Sioux Falls Folklife Survey and Festival (2010-1012)

Since the majority of the fieldwork for the Traditional Arts Program had been in rural areas of the state, we decided it would be worthwhile to do some research in Sioux Falls, the state’s largest and most diverse city. Sioux Falls has many long-standing traditional communities, including Lakota, Scandinavian, and German, as well as a burgeoning immigrant and refugee population, aided by Lutheran Social Services’ resettlement office. Traditions documented included Missouri Valley Style fiddling, quilting, Norwegian woodcarving and rosemaling, Lakota crafts, Scottish bagpiping, Somali, Sudanese, and Ethiopian music and dance, Iraqi fiddling, Nepali music and dance, Chinese lion dancing, Bosnian needlework, and foodways of many cultures.

Working in partnership with the Sioux Falls Arts Council, Lutheran Social Services’ Refugee and Immigration Center, and the Washington Pavilion, we organized a one-day festival to showcase the city’s traditions on May 12, 2012, at the pavilion, Sioux Falls’ main performing and visual arts venue. Eight performing groups were presented in an intimate theater in the pavilion, and eight individual craft artists and a church quilt group demonstrated in the theater’s lobby.

Iman Mahgoub put a Sudanese henna design on the arm of a festival visitor.

Lion Dance
The Sioux Falls Chinese Association performs the lion dance.

Sunhild Muldbakken demonstrates Norwegian rosemaling.

Dakota Folk Program
The schedule of performances and list of craft demonstrators for the Dakota Folk Festival.