecution, and wars.
  • Price: $15.95 plus 6% tax, and $3.00 shipping/handling. E-mail comserv@nd.gov or call (701) 328-7590 to order (wholesale prices are also available, please call for more information).

 

Wellspring coverFrom the Wellspring: Faith Soil, Tradition
Folk Arts from Ukrainian Culture in North Dakota
By Troyd A. Geist

  • This 35-page, full-color book shares the rich cultural arts and traditions of Ukrainians in North Dakota. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Ukrainians came to North Dakota in search of land. While starting over in this new land, they held on to what was familiar to them: their identity, folk arts, and traditions. This book focuses on four traditions: embroidery, decorative ritual bread making and wheat-weaving, pysanky (decorated Easter eggs), and cymbaly (hammered dulcimer) making and playing. The book also has a natural dyes and symbolism section describing the colors and designs used on pysanky.
  • Price: $15.95 plus 6% tax, and $3.00 shipping/handling. E-mail comserv@nd.gov or call (701) 328-7590 to order (wholesale prices are also available, please call for more information).

Iron Spirits coverIron Spirits
Editors: Nicholas Curchin Vrooman, Project Director, and Patrice Avon Marvin
Photographers: Jane Gudmundson, and Wayne Gudmundson
Designed by: Vern Goodin

  • This 116-page book is about the tradition of blacksmith made iron grave crosses, the people who made them and the communities they served. It is a story of hard work and faith. The crosses are a profile and inspiring body of work by a small number of people and can be considered some of America's finest folk art. Through them we hope to understand and appreciate art and culture in a very fundamental way.
  • Price: $10.95 plus 6% tax, and $3.00 shipping/handling. E-mail comserv@nd.gov or call (701) 328-7590 to order (wholesale prices are also available, please call for more information).

Prairie Patterns coverPrairie Patterns: Folk Arts in North Dakota
By Christopher Martin

  • This 126-page book contains biographical sketches of 32 North Dakota folk artists with color and black and white photographs of their work. These art forms are broken down into four categories: Celebration, Social Gathering, and Belief; Occupational Skills and Western Crafts; Sport, Hobby, and Play; and Ethnic and Tribal Decoration. In the first category, readers will find traditions including quilting and American Indian pipes; in the next, gun engraving and wheelwrighting. Sport, Hobby, and Play includes dogsled and snowshoe making as well as Scandinavian figure carving. Finally, Ethiopian coiled baskets and Ojibway birchbark baskets and beadwork are two features in Decoration.
  • Price: $25.00 plus 6% tax, and $3.00 shipping/handling. E-mail comserv@nd.gov or call (701) 328-7590 to order (wholesale prices are also available, please call for more information).


Sister Rosalia's Lace coverSister Rosalia's Lace

By Christopher Martin

  • This 16-page exhibit catalog features black and white photographs of bobbin lace by Sister Rosalia Haberl. Sister Rosalia, a Franciscan Sister from the Convent in Hankinson, ND, was born in 1897 in the small town of Schonsee in Bavaria. As a young girl, she attended the government-sponsored Royal Bobbin Lace School for three years. Bobbin lace has become a rare folk art, due primarily to the tremendous amount of time required to make a single piece. To make bobbin lace, fine linen thread wound around wooden bobbins is guided around pins stuck into a pattern. In 1988, Sister Rosalia was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship, the nation's highest honor for a traditional artist, form the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Price: $3.00 plus 6% tax, and $3.00 shipping/handling. E-mail comserv@nd.gov or call (701) 328-7590 to order.

~ Recordings ~

All CD's are $15.95 plus 6% tax, and $3.00 shipping/handling. E-mail comserv@nd.gov or call (701) 328-7590 to order (wholesale prices are also available, please call for more information).

Spirit Woods CdSpirit Woods
Traditional Stories and Songs of Forests and Trees

  • The tree is an ancient, near universal symbol found in cultures across the world playing a central role in Germanic, Celtic, Norse, and American Plains Indian lore. To this day, revered trees like oak, ash,elm, cottonwood, evergreen, and others figure prominently in folk beliefs, stories, songs, and art. Told by award-winning storytellers, this collection of folk stories illustrates the cultural, artistic, educational, and spiritual place trees occupy.
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 3, The Bark Back Girl/They Sat so Sweetly Beneath the Birch Tree
    Track 8, The Wolf Who Stepped Out of the Forest 
    Track 10, Arrane ny Clean/Manx Lullaby

Achikadidi cdAchikadidi
Traditional Ma'di Music of Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda

  • Named after a famous waterfall in Ma'di territory in southern Sudan, this CD features traditional musicians and singers from a growing Ma'di refugee community in Fargo who continue to play music and sing as they make a new life. The CD's ten songs, performed in a call-and-response style, reflect Ma'di culture and history ranging from New Year celebrations to marriage traditions and from British and Arab colonial rule to the current civil war in Sudan. An enhanced CD component includes the traditional story The Friendship Between Hare, Lia, and Leopard, a video of the song Kalendo, as well as maps, song translations with associated cultural notes, and photographs designed to provide a broader context for Ma'di music and culture.
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 1, Kinya udii
    Track 9, Kalendo
    Track 10, Oriku
  • A Lyrical Life Folk Art Lesson Plans
  • NDCA documentary: www.ndstudies.org/media/a_lyrical_life_the_struggle_and_hope_of_south_sudan
  • Kalendo is a track and music video from the enhanced CD Achikadidi: Traditional Ma’di Music of Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda produced by the North Dakota Council on the Arts in 2003. The song was a favorite of Ma’di militiamen who fought in the 1980s in Sudan’s civil war. It describes the weariness of war and the desire to return to a life of farming. Watch the YouTube video via this link.

Way We Are CdUn de' che cha pi: The Way We Are
By Mary Louise Defender Wilson

  • The third spoken word CD by Mary Louise Defender Wilson produced by the NDCA, this CD features five traditional stories that deal with four issues in human nature that people struggle to keep in balance: food, violence and anger, group or gang tendencies, and sex. The previous two CDs - The Elders Speak (with Ojibway elder and storyteller Francis Cree) and My Relatives Say - were co-produced with Makoche Music of Bismarck. The new CD features several stories about Unktomi, or Spiderman, a trickster representing human nature before we became "civilized," according to Mary Louise. She states that the issues of food, anger, group tendencies, and sex are inherent in every human being and must be kept in balance if we are to live freely to be the "kind of civilized person we are meant to be."
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 2, The Ducks Dance With Their Eyes Closed
    Track 3, The Spiderman Meets the Giant

Faerie HarpFaerie Harp
By Debi Rogers and Sue Bicknell

  • A delightful array of Celtic melodies and stories from the British isles are woven together in this aural tapestry. Faerie Harp conjures images of a land steeped in magical enchantment. With a strong sense of tradition, three ancient stories, instrumental tunes, and lush vocals sung in Irish, Welsh, and English blend with guitars, Gaelic harps, Highland bagpipes, and fiddle to transport you to Celtia.
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 5, Wild Mountain Thyme
    Track 7, Mo Ghile Mear

Fiddlers Knee cdAt the Fiddler's Knee
By Dick and Lisa Barrett 

  • This compact disc features Dick Barrett, one of the best traditional fiddle players in the country, his talented wife Lisa, and two of their gifted apprentices, John Owen Lardinois, Jr. and Preston Schmidt. The deeply rooted music, presented here in 29 tracks, is intertwined with colorful  interviews that illustrate how the fiddle tradition and this master fiddler's life have shaped one another.
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 1, Great Big Taters in Sandy Land/Granny Will Your Dog Bite
    Track 9, Boil the Cabbage
    Track 10, Milk Cow Blues
    Track 13, Sally Goodin
    Track 28, Lost Indian

My Relatives Say CdMy Relatives Say
Traditional Dakotah Stories as Told by Mary Louise Defender Wilson
Limited quantities avaialable at the NDCA office, call (701) 328-7590.

  • "They are wiser than us in many ways," says Mary Louise Defender Wilson. The lessons and character of humanity and how to live in a civilized way are taught through traditional stories and are exemplified by the animals, wind and stars observed around us. This audio and enhanced CD contains cultural content, photographs, and video clips of the animals and artwork spoken of in the stories.
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 2, The Blue Heron Who Stayed for the Winter
    Track 7, The Star in the Cottonwood Tree
  • The Blue Heron Who Stayed for the Winter Folk Art Lesson Plans

Morning Star Whispered cdMorning Star Whispered
Traditional Mandan and Hidatsa Stories and Flute Music by Keith Bear

  • Keith Bear, whose name in the Nu E’ta (Mandan) language is O’Mashi! Ryu Tâ, meaning Northern Lights, is an award-winning Mandan and Hidatsa flute player, storyteller, and traditionalist of exceptional talent living in Drags Wolf Village on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation of northwestern North Dakota. He has performed nationally at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Library of Congress-American Folklife Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Museum of the American Indian as well as internationally in Switzerland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Austria, and Canada.
  • This recording, produced by the North Dakota Council on the Arts, features Keith playing music on flutes he carved himself and telling stories involving the Morning Star and other astronomical bodies. The enhanced component provides cultural context to the stories told and ‘the stars’ [Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, comets, etc.] referenced in the audio component through images of traditional art, text involving folk beliefs, an interactive map, audio interviews, and animation from NASA and the European Space Agency.
  • This CD is $14.98 (plus $4.25 shipping & handling per order [not per CD]). To purchase this CD, contact Makoché Music at 208 N 4th St., Bismarck, ND 58501; telephone: 800.ND.SOUND; web site: www.makoche.com; or email: info@makoche.com.
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 2, Northern Lights
    Track 6, All Through the Night
    Track 3, Sticks a Feather in His Head
  • Turtle and Pretty Crane Folk Art Lesson Plans
  • Prairie Public Broadcasting documentary: www.ndstudies.org/media/prairie_artists_keith_bear_morning_star_whispered

The Elders Speak coverThe Elders Speak
Dakotah and Ojibway Stories of the Land. Told by Gourd Woman and Eagle Heart
Limited quantities avaialable at the NDCA office, call (701) 328-7590.

  • With a simple offering and acceptance of tobacco, the "Old Ones" unfold ancient stories and make known a mystical and spiritual land. The storytellers speak of a land where the waters, buttes, stones, plants and animals reveal the lessons and origins of Humanity. These places and their stories are all around us and speak to us today. Gourd Woman and Eagle Heart, with kindly hearts and a genuine desire to preserve these rare stories for future generations, share them on this remarkable recording, available on cassette and enhanced CD. Great for children, adults, students, educators and those simply wanting to be entertained, this enhanced CD contains maps and photos of the landmark areas and folk arts described in their stories. This enhanced CD can be heard in any CD player.
  • A virtual artist residency with Mary Louise Defender Wilson may be found in Learn with Guest Artists on the web site of Local Learning, http://locallearningnetwork.org/guest-artist/mary-louise-defender-wilson/meet-the-artist. These residencies feature National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows and allow students to learn about these master artists, their regions, their art forms, and their legacies.
  • The following sound clips are available:
    Track 2, Sky Woman and the Great Flood
    Track 5, The Woman Who Turned Herself to Stone
  • The Woman Who Turned Herself to Stone Folk Art Lesson Plans
  • Prairie Public Broadcasting documentary: www.ndstudies.org/media/prairie_artists_mary_louise_defender_wilson_the_woman_who_turned_herself_to

Sundogs CD coverSundogs and Sunflowers:  Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains CD
The national award-winning publication “Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains” has been adapted for radio—in a collection of narratives about lutefisk at Christmas, eerie ghost stories, folk medicine, and the tall tales that abound during hunting and fishing seasons.

  • To order this or other Prairie Public CDs, contact: Prairie Public, 207 N. 5th St., Fargo, ND 58108-3240, 701-241-6900, or www.prairiepublic.org/shop.
  • The cost of the CD is $14.84 plus shipping.

~ Videos ~

Prairie Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains
Produced by Prairie Public Television, written by Dr. Timothy J. Kloberdanz

  • "Prairie Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains"—a video documentary co-produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting and the North Dakota State University Libraries— follows the history of the traditional iron cemetery grave marker as the folk art migrated from Germany to the Russian Ukraine—and eventually to the Great Plains of North Dakota and Canada. The iron crosses—some intricate, some simple, but no two quite the same—are found in cemeteries and in agricultural fields across the region. Major funding for the documentary was provided by the North Dakota Humanities Council, North Dakota State University Libraries, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the members of Prairie Public Broadcasting.
  • For more information, visit the Prairie Public Television Web site

Online Folk Artist Documentaries and Lesson Plans
The following documentaries were produced by the North Dakota Council on the Arts in partnership with Prairie Public Broadcasting, the Bush Foundation, and the Spirit Room Gallery.  Four lesson plans (one pre, two while viewing, and one post viewing) for teachers and students are associated with each documentary.  The lesson plans are based on the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s Standards and Benchmarks. Schools and teachers are encouraged also to utilize these documentaries, lesson plans, and featured artists themselves with the NDCA’s Artist-in-Residence and/or Teacher Incentive grant programs. For more information visit http://www.nd.gov/arts/grants/AIRguidelines.html; or http://www.nd.gov/arts/grants/TIguidelines.html.

  • A Lyrical Life: The Struggle and Hope of South Sudan (approximately 26 minutes):  This documentary introduces people to the culture, history, music, and dance of the Ma’di people of southern Sudan and northern Uganda. Through three traditional songs, the issues associated with the struggle of South Sudan are revealed; centuries-old conflicts over religion, slavery, race, genocide, displacement, war, and refugee status. “Hope” refers to the reconciliation process taking place in Africa and in America in places like North Dakota where the featured musicians now live. www.ndstudies.org/media/a_lyrical_life_the_struggle_and_hope_of_south_sudan
  • Lesson plans with Benchmarks and Standards for Grades 9-12: English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Music, www.nd.gov/arts/arts_ed/images-pdfs/LyricalLife.pdf
  • Turtle and Pretty Crane (approximately 9 minutes):  This documentary features renowned Mandan and Hidatsa storyteller and flute player Keith Bear from Drags Wolf Village on the Forth Berthold Indian Reservation of north-western North Dakota.  The traditional story told is included also in greater detail on the NDCA produced CD Morning Star Whispered.  The narrative is described by Keith as an American Indian “Romeo and Juliet.” www.ndstudies.org/media/prairie_artists_keith_bear_turtle_and_pretty_crane
  • Lesson plans with Benchmarks and Standards for Grades 9-12: Music, English Language Arts, and Social Studies, www.nd.gov/arts/arts_ed/images-pdfs/TurtleAndPrettyCrane.pdf
  • God Given: Cultural Treasures of Armenia (approximately 10 minutes):  The exquisite metal repoussé artistry and life experiences of Norik Astvatsaturov, formerly of Baku, Azerbaijan, now an American citizen in Wahpeton, North Dakota, reflect in microcosm the history and culture of Armenia.  Armenia is an ancient country in Eurasia’s mountainous Transcaucasian region within an area often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Civilization.’  Because of its position as a crossroads between East and West, Christian and Muslim, Armenia’s existence is marked throughout by turbulent occupation and persecution stemming, in part, from cultural and religious intolerance.
    www.ndstudies.org/media/prairie_artists_norik_astvatsaturov_god_given_cultural_treasures_of_armenia
  • Lesson plans with Benchmarks and Standards for Grades 9-12: Visual Arts, English Language Arts, and Social Studies, www.nd.gov/arts/arts_ed/images-pdfs/GodGiven.pdf
 
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