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BYU folklore field school to end with exhibition Friday, Aug. 5

Exhibit will display stories, photographs of Provo Canyon

Brigham Young University's three week-long intensive course in folklore preservation is ending this week with an exhibition demonstrating what the students from Provo and other parts of the country have learned and recorded.

“Tradition Runs Through It” is the theme of this year’s program as students studied the traditions of nearby Provo Canyon. The exhibit will display stories, photographs and other items worthy of preservation and of interest to local citizens who frequent the canyon.

The exhibition will take place Friday, Aug. 5, from 7-9 p.m. on the first level of the Harold B. Lee Library. Admission is free, and everyone interested in Provo Canyon and folklife studies is invited to attend.

The field school, hosted by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections’ William A. Wilson Folklore Center and co-sponsored by the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center, has trained the participants on how to properly record and keep information about the folk traditions of the canyon.

After gaining practical knowledge in the classroom, sub-groups of students spent two weeks studying various activities related to the canyon, such as fly fishing and dating. They also interviewed residents who live in some of the small communities hidden throughout the canyon, and they looked at new traditions being formed by new, non-traditional visitors to the canyon.

Stephen Taylor, a field school student from Philadelphia, says he has learned much about folklore preservation as well as the culture surrounding Provo Canyon and Utah.

“They go up there like people elsewhere go to the mall,” he says of the individuals he’s met who prefer to spend their days in the canyon than at other places. “They are so integrated with the canyon they don’t even think about it. If the canyon disappeared, they’d miss it.”

For additional information, contact the Wilson Folklore Archives at 801-422-6041 or 422-1368.

Writer: Michael Hooper

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