Speaker: Patrick Donmoyer
Date Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time: 3:00 pm
Confirmed Room: Y-117
Topic: Powwowing in Pennsylvania
Patrick Donmoyer is the Director at the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University, a folklife museum and research center on the Kutztown Campus. A fluent speaker of Pennsylvania Dutch and advocate for regional folk culture, Patrick’s work blends language, traditions, and vernacular architecture in his folklife research. He is the author of numerous articles, and two books, the most recent of which is entitled Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars. He is currently completing a forthcoming book, lecture series, and traveling exhibition on the tradition of ritual medicine, entitled Powwowing in Pennsylvania. The Exhibition runs until October 29th at Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, PA.
As an expression of faith and identity, cultures throughout the world engage in ritual as an effective means to create and define meaningful interactions, spaces and outcomes. This talk will explore the historical and cultural roots of traditional customs, rituals, and folkways known among the Pennsylvania Dutch as Braucherei, or powwowing. Blessings, inscriptions, objects, and procedures will provide an overview of ritual traditions used primarily for the healing and protection of humans and their domesticated animals. Descriptions of powwowing throughout three centuries will demonstrate the ways in which ritual is still very much an active force in the present, human endeavor to heal physical and existential concerns and satisfy the hunger for meaning in everyday life.
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