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For more information about the Center for Folklore & Ethnography,at UPenn, contact Professor Mary Hufford at mhufford@sas.upenn.edu.

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Ethnographic Texts

Students in Folklore 321 are working with community leaders and a group of twelve research assistants from South Philadelphia High School. We are using notes, photographs, videos, and transcriptions from our library and field research to generate “ethnographic texts.” Querying these ethnographic texts together, students from the University of Pennsylvania are forming a community of inquiry with the high school research assistants. In addition to videos related to the Dangdut in America project, our texts include foodways, textile arts such as Batik, documentary materials from events such as the Indonesian Independence Day celebrations in South Philadelphia on August 17, play with language enabled in multi-linguistic settings, and a video of a “free-style wayang” (Javanese Shadow Puppet show) staged during the second anniversary celebration of the Philadelphia Praise Center. We will be posting the texts, along with translations and interpretations to this page in the coming weeks.

This free-style Wayang, ad-libbed in Indonesian by Heraldo Shiaahan, dramatizes the plight of an Indonesian immigrant who comes to Philadelphia and encounters unanticipated temptations. An English translation was broadcast through headsets. Transcriptions in both languages will be posted to this website as they become available.

Nota bene: The Wayang.mov file is large and might take a long time to download, depending on the speed of your connection.


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