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Found 332,863 Resources

Modern Human, Human

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Light brown plaster cast of a modern human male cranium. All of the teeth are missing from the maxilla except for three molars with evidence of tooth wear, also called attrition.

KNM-ER 406, Fossil Hominid

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Brown plastic skull cast of KNM-ER 406. This skull cast is nearly a complete adult male Paranthropus boisei. It has the facial and cranial features typical of the species such as massive cheek teeth, and the widely flaring zygomatic arches with a forward placed connection to the other facial bones, and large cheek bones supported powerful chewing muscles - the latter two features giving it a "dish-shaped" face. Other muscles extended from his jaw to the sagittal crest at the top of his head. The cranial capacity of this skull has been estimated at 510 cubic centimeters. It is about 1.7 million years old. The cast measures around 18 cm x 17 cm x 12 cm in size. Find out more by visiting humanorigins.si.edu

Moon Mask

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

A large circular mask carved from alder featuring a central human face set in a wide radial border. The mask was made by artist and carver Peter Prevost of British Columbia, Canada and is Haida in style. The rim of the mask surrounding the face is flat and has a light blue border. The rim is etched with a criss-cross pattern except for four ordinal, curved rectangular panels of solid blue surrounded by a black line border. The face of the mask protrudes outward from the rim and features an open red-painted mouth, wide black eyes, a flat nose, and prominent brows and cheekbones. The wood is light in color and minimally painted. A leather thong is knotted through the mask at the edge of the face on either side of the eyes. The interior of the mask is roughly carved, with small holes for eyes and nostrils as well as the larger mouth opening.

Carved Wooden Container and Lid

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Carved wooden vessel and lid decorated with incised geometric designs and animal motifs. The vessel was made in Rwanda and the motifs represent scenes of cattle herding in Tutsi culture. The geometric designs consist of repeating patterns of triangles and straight lines. There are four panels featuring two animal motifs. The first motif features two long billed cattle birds facing one another with a geometric design panel between them. The other features a cattle bird sitting on the back of a long horned cow with a prominent hump. The lid is carved with concentric circles of designs similar to those on the vessel body. There is a large crack running down the middle of the body of the vessel between two panels. The interior of the vessel is smooth but unfinished and undecorated.

Globular Vessel, Prehistoric Pottery

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Globular red painted ceramic vessel. Overall measurements are approximately 37.5 cm in circumference at its widest point and 11.5 cm high. The vessel has a round body and base with a narrow rim. Black painted lines and shapes decorate the entire vessel. A possible unintentional hole is in the middle of the base. Dates to the Chiriqui Phase.

KNM-ER 3733, Early Human, Fossil Hominid

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Mostly light beige plastic skull cast of KNM-ER 3733. This skull cast represents a mature female skull of the early human species Homo erectus. The sex identification comes from a comparison of the anatomical features of her face with several other crania from Koobi Fora: KNM-ER 3883 (male), and KNM-WT 15000 (also male), found on the opposite side of Lake Turkana. The features of KNM-ER 3733 are markedly less robust. It's known to be an adult on the basis of the cranial sutures (which were fully closed), the extent of the wear on the teeth, and the eruption of the third molars before the individual's death. The real skull is about 1.8 million years old. The cast measures around 19.5 cm x 13.5 cm x 12 cm in size. Find out more by visiting humanorigins.si.edu

Pair of Beaded Moccasins

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Two small leather moccasins from the Central Plains of North America, made from recycled leather. The moccasins are decorated with white, green, dark blue, light blue, and red glass beads arranged in geometric patterns, mostly triangles and diamonds. The hide is heavily worn where it is exposed, with several puncture marks near the heel of the left shoe, one in the heel of the right shoe, and scarring across the entire sole. However, the beads remain intact and entirely cover the upper part of each shoe. Painting on the interior of the shoes shows that they were made from reused materials, the outside of which became the inside of the shoe. Thin wires have been inserted into both moccasins with the ends protruding near the laces and are positioned pointing down past the sole of the shoe.

Male Ancestor Figure

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

This carved wooden figure depicts a standing man with an elongated body and prominent brows and genitals. It was created by the Asmat carver Ambus in the village of Yow, Irian Jaya. The Asmat people produce these kinds of carvings as a way to honor their ancestors and the presence of white pigment. The positioning of the figure's hands next to his genitals identify him as a boy undergoing initiation. The light wood is a tan color but several heavily carved areas are darker. The figure is coated in a white pigment with some features such as cheeks, shoulders, hairline, etc. defined in red pigment while hair is indicated with black pigment. The figure holds in front of him a small, carved canoe.

STS 5, Fossil Hominid

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Light brown plastic cast cranium of STS 5, also known as "Mrs. Ples," is from the species Australopithecus africanus. Australopithecus africanus was anatomically similar to Australopithecus afarensis, with a combination of human-like and ape-like features. Compared to Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus had a rounder cranium housing a larger brain and smaller teeth, but it also had some ape-like features including a strongly sloping face that juts out from underneath the braincase with a pronounced jaw. The cranium is mostly complete, however, missing pieces are indicated in light yellow. STS 5 is between 2.5 and 2.1 million years old.

Modern Human, Human

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

White cast of a modern human pelvis. Includes the left and right innominates and the sacrum.

Petralona 1, Fossil Hominid

NMNH - Education & Outreach
This object is part of the Education and Outreach collection, some of which are in the Q?rius science education center and available to see.

Light brown plastic cast of Petralona 1, from the species Homo heidelbergensis. European populations of this early human species were the ancestors of Neanderthals. This older male has worn teeth and huge brow ridges. Some of the teeth are missing from the front of the maxilla. Black paint represents absence of bone. Petralona 1 is between 350,000 and 150,000 years old.

Roxie Laybourne and Carla Dove at Feather Lab Open House

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
With Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore's encouragement, Laybourne accepted a short-term appointment in 1944 in the Bird Division at the National Museum of Natural History, working with taxidermist Watson Perrygo and curator Herbert Friedmann. Known as the "Feather Lady," Laybourne pioneered the field of forensic ornithology at the Smithsonian Institution by studying the detailed microscopic structure of plumaceous (downy) feather barbules and creating a technique of identifying species of birds from fragmentary feather samples. Her methods revolutionized aviation safety by creating a technique of identifying birds involved in aircraft bird strikes. That work led to the development of the first laboratory in the world dedicated solely to feather identification. The methods she developed are now routinely applied to studies of prey remains, evidence from criminal cases, and anthropological artifacts.

For more images of Roxie Laybourne, see SIA2009-2205, SIA2010-0575, SIA2010-0580, SIA2010-0639, SIA2014-07398, SIA2014-07403, SIA2014-07404, SIA2014-07405, SIA2014-07406, SIA2014-07407, SIA2014-07411, SIA2014-07413, SIA2014-07417, SIA2014-07421, SIA2014-07431, SIA2014-07434, SIA2014-07441, SIA2014-07442, and SIA2014-07448.

Carla Dove (left) and Roxie Laybourne (right) are seated in folding chairs during the Feather Lab Open House in 2001. Behind them is a large window with mini blinds drawn closed. On the window ledge is a telephone and bottles.

Film Studies of Traditional Tibetan Life and Culture: Ladakh, India 7/21/1978 (3pm)

Human Studies Film Archives
title derived from name of project (unpublished work)--archival collection field notes and logs Slide photographs shot in Mathoo Monastery, Mathoo Village, Ladakh, India. Numbers 1-4 woman with baby in shawl strapped to her back walking through courtyard with painted columns; 6-8 group of woman walking through courtyard with painted columns; 10 old woman walking through courtyard; 11 inside (main prayer room), boy monks sitting in line between wood columns with backs to older monks; 12 monks sitting behind wooden tables, two of them helping another who is leaning forward; 13 lap of monk infront of wooden table with bowl on it, boy monk in shadows in background; 14-16 boy playing (horn) 17-19 boy looking at camera holding the kangling; 20-21 two boy monks, one helping the other play the kangling; 22-23 boys making handgestures looking to front of dukang; 25 boy monk playing kangling as the other looks away; 26 boy monks watching front of dukang, one holding a kangling; 28 boy monks lined upand sitting on the floor; 29 boy monk playing a drum; 30 boy monk holding kangling looking up, other boy monk playing drum; 31-32 two women infront of rakes, one with peyrak one with tall hat; 33-34 the two women talking to each other and joined by man in red shirt with straw hat; 35 woman in tall hat behind man in red shirt with straw hat; 36 two women, one with a tall hat, other one with a peyrak

Roxie Laybourne and Doug Deedrick with Microscope

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
With Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore's encouragement, Laybourne accepted a short-term appointment in 1944 in the Bird Division at the National Museum of Natural History, working with taxidermist Watson Perrygo and curator Herbert Friedmann. Known as the "Feather Lady," Laybourne pioneered the field of forensic ornithology at the Smithsonian Institution by studying the detailed microscopic structure of plumaceous (downy) feather barbules and creating a technique of identifying species of birds from fragmentary feather samples. Her methods revolutionized aviation safety by creating a technique of identifying birds involved in aircraft bird strikes. That work led to the development of the first laboratory in the world dedicated solely to feather identification. The methods she developed are now routinely applied to studies of prey remains, evidence from criminal cases, and anthropological artifacts.

For more images of Roxie Laybourne, see SIA2009-2205, SIA2010-0575, SIA2010-0580, SIA2010-0639, SIA2014-07398, SIA2014-07403, SIA2014-07404, SIA2014-07405, SIA2014-07406, SIA2014-07407, SIA2014-07411, SIA2014-07413, SIA2014-07417, SIA2014-07421, SIA2014-07431, SIA2014-07434, SIA2014-07441, SIA2014-07442, and SIA2014-07448.

Doug Deedrick (left) and Roxie Laybourne (right) behind a counter in the Bird Division of the National Museum of Natural History. Roxie is looking through a microscope of a feather which she is manipulating with forceps. Doug Deedrick looks over toward her.

Arrow

National Museum of the American Indian

Taíno Symposium – Session 1 – Jorge Estévez

National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center presented Taíno: A Symposium in Conversation with the Movement on September 8, 2018 to celebrate the exhibition Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean. Experts representing Indigenous studies, genetic science, anthropology, linguistics, and other academic disciplines examined exhibition themes in dialogue with Taíno/Indigenous Caribbean community leaders and cultural workers. This session titled Looking Back: Contextualizing the Taíno Movement is a conversation among veteran Taíno organizers and community leaders. In this segment, exhibition curator Ranald Woodaman, Exhibitions and Public Programs Director, Smithsonian Latino Center, offers introductory remarks and introduces Jorge Estévez (Grupo Higuayagua) to start the conversation. Jorge ESTÉVEZ is a veteran museum educator who has developed innovative hands-on and didactic learning experiences for young people, families, and educators at the National Museum of the American Indian. As an independent researcher, Estévez has led and collaborated on multidisciplinary initiatives to document and interpret the legacy of Native peoples across the greater Caribbean region. He is a core member of the research and curatorial team that organized the exhibition Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean. Estévez is a former member of the award-winning powwow group the Arawak Mountain Singers. He is currently the leader of Grupo Higuayagua, which organizes Native families and individuals, recovers Indigenous cultural practices, and participates in exchanges with Arawak and other Native communities. Ranald WOODAMAN, MAT, is the Smithsonian Latino Center’s exhibitions and public programs director. His work at the Smithsonian includes the exhibitions ¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (2005); Posters from the Division of Community Education (DIVEDCO) of Puerto Rico, 1949–1989 (2008); Southern Identity: Contemporary Argentine Art (2010); Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed (2013); and, most recently, Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean (2018). Currently Woodaman manages the Latino DC History Project and leads exhibition planning for a future Latino gallery on the National Mall. He is part of the leadership committee for the Latino Network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and former member of the AAM’s National Program Committee. He is an active member of the planning committee for the annual DC History Conference and a member of the executive committee for Smithsonian Music/Smithsonian Year of Music.

Apache Fiddle

National Museum of American History
This Apache Fiddle was made by Chesley Goseyun Wilson in Tuscon, Arizona in 1989. Honored with a National Heritage Fellowship Award in July 1989, Chesley Wilson crafted this instrument for presentation to the Smithsonian Institution. The tsii'edo'a'tl (Apache for "wood that sings") is

typically made from the agave plant and is also called ki'zh ki'zh di'hi (buzz buzz sound), which fairly describes its musical properties. It is used in social settings, especially for ceremonial and love songs.

Early documentation of the Apache fiddle is unclear. It may be aboriginal in design or modeled after European violins introduced through Spanish influence in the 19th century. While early examples (before 1920) are commonly ornamented with simple red and black geometric designs, more recent makers have incorporated more intricate and colorful decoration as seen in Chesley Wilson's work. An extensive collection of Apache fiddles is housed in the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History (Department of Anthropology) and Museum of the American Indian.

10 lire St. Peter and Tomb of the Apostle single

National Postal Museum
The Vatican issued a set of thirteen stamps, including two special delivery stamps, on April 23, 1953, to commemorate St. Peter’s Basilica and various popes whose pontificates marked particular stages of Old and New St. Peter’s basilicas.

The black and green 10-lire value features a vignette of St. Peter, identified as “Sanctus Petrus” (Holy Peter) on the frame that encircles the vignette. The altar in front of St. Peter’s tomb is shown beneath the vignette. Poste Vaticane appears at the top of the stamp, and the postal value appears in the middle. An Italian inscription, Il Tomba Dell Apostolo (The Tomb of the Apostle) appears at the bottom of the stamp.

According to Catholic tradition, St. Peter the Apostle was martyred in Rome, ca. 65-67, adjacent to the Circus of Nero and buried nearby among graves on Vatican Hill, outside the city walls. In the 330s, Old St. Peter’s Basilica was erected directly over the mid-second century marker of St. Peter’s tomb. The necropolis was excavated 1939-1949, and further archaeological work and analysis of tomb inscriptions continued from 1953-1968. Various inscriptions and graffiti on the surrounding walls helped identify the tomb. In 1968, After a lengthy anthropological and archeological investigation, Pope Paul VI declared that the bones of St. Peter had been located and verified.

Corrado Mezzana designed the stamp, which V. Nicastro engraved.. A total of 450,000 sets were printed by the recess process at the Italian State Printing Works in Rome. The stamp contains the Crossed Keys of St. Peter watermark. It measures 3 x 4 cm and is perforated 13 1/2 x 13 1/2.

References:

Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano, 2007/2008,”Citta del Vaticano,” Rome: ASCAT, 2006.

“Vatikanstaat,” in Michel Europa Katalog, band 3, Südeuropa, Unterschleißheim, Germany: Schwanberger Verlag GMBH, 2008.

“Vatican City,” in Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue, part 8, Italy and Switzerland, 7th edition, Ringwood, Hampshire, England, 2010.

Guarducci, Margherita. The Tomb of St. Peter: The New Discoveries in the Sacred Grottoes of the Vatican, Translated by Joseph McLellan, New York: Hawthorn Books, 1960.

Toynbee, Jocelyn and Perkins, John Ward. The Shrine of St. Peter and the Vatican Excavations (New York: Pantheon Books, 1953), 3-17.

Oral history interview with Enrique Chagoya, 2001 July 25-August 6

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 95 pages

An interview of Enrique Chagoya conducted July 25-August 6, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.

The interview takes place at Chagoya's home in South San Francisco (sessions 1,2) and at Karlstrom's San Francisco office (session 3). Chagoya's wife, Kara Maria, joins in for the final portion of the interview. Chagoya discusses activities in Mexico and the U.S.; his involvement with the Galeria de la Raza and the Chicano Movement; his work, including books that are based on Pre-Columbian codices; his application of "reverse anthropology," the history of the Americas and Europe, as if Mexico conquered Europe; Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; the legacy of Mexican muralism and the union of art and ideology; the nature of his own interest in Pre-Columbian imagery; his sabbatical year in Paris; collaborations with his wife Kara Maria, including issues of self-projection into works of art; artistic responsibility; creation of hybrid cultures; the separation of his art from other Chicano art; and identity as a Mexican. Chagoya's wife, painter Kara Maria, discusses her training at UC Berkeley, meeting Chagoya; their evolving relationship as artists; his role as mentor; and her separate artistic identity.

Rhythm and Movement in Mosaic

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

When you first see Lívia Garreta, you can tell she is an artist. Her brightly patterned clothes, her fiery hair, and even the blissful expression on her face as she speaks about her work are each their own work of art.

After studying painting in Barcelona, she moved to Italy to explore mosaic art, a Modernist style popularized by Antoni Gaudí called trencadís. But why mosaics?

“It is like painting with stone,” she said. “It is painting in a permanent way. And we can paint on any surface—the floor, buildings, fountains.” There is something very beautiful about paint that lasts forever.

“Beauty is useful to humanity,” she continued. “It is a way to capture emotion. When it is permanent, people now can look back on past art and feel those old emotions.”

In Italy, she studied the Roman mosaic style, which uses small, perfectly shaped squares to create images. Later she turned to her Catalan roots and began working in trencadís. This style is less precise. It involves breaking tiles, glass bottles, dishes, and other ceramics with a hammer, then using these less uniform, larger pieces to create a collage-style image.

“It is much faster,” Garretta said, smiling. “And it is like recycling.”

She speaks in poetic phrases. Observers at the Folklife Festival find her mosaics poetic too. They have movement, rhythm, soul, and symbolism. When I asked why it was important for her to bring her work to Washington, her answer was simple.

“I want people to know Catalonia.”

Meet Lívia Garreta before the 2018 Folklife Festival ends Sunday evening! She works throughout the day in the Mosaics tent in the Catalonia program area.

Abigail Hendrix is a video production intern at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and a graduate of the University of Washington with a B.A. in medical anthropology and global health.

Legend and Legacy: Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar with Ledward Kaapana

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

When I think of Hawaiian music, I first think of the ukulele, but slack-key guitar is just as uniquely Hawaiian. Ledward “Led” Kaapana is a ukulele virtuoso, but to my ear, he shines brightest when playing slack-key guitar. As a guitar player myself, I was curious to hear him perform in the Story Circle at the Folklife Festival.

As it turned out, that day’s performance wasn’t the only time I would encounter Kaapana. In 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts had awarded him the country’s highest honor for excellence in the traditional arts, the National Heritage Fellowship, and I was responsible for partnering with ethnomusicologist Mark Puryear to interview him for an upcoming project with the NEA.

I learned that the term slack-key is both a style of playing and a unique tuning. The guitar is tuned from standard (E, A, D, G, B, E) to essentially an open G chord (D, G, D, G, B, D). When Kaapana explained this tuning structure, I recalled that I had played with the same tuning before. Prominent rock groups such as Creed and Alter Bridge are well known for using this tuning, but I had no idea it was originally developed by native Hawaiians. Why did the Hawaiians create this unique tuning? As Kaapana explains, it was out of necessity.

“When the Mexican cowboys came to the Big Island to help the Hawaiians upgrade their cattle, they brought their guitars,” he said. “When they left, they left their guitars, but forgot to teach the Hawaiians how to tune them. So, the Hawaiians created their own tuning.”

Necessity certainly does breed innovation.

Kaapana is one of the most renowned Hawaiian musicians in the business. Since the 1970s, he has released numerous albums, including fourteen bestsellers with his brother Nedward Kaapana. He continues to tour the world and has been nominated for multiple GRAMMY Awards.

It was a privilege to work with Kaapana, and what I learned from his performances and interview enlightened me both as an artist and an admirer of traditional music. I’m already playing a bit of slack-key guitar.

Sean Baker is a video production intern at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He has a degree in anthropology from Indiana University, with a particular interest in visual storytelling.

MixteKo: A Multilingual Voice in California Rap

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Raymundo Guzmán, also known as MixteKo, is an artist based in the San Joaquin Valley of California. He came to the 2016 Folklife Festival as a dancer in Grupo Nuu Yuku, performing the traditional Danza de los Diablos de San Miguel Cuevas in the Sounds of California program.

He also a rapper, blending Spanish, English, and Mixtec lyrics to shed light on issues central to his community. In this clip, Ray discusses his artistic process and the importance of history, culture, and language in his music.

***

Raymundo Guzmán, alias MixteKo, es un artista establecido en el Valle de San Joaquín en California. Es danzante del Grupo Nuu Yuku, que realizó la tradicional Danza de los Diablos de San Miguel Cuevas en el programa Sonidos de California del Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2016.

También es rapero, mezclando letras en español, inglés, y mixteco para arrojar luz sobre los asuntos importantes de su comunidad. En este video, Ray describe su proceso artístico y la importancia de la historia, la cultura, y el lenguaje en su música.

***

Music: “Donde Está la Gente de Oaxaca” by MixteKo, Banda Brillo de San Miguel Cuevas
Videography: Albert Tong, Pruitt Allen, Max Lenik, Chris Lee, Helen Lehrer, Lillian Schneyer
Photography: Walter Larrimore, Francisco Guerra, Prayoon Charoennun, Ronald Villasante
Text and translation: Robin Morey
Producers: Robin Morey, Alexis Ligon

Robin Morey is a 2016 Latino Museum Studies Fellow at the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She is a master’s student in anthropology at Columbia University studying the evolution of the traditional Puerto Rican musical genre bomba.

The 2016 Sounds of California Smithsonian Folklife Festival program was co-produced with the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Radio Bilingüe, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Foodways Friday: Brewed Bamboo Shoots

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Chef Wang Peng finishing up a bowl of mapo tofu, another recipe he demonstrated at the Festival. Photo by JB Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution
Chef Wang Peng finishing up a bowl of mapo tofu, another recipe he demonstrated at the Festival.
Photo by JB Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution

This recipe is from Chef Wang Peng 汪鹏, who is from Huai’an, Jiangsu Province. His home province is the birthplace of one of the most influential cuisines in China, the Huaiyang style, which is characterized by artistic presentation as well as unique flavors. Since finishing his studies in the Yizhou Chef School, Wang has worked as the head chef in several different restaurants. In 2010, he received the title of Culinary Master of China from the China Hotel Association.

Ingredients

4 lbs fresh bamboo shoots
Pork belly to taste (for flavoring—the bamboo shoots are the main part of the dish)
¾ cup chopped spring onion (about one)
1 fresh ginger root shaved into thin strips
4 ½ tsp soy sauce
1 tbs thick soy sauce or oyster sauce
¼ cup water
2 tbs vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs sesame oil
Extra soy sauce (to taste)

Preparation

  • Chop bamboo roots into big chunks about 3 inches long and 1½ inches thick.
  • Remove skin from pork and chop meat into 1-inch cubes.
  • Blanch the bamboo shoots: bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Boil bamboo for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove immediately to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Remove from water and set aside.
  • Coat a pan with vegetable oil and heat. Add pork, and fry about 2 to 4 minutes or until cooked through and crispy. Add spring onion and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Finally, add the bamboo shoots. Toss together for an additional 30 seconds, then add soy sauce, oyster sauce, water, sugar, and salt.
  • Cover and cook 2 to 5 minutes to allow vegetables to soften. Add sesame oil and more soy sauce 1 teaspoon at a time to taste. Serve immediately with rice or scallion pancakes.

Michaela Wright worked as a production intern for the 2014 Folklife Festival. She studies anthropology and art history at the College of William and Mary.

Foodways Friday: Cumin Pork

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Tian Yali in the Five Spice Kitchen making another one of her specialties, dumplings. Photo by Karlie Leung
Tian Yali in the Five Spice Kitchen making another one of her specialties, dumplings.
Photo by Karlie Leung

Tian Yali brought this dish to the 2014 Folklife Festival from Tongchuan City in Yijun County, Shaanxi Province. A versatile artist, Tian also demonstrated the art of paper cutting at the Festival and is proficient in other traditional crafts such as embroidery, painting, sachet making, and sculpting edible dough figurines. At the end of the cooking demo for this dish, she also sang one of her favorite folk songs from her home county!

Tian loves to make this dish at home for dinner or as a snack. She explained that in order for the dish to serve as a full meal, it must always be served with what in Chinese cooking is considered a “main food.” In China, the “main food” differs regionally but is always some form of bread, grain, or starch. In southern China, rice is a prevalent staple in most meals. In the north, where rice doesn’t grow as well, wheat-based foods such as pancakes are consumed during meals. Try this dish with your favorite starchy side.

Ingredients

1 lb pork belly
1 egg
2 tbs oyster sauce
2 tbs vinegar
2 tsp sticky rice powder (available at most Asian markets)
3 tbs cumin
2 tbs paprika
Vegetable oil

Toothpicks

Preparation

  • Remove skin from pork and cut meat into one-inch cubes.
  • Stir together oyster sauce, vinegar, egg, and sticky rice powder. Add to pork and mix so that each piece is thoroughly coated.
  • Skewer three to four pieces of pork onto each toothpick until there is no more pork.
  • Fill a wok or skillet a little less than a third of the way full with vegetable oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the toothpicks with pork. Fry pork until cooked through and crispy (about four minutes).
  • Remove meat to a paper towel to drain the oil. Move pork to a plate, and dust the skewers heavily with cumin, paprika, and salt to taste. Serve warm with rice or pancakes.

Michaela Wright worked as a production intern for the 2014 Folklife Festival. She studies anthropology and art history at the College of William and Mary.

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