Passing on Folk Traditions
The purpose of ERV is to bring the people of the River Valley and the campus community together to learn these traditions as to pass them on to the next generation. The emphasis is on the oral tradition where the process is taught informally through verbal communication and hands-on demonstration at homes & barns, churches, and community halls. Music was taught and learned by ear. There was not much else to due considering the technological limitations like no radio or television.
Needle work was practiced out of necessity with mostly women gathering in churches to help each other with the task of quilting large blankets, hence the quilting bee.
The folk traditions explored in this program have been preserved for centuries by families and communities who have passed along expertise to the next generation by way of example. Some of these arts were part of everyday life and done out of necessity.
There are groups of people keeping these arts alive across the natural state. The people in the River Valley usually have to drive quite a bit to participate or attend events. The vision for Echoes of the River Valley is to create a community in the River Valley to learn these traditions and to share them with future generations.
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Photo credit: Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Central Arkansas Library System. http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/media-detail.aspx?mediaID=6439#