Oklahoma folk culture celebrated at festival

Showing off the state's diversity is the aim of Oklahoma Centennial Folklife Festival. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma Folklife Council, the event will be held from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N. Laird.

"Folk life is an informal way of learning cultural traditions," said Rodger Harris, oral historian for the society.

The traditions "? cooking, storytelling, singing and dancing "? are all taught without formal institutions.

Professional storyteller Lynn Moroney will be one of the performers. She plans to spin yarns about folktales from Oklahoma, such as how the stars got in the sky.

Several cultures "? as varied as Persian and Latino "? will be represented by a wealth of artists, including:
" blues performer Art Eskridge,
" cowboy poet Stan Peragien,
" Fred Alavi, who plays the santir, a traditional Persian instrument, and
" Brett Heitzke and Al Bostic, who will perform a children's concert.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., demonstrations of a variety of traditional Oklahoma crafts will be held. During the evening, Calliope House and The Latin Trio will hold concerts.

Moroney said it's important to have festivals like Folklife because they tie people to their roots.

"It gives us an opportunity to celebrate who we are," she said. "There's no other state that has anything close to our kind of history."

Admission is free. For more information, call 522-5207 or visit.  "?CJ Macklin

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