An exploration of the culture of the Upper Peninsula through its tradition of storytelling as collected by some of America’s greatest folklorists. From the very first Anishinaabeg stories collected by these folklorists Henry Schoolcraft, Michigan indian agent, to the seminal work of Alan Lomax and Richard Dorson, this exhibition will discuss how the Upper Peninsula’s culture was defined by their work and the stories they collected. Other folklorists featured include Frances Densmore, one of the first female song collectors in the 19th century, who created some of the first recordings of Anishnaabeg songs at Lac du Flambeau Reservation and the hitchhiking Franz Rickaby, who collected lumberjack songs and stories in the 1910s.
Ironwood's Historic Memorial Building will show this new exhibit utilizing the building's auditorium front foyer. This exhibit comes to us from the Beaumier Heritage Center on the Northern Michigan University campus and is funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.
Ironwood Memorial Building exhibit of Stories from the Woods.
“Music in the Pines” embodies the meaning, traditions and history of Hiawatha. It features colorful stories, memories, and relics that work together to capture the essence of the cherished festival. People come to Hiawatha not only to enjoy the music by main stage performers, but to experience nature by camping out and catching up with people they’ve come to love over the bond of similar appreciation and passion for music and family.
The Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival hast its roots in Deerton, Michigan at what is known as the “Big House”, where a group of young adult musicians lived together, fulfilling their happiness with potlucks, saunas, parties, and weekly jam sessions. The “Big House” and the small cabins surrounding it came to be a sort of commune with an appealing way to live closely to one another, but far enough away to avoid argumentation over house cleanliness and other issues. Members of the “Big House” group came up with the idea of a music festival after a few visited the Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, Michigan in 1978. Members felt that because their passion was music, creating a music festival like Wheatland was in their realm of possibility.
The Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival and the Hiawatha Music Co-op gained recognition at Michigan’s Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1987, the Concerned Citizens for the Arts in Michigan in 1992, and also received the Governor’s Outstanding Arts Organization Award. The success of the festival is directly linked to the amount of workers and volunteers that contribute their time to Hiawatha and of course the dedicated attendees that come year after year. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Beaumier Center and the Hiawatha Music Co-op and was funded by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.