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Otgoä (wampum) is a vital part of Haudenosaunee culture. Wampum are shell beads that are created from whelk and quahog clam shells. The brittle pieces are rounded, sanded, and drilled to make a bead. Because of the effort that is needed to make a bead, wampum is highly valued.

Community: 
City Lore
Traditions: 

Material Culture

Haudenosaunee storytelling is not meant to just entertain but to also teach. Stories are used to warn against dangerous and bad behavior, uphold valued qualities, and teach good decision making. If you travel to different Haudenosaunee communities, you will discover that each community may have their own version of a story. There is no one version that is upheld over the others, but if you listen you will discover that although the details may be slightly different, the lessons taught remain the same.

Community: 
City Lore
Traditions: 

Material Culture

Learn from longtime carpenter Arthur Garabedian about growing up in the Armenian community in Niagara Falls, teaching carpentry at the renowned Trott Vocational School in Niagara Falls (NY), and his work on local community projects, including the front doors of St. Sarkis Armenian Church, which brightly feature his design of the Armenian cross.

Traditions: 

Material Culture

Occupation

Learn from Mary Movesian about the different types of needlework arts she learned growing up in Armenia: from lace-making and embroidery to crochet and knitting.

Traditions: 

Material Culture

Learn from Ophelia and her granddaughter Gayane about Ophelia’s life as a seamstress, memories of Gayane growing up at Alteration Station, working together with her daughter (Mary Movesian), and the meaningfulness of creating Armenian traditional dance dresses for Gayane.

Traditions: 

Material Culture

Learn about the role of rice pilaf in Armenian households and community events, and cooking together at St. Hagop Armenian Apostolic Church's kitchen, from Rachele Aversa and Sonya Gregian, two longtime members of the Armenian community in Niagara Falls.

Traditions: 

Verbal Arts

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Foodways

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Learn about choreg (an Armenian sweet bread often eaten for Easter), the unique taste and aroma of mahlab (mahleb), and the importance of maintaining Armenian traditions for future generations from Lisa Ohanessian Mies & Lori Ohanessian Hurtgam, who learned to make choereg from their grandmother Barbara Aloian.

Traditions: 

Foodways

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"Survive, Remember, Thrive: Armenian Traditions in Western New York" is a documentary video series produced by the Folk Arts Program at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University that celebrates local expressions of Armenian culture and heritage through a short film and shortform videos. In the series' lead short film, "Survive, Remember, Thrive", learn about the history of the Armenian community in Niagara Falls through the lived experiences of Ani Avdoian, Dawn Sakalian, and Kathy Peller: how their families were affected by the Armenian Genocide, their families' resettlement in Niagara Falls, and the types of traditions they maintain and pass on within their family and throughout the local community.

Traditions: 

Verbal Arts

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Foodways

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Learn about the meanings and memories of making Armenian paklava from Laurice Ghougasian, who learned to make paklava from her mother through a recipe passed down by her grandmother, which she then veganized.

Traditions: 

Foodways

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Hear about the Mooradian Rug Company from Tony Mooradian Jr., Mike Petrosian, and Tom Mooradian. Founded in 1948, the Mooradian Rug Company is one of the longest continuing Armenian family-owned businesses in Western New York.

Traditions: 

Occupation

Learn about the history of the Armenian community in Niagara Falls, through the memories and lived experiences of Robert “Butch” Kazeangin Jr. Butch Kazeangin is a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls, member of the local Armenian Community, and board member of numerous local organizations.

Traditions: 

Verbal Arts

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Foodways

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Devesh Chandra plays and discusses traditional Indian music. 

Community: 
New York Folklore
Traditions: 

Music

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