Bamboo - Washington, DC Exhibit

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival has as one of its major elements this year Bhutan and its culture. A Mahayanna Buddhist Temple has gone up on the mall and there are bad renditions of quasi Bhutanese food for the hungry festival goer thanks to the efforts of local Indian restauranteers. Or you can go for some Texas barbeque. The real draws of the festival are the music and dance from Bhutan and the Zydeco and Cajan/Creole.
But for lovers of bamboo and grasses, there's a hidden treat, a tent on bamboo arts and associated with the tents on architecture and the one on herbal medicine, if you're lucky enough to get a chance to talk to one of the expert craftspeople, you will learn a lot. It was fun to see a few cylindrical sections of Moso in a plastic bucket along with some climbing bamboo reading to be split and some cames ready to reinforce some woven ware
The ancient pre-electric wood turning equipment was a delight to discover as were the tightly fitted boxes and bowls out of species turned on the equipment.
Had a great time, heard some great music, got to dance like a maniac, saw some other folks with waist length braids besides the aging self, smelled some unique smells and had a wonderful discussion with a weaver about the use and timing of belly bands after birth and other after birth customs of that great Buddhist people.
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