Traditional Arts in Upstate New York. Traditional Arts of Upstate New York
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Canton, NY 13617
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Legends of Our Time

Masters of North Country Traditional Life

By TAUNY's definition, a legend is a story based upon real events and experiences but often characterized by people just a little larger than life. Their talents and background go beyond the ordinary and tales about them are embellished with each retelling. Their exploits and accomplishments live for generations beyond them. These people are really special to the North Country way of life, now and in the future. We are pleased to be able to present brief versions of their ‟stories” to you on this site.

Legends of Our Time profiles individuals and groups who have mastered and conserved family and community traditions over several generations in the North Country and who actively practice them today. From 1993 to 2012, those profiled here have been recognized by TAUNY with a North Country Heritage Award for their considerable skills in their art or tradition, for their memory and ability to relate their experiences, and for their demonstrated willingness to share what they know with future generations. 

AUNY folklorists have documented the recipients with recorded interviews, library research, and photographs—both historical from personal and local collections and new photography by internationally known documentary photographer Martha Cooper. The extensive documentation is
added to the TAUNY Archives and is available to researchers by appointment.

A celebration to honor the recipients—the Salute to North Country Legends—is held each fall and portraits are added to TAUNY’s North Country Wall of Fame in The TAUNY Center.  We urge you to visit this impressive display.

While there is considerable diversity among the people of the North Country, we are united, year in and year out, by several common threads. Life in our region--its customs and traditions--has been shaped by the importance of woods and water, farming and home life, religion and ethnicity, music and dance, and small towns. Heritage awards have recognized master artists in each of these categories over the last 20 years. Click the links below to access a list of recipients in that theme area, including short profiles and photos.

 Woods & Water

 Farm & Home

 Religion & Ethnicity

Music & Dance

Please note that North Country Heritage Awards recognize living practitioners of customs and traditions, and the citations for each were written at the time of their presentation. When we are aware of the passing of an individual, we have noted the years of their birth and death.

Photos: 2011 Salute honoring Floyd Snyder, Jack Gray, and Elaine Dougan, with Hannah Harvester and Varick Chittenden. Hallie Bond presents Ed Chartrand with the 2009 Heritage Award.

Note: All images, text and other material found in this website © 7277 TAUNY. All rights reserved.