Family

Jon Kay on February 13, 2015

Here at Indiana University, several historic houses are being relocated to make room for a new building. It is a shame to see the houses moved from the sites where they were built more than a century ago, but the community thought this to be the best compromise.  While everyone gawks at the spectacle of […]

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Jon Kay on January 28, 2013

In a small country cemetery just outside Dugger, Indiana is a remarkable double treestump tombstone. These stones tend to be very biographical; the motifs carved into them often reveal information about the deceased, or at least how their family or community wanted to remember them. The spinning wheel is a common symbol for women who […]

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Jon Kay on January 23, 2013

I learned that Milan Opacich, tamburitza musician and luthier passed away Monday morning (January 21, 2013) at his home in Schererville, Indiana. Many folklorists who worked in Indiana will be familiar with his work, he was a key collaborator in the Gary Project and was featured by Richard Dorson in his classic Land of the […]

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Jon Kay on August 24, 2012

A couple of months ago, I met  Marian Sykes, a native of Chicago, who makes rugs that tell the stories about her life and her family. Using a process known as rug hooking, she recycles wool that she gets from unraveling garments that she buys at area thrift stores. An amazing and talented artist, she […]

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Jon Kay on December 6, 2011

It is a heavy heart that I write about the passing of Prince Julius Adeniyi. A descendant of Yoruba chiefs and kings in Nigeria, Prince Julius Adeniyi began learning to play drums by placing his hands on top of his grandfather’s hands during performances when he was just three years old. An Indianapolis resident since […]

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Jon Kay on December 2, 2011

I wanted to let my listeners know about a podcast series that the TAI staff and I have been working on, Second Servings.  It is an internet radio program that explores the food traditions and cultures that give flavor to the Hoosier State.  From old time favorites like morel mushrooms and tenderloins to more recent […]

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Jon Kay on November 28, 2011

I was saddened to hear about the passing of oldtime fiddler Francis Geels of Decatur, Indiana, this summer. Born in 1925 in Adams County, Indiana, Francis grew up with music in his home. On both sides of his family, old-time music and country square dancing were weekly events. He played for house and barn dances […]

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I wanted to point folks toward my recent book review for Museum Anthropology Review of Philena’s Friendship Quilt by Lynda Salter Chenoweth. “The popular pastimes of quilt making and genealogical research have grown into multimilliondollar industries and the emergence of quilting retreats and scrap-booking classes complicate the stereotypical images of women gathering around a quilt frame […]

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Jon Kay on July 7, 2011

One time when I was splitting firewood for my grandfather, he said “Be careful with that ax, It once belonged to Abraham Lincoln.” I looked at him, not really believing him fully, “Yah, I had to replace the handle once, but that is the very ax used by Abe Lincoln.” “Really?” I naively replied. “Yes, […]

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Jon Kay on June 29, 2011

I took my Indiana Folklore class to the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at IU last week. We were researching Indiana’s pottery traditions. I was specifically interested in the Museum’s collection of pots and jugs attributed to the Hendricksville pottery, in Green County Indiana. Ellen Seiber the Curator of Collections at the Mathers was very […]

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Jon Kay on June 18, 2011

The other day when I was spending the morning with my son, Zelton, I asked him if he wanted to go exploring. “Sure.” We hopped in the car and drove about ¼ mile from our house, to a place where I had been several times, but I knew he probably didn’t even know existed—the Bean […]

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Jon Kay on April 29, 2011

Master Drummer Dr. Djo Bi to Perform this Sunday Dr. Djo Bi Simon Irie is a master drummer from the village of Bangofla in Côte d’Ivoire. He began drumming at the age of five with his family of Guro musicians and dancers in West Africa. By his teens he launched a musical career that has […]

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In this free workshop, I put on my hat as a Historic Photograph Researcher and  teach participants how to identify the various types of historic photographs and how to care for them. As an avid student of vernacular images, I will share tips and tricks for reading and better understanding old photographs. Participants are encouraged […]

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Jon Kay on April 15, 2011

A few weeks ago, my 93 year old grandmother sent me to the basement to look for an old stoneware jar that she wanted to show me. While I didn’t find the jar I found a “shuckin peg” in an old basket. I recognized the tool as a necessary tool for shucking or removing the […]

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Jon Kay on February 21, 2011

http://media.blubrry.com/artisanancestors/p/ia600707.us.archive.org/12/items/ArtisanAncestorsPodcastseason1Episodes1-25/Episode11_SearchingForASlavePotter.mp3Podcast: Download (28.6MB) What would you do if you found out that your ancestors were slaveholders who owned one of the most talented folk potters in South Carolina? When Leonard Todd found himself in this situation, he committed himself to a six-year journey of discovery about the Life and work of an enslaved artisan named […]

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Jon Kay on January 26, 2011

http://media.blubrry.com/artisanancestors/p/ia600707.us.archive.org/12/items/ArtisanAncestorsPodcastseason1Episodes1-25/Episode10_GenealogicalNextStepsWithCurtWitcher.mp3Podcast: Download (27.0MB) In this episode, I talk with Curt  Witcher, the Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His work includes leading The Genealogy Center, which is a world-class research center for family and local history research.In this interview, Curt and I discuss general research strategies […]

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Jon Kay on December 27, 2010

In this post I share five digital tools that I use to edit and work with audio files, which I feel might be of interest to folks wanting to do oral interviews. I don’t use any of these tools to record interviews or my podcast, but I do use them to edit and work with […]

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Jon Kay on December 6, 2010

http://media.blubrry.com/artisanancestors/p/ia600707.us.archive.org/12/items/ArtisanAncestorsPodcastseason1Episodes1-25/Episode7_LaurelHorton_sTextileResearch.mp3Podcast: Download (26.8MB) In this episode Jon Kay talks with Laurel Horton a folklorist and quilt and textile researcher.  Horton has studied and made quilts since 1975. She recently published the book Mary Black’s Quilts: Memory and Meaning in Everyday Life, which blends historical and genealogical methods with a behavioral approach to material culture studies. […]

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