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Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsPhoto Focus: FolkLife Offers Cultural Fashion, Food and Fun

Photo Focus: FolkLife Offers Cultural Fashion, Food and Fun

The third annual Folklife Festival brought cultural fashion, food, and fun for families to the Estate Whim Museum. The two-day event celebrates a rich cultural experience through workshops, food, the arts, and music.

Hosted by the Ten Sleepless Knights, Folklife is an initiative to pass on culture to generations. On Saturday and Sunday, the “cook house” held demonstrations on how to make Crucian Potato Stuffing, Red Grout, Saltfish Gundi, pate, red pea soup, and sorrel, to name a few. Meanwhile, cultural workshops and demonstrations of woodworking, storytelling, quadrille head ties and mask making took place.

A line of people listens in on a demonstration on how to make red pea soup at the Cook House at the Whim Museum on St. Croix. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

On Sunday, Karen C. Thurland, author of “Masqueraders Musicians and Old Time St. Croix Christmas Festival,” described the history of mask making and said, “In my grandparents’ time, my parents’ time and my time, masqueraders came around on holidays.”

Dejalys Delgado in her mask that she made at the mask-making demonstration at Folklife. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

“They made the whole costume, and these are cultural practices that has been passed down for generations and if you asked the old-time masqueraders, they would tell you it came from Africa, and they did it for fun. Of course there were some masqueraders that would scare children. Years ago, when children misbehaved, they wouldn’t call the police. They would tell them to wait till the masqueraders come out and come and frighten you,” she said.

Participants assemble masks at the mask-making demonstration. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

Thurland said that when she and other children would hear the drummers come down the street, they would run and hide. Some masqueraders’ identities became known while others weren’t.

Thurland said costume designers at that time would use what they had. Pieces of cloth, banana leaves and other pieces of bush were also used. Masqueraders would dance to quelbe music.

Ladies put together scraps of fabric for the mask-making demonstration. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

Over at the cookhouse, a delicious pot of red pea soup was cooking over a stove with Alda Francis and family. They spoke about the time it takes to prepare red pea soup and how the red kidney beans played a part in giving the pigtail used in the soup its red color. They also spoke on how the red pea soup gets its sweet and savory flavor through the combination of sofrito, sweetened dumplings and sweet potato and finishing off with some black pepper or cayenne.

Alda Francis and family serve a delicious spoonful of red pea soup at the Cook House. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

Later, a crowd of people worked off the delicious food with the sounds of the Ten Sleepless Knights as they played quelbe music. Participants did conga lines, the electric slide and danced while the famous quelbe band played.

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