Nastaliq is the most popular calligraphy style in the Persian-speaking world.  Nastaliq is mainly used to write Persian poetry, which alongside calligraphy occupies a significant place in the everyday life of Iranians.  Since the ancient foundation of Islam, calligraphy has been the dominant and emblematic feature of Islamic art.  The…
The lion dance is an important tradition to China.  Usually the dance is part of festivities like Chinese New Year, weddings, funerals, cultural celebrations, and other community gatherings.  Dating back to the Han Dynasty (3rd century), it was further developed during the Tang Dynasty (716-907 AD) and into its modern…
Hayashi is a traditional Japanese percussion ensemble.  Originating in Noh theater in the 14th century, hayashi also plays an important part in Kabuki theater.  The core hayashi instruments are the kotsuzumi (a shoulder drum that produces low sounds), the okawa (a hand drum that makes very high sounds), and the…
Gospel music was birthed in America as a natural derivative of African American history.  African Americans sign what they live.  As slaves, they sang a slave song.  As freedom fighters, they sang a song of deliverance.  As freedom marchers, they sang a song of victory.  Today, African Americans sing Gospel…
Tsugaru shamisen is a three-stringed instrument which has its origins in the Tsugaru region of Aomori, Japan.  The earliest form of shamisen made its way from China to Okinawa, Japan, in the 16th century.  Of the three most common types of shamisen in Japan, the tsugaru shamisen is the largest…
Colombia’s Caribbean coast is host to a plethora of rhythms and musical styles.  Many fall under the umbrella of cumbia, which is but one of a number of styles.  In this region, the most commonly used instruments are the alegre, llamador, tambora, maracón, guacho, and gaita.  Together, they represent the…
The Thai Community Arts and Cultural Center was founded in 1992, for the purpose of preserving and promoting Thai arts and culture in the United States.  The organization is based in Los Angeles, whose population of Thai and Thai-descended people is the largest one of outside…
The Wishtoyo Foundation is a Native American organization that utilizes traditional Chumash cultural values and practices to foster environmental awareness.  The Chumash people lived for centuries along the California coast between Malibu and San Luis Obispo and the Channel Islands, depending on the natural world…
Mutiple genres of traditional Mexican music rely on the sounds of stringed instruments, from mariachi’s guitarróns, vihuelas, and guitars, to son jarocho’s jaranas.  The quality of music produced is a direct result of the quality of craftsmanship that went into the creation of the instrument, including the mastering of necessary…
West African Dance is the cultural, social, spiritual, and moral expression of African people.  It is how values are expressedfor various life events including birth (naming ceremonies), growth and maturity (rites of passage), love and family (marriage rituals), social events, and death.  African dance holds these traditions that are near…