West Virginia Humanities Council: West Virginia Folklife Program Announces Release of its Digital Archives Collection, Housed at West Virginia University Libraries

West Virginia Humanities Council: West Virginia Folklife Program Announces Release of its Digital Archives Collection, Housed at West Virginia University Libraries. This link goes to a PDF file. “The original, ongoing collection consists of nearly 2,500 documentary items generated by folklife fieldwork and programs conducted by the West Virginia Folklife Program beginning November 2015. Those items include unique primary source material such as field-recorded interviews and other audio recordings, transcriptions, photo and video documentation, ephemera, and some material objects documenting the vernacular culture, beliefs, occupational skills, and expressive culture of contemporary tradition bearers, folk and traditional artists, and cultural communities across West Virginia.”

The Register-Herald: West Virginia Folklife Program releases digital archives collection

The Register-Herald: West Virginia Folklife Program releases digital archives collection. “The original, ongoing collection consists of nearly 2,500 documentary items generated by folklife fieldwork and programs conducted by the West Virginia Folklife Program beginning in November 2015. Those items include unique primary source material such as field-recorded interviews and other audio recordings, transcriptions, photo and video documentation, ephemera, and some material objects documenting the vernacular culture, beliefs, occupational skills, and expressive culture of contemporary tradition bearers, folk and traditional artists, and cultural communities across West Virginia.”

The Conversation: Five COVID customs which emerged during lockdown

The Conversation: Five COVID customs which emerged during lockdown. “I have been tracking how people are expressing beliefs and values using folkloric practices today. It seems that during these dark times they are being used to visibly brighten our communities. Many of us will have perpetuated these customs simply for something to do – particularly families desperate for ideas to occupy children. So here are five folkloric customs that could come to define this age in the future.”

COVID-19: A 19th century Japanese ‘spirit’, Amabie, is going viral on Twitter in hopes for end to coronavirus pandemic (Gulf News)

Gulf News: COVID-19: A 19th century Japanese ‘spirit’, Amabie, is going viral on Twitter in hopes for end to coronavirus pandemic. “As many countries extend their coronavirus lockdown, a Japanese monster is going viral on Twitter, in hopes for an end to the pandemic. Recently, tweeps have been getting creative with images of a legendary 19th century Japanese yōkai or spirit that was said to have emerged from the sea and spoken of an epidemic. Many people across the globe have shared depictions of the amabie, that has apparently become a mascot of sorts, alongside messages wishing for a swift end to the spread of COVID-19.”

University of Calgary: Blackfoot Oral Stories Database brought to life by ii’ taa’poh’to’p grant

New-to-me, from the University of Calgary: Blackfoot Oral Stories Database brought to life by ii’ taa’poh’to’p grant. “These stories have helped us to understand the underlying structure of the language and the ways in which it is similar to and different from other languages. But, as we did this work, it became increasingly clear to us that we can and must use our linguistic training to share the stories as they were intended — with members of the community. With this understanding, in 2016, Dr. Heather Bliss, PhD, adjunct assistant professor in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures created the Blackfoot Oral Stories Database, an online repository of oral stories. Since that time, the database has grown to include over 100 stories told by more than 20 storytellers.”

New York Review of Books: ‘Oceania,’ Art of the Islands

New York Review of Books: ‘Oceania,’ Art of the Islands. “‘Oceania’ is not the historical, ethnographic show that Western museum-goers might expect. At the entrance a shimmering wave of blue material cascades from the ceiling. Titled Kiko Moana, this flowing wave uses ancient techniques of weaving, embroidery, layering, and cutting, but it’s a contemporary work in polyethylene and cotton, created by four Maori women from the Mata Aho Collective in New Zealand who have also compiled an online archive of stories about the supernatural spirits of the waters. Old and new technologies meet.”

The Hindu: Inscription stones of city now on Google Maps

The Hindu: Inscription stones of city now on Google Maps. “After an exhibition showcasing the surviving inscription stones of the city, the Inscription Stones of Bangalore team has put all the traced and untraced inscriptions on Google Maps. Not only are locations of the inscriptions marked on the map, but also the full text of the inscription in Kannada and English, current status, size of stone, year of installation, the publication where the inscription is documented, reference documents and photographs-videos of the inscription.” Have no idea what inscription stones are? Read this earlier article from The Hindu.

Irish Times: Ireland’s darkest, oddest and weirdest secrets uncovered

This is from last month but I missed it and I must include it here because it’s AMAZING. From the Irish Times: Ireland’s darkest, oddest and weirdest secrets uncovered. “A worldwide crowdsourcing movement is currently unearthing Ireland’s deepest fairy secrets and darkest myths. A voluntary collective online is working its way through transcribing 700,000 pages of folklore that were collected throughout Ireland between 1937 and 1939. This mass of previously inaccessible material was gathered by more than 100,000 children who were sent to seek out the oldest person in their community just before second World War to root out the darkest, oddest and weirdest traditional beliefs, secrets and customs, which were then logged into 1,128 volumes, titled the Schools’ Manuscripts Collection.”

West Cork Times: Government supported website provides incredible photographs from the past

West Cork Times: Government supported website provides incredible photographs from the past. “More than 10,000 historic pictures from Ireland’s past, including many from Cork, have been added to a folklore website, Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said. ‘The new redesigned … website and Photographic Collection was launched in Dublin last night (Tuesday). Roughly 10,000 photographs from the Collection have been digitized, catalogued and made available for the first time on the site.’”

Now Available: Online Database of Egyptian Demons

Now available: online database of Egyptian demons. “A database of Ancient Egyptian demons — featuring dog-headed humans, walking suns and strange hippo-lion combinations — has been created to help experts work out what they are. Launched at the British Science Festival in Swansea, the online catalogue allows people to look at line drawings of the creatures, which are thought to have been used to protect people from nightmares and diseases.”

Online Database of Japanese Ghosts and Monsters

Not new, but certainly new-to-me: an online database of Japanese ghosts and monsters!. “Within these pages you’ll find an ever-growing collection of yokai and yokai legends from all parts of Japan and all periods of Japanese history. Some of them have never appeared in English before, while others will be intimately familiar to fans of Japanese folklore. They have been collected from books, from the internet, and by word of mouth from yokai lovers who remember the tales from their childhoods. The illustrations accompanying each yokai are based on written descriptions or on Edo-period illustrations painted on scrolls hundreds of years ago.” In English. I looked up the first Japanese mythical creature I could think of (Kirin) and it was there with a thorough description and a few illustrations.