2016 World Wood Day Folk Art Workshop presented diverse forms of wooden folk art from 10 countries and 6 Nepali ethnic groups. Through a series of exhibition, demonstration and workshops, it offered an opportunity for participants to reflect on attitudes towards traditional woodcrafts. Even though some of them are vanishing due to modern development, wood still plays a prominent role in connecting people with nature and culture.
The Grand Sawara festival has a history of 300 years. It is indeed one of the biggest festivals in Tokyo, Japan. During the festivals, Dashi is always under spotlight. Each Dashi is composed of one giant sacred doll which represents the Japanese deity and a shrine that is elaborately decorated. And Ikkyō Kitazawa is specialized in designing and engraving the surrounding walls of Dashi.
Nepal is a multiethnic country, including more than 59 indigenous groups which constitutes 40% of its total population. Many of the communities fully depend on forest and timber products for survival, entertainment and religious purposes. Wood is an indispensable part of their live, though its importance is diminishing due to the influx of cheap alternatives. Meanwhile, attempts are made by individuals and groups to preserve and promote their tradition of using wood.
IWCS team visited 3 of the major ethnic groups, namely Newar, Tharu and Chepang, in Kathmandu, Dang and Chitwan to explore their distinguished and diversified wood culture and introduced some of them to the global audiences in the 2016 World Wood Day celebration at Nepal Academy.
“Wisdom comes as a result of dealing with mistakes,” Willis said. Retired as a pilot from Alaska Airlines, he learned over the years to make the flexible sleds. Building sleds is one thing, he says, maintaining them is a whole different beast. He decided to build the easier to repair and lighter all wood sled.
Southeast Alaska, beginning in Ketchikan, Metlakatla, Sitka, Juneau and others, is the traditional homeland of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian and is rich in Indian culture, wood carving and totem. Wood carving, as an art form, reflects all the Native cultures connecting with the environment. The wood materials used come from the forest and the forms usually represent animals, spirits or places.
In the fourth century, St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. During the excavation, workers found three wooden crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a woman.
Instead of emphasis on the religion part, this documentary film aspires to showcase the enthusiastic relationship between artists and their wood work, as well as the meaningfulness of our encounters with wood by capturing the celebration at the Monastery of Vosakos and the interaction with local wood carvers.
This Wood Culture tour will introduce you to the primary music genres and wooden instruments in Turkey. The musical culture of Turkey is shaped and influenced by the multiple ethnicities within Anatolia region through out history. It can be categorized into two genres, Anatolia Folk music and Ottoman/Turkish Maqam music. Traditional Instruments also fall under these categories as well. We will explore the materials the instruments are made from, their history, and the bound between the instruments and musicians.
The history of Da-Ching Incense Making Factory can be traced back to more than 150 years ago when their ancestors started selling joss papers and sticks as the family business. The actual incense-making factory was first established by their great grandfather Mr. Mao-Gui Hsieh in 1945. It is now a 4th-generation operated family business headed by Mr. Po-Chuan Hsieh with the goal of keeping the traditional skill alive in the modern society. Although they are facing the problem of the soaring price of the raw material and decreasing uses of incense, they are resolved to pass the skill down to the future generations.
Far up in North-Eastern Europe, there is an island called Saaremaa, where men dress up as billy goats to bring good luck and fertility to households on the night of New Year’s Day. This is a pre-Christian tradition that has been carried on from generation to generation as long as people can remember. Billy goats dance, play tricks and butt people, especially girls and children. Unfortunately, this tradition is dying out. Billy goats are artefacts of local woodcraft, since men search bogs to find the finest and toughest crooked pine roots to make billy goats’ heads with horns. The only footage of billy goats available for the public is shot in the 1960s and kept in the Estonian Folklore Archives. Original soundtrack by an Estonian musician Juhan Vihterpal, played by Juhan himself. Folk tune Karjala-Soome polka played by billy goats Ain Hannus and Raimo Kald. "The Billy Goats of Saaremaa" is a video made for the contest "Wood and Humanity" sponsored by the International Wood Culture Society (http://www.iwcs.com). Author Merit Karise, teacher at the design department of Kuressaare Regional Training Centre, Saaremaa, Estonia (www.disainimajakas.ee).
In the same places where "La Terra Trema" by Luchino Visconti (1948) was filmed, the Rodolico family has been building ships for four generations. If yesterday around these shipwrights a whole community used to gather and identify itself, today that world is disappearing because of the changing times. However, it is the Wood that still preserves and builds the memory of a very ancient knowledge: the one of the last shipwrights.