Cultural Conservation Narrative Stage: Cowboy continued; Mayan Indian Culture in Guatemala; Native Hawaiian Culture: Gospel
Cultural conservation had been an underlying, if implicit, principle of the Festival of American Folklife since its beginning in 1967. In 1985 the Festival inaugurated a program that explicitly explored the question of cultural conservation from several points of view. The exhibit examined the kinds of contexts in which cultural conservation becomes a necessary concern; it documented efforts on the part of the keepers of tradition themselves to conserve their own culture in the face of a changing social and physical environment; and it explored the efforts of U.S. public cultural institutions to address the problem of cultural conservation. Festival visitors were invited to participate in and comment on the exhibit, the performances by keepers of these valued traditions, and the discussions of various aspects of this important topic.