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FSU Ethnobotany Student Mitra Karimian Wins Award for Analysis of Dulcimer Makers
06/30/2010

FSU Ethnobotany Student Mitra Karimian Wins Award for Analysis of Dulcimer Makers
Mitra Karimian, an undergraduate ethnobotany student at Frostburg State University, won an honorable mention for the Julia F. Morton Award for her poster “Analysis of Dulcimer Makers in Appalachia” at the International Society for Economic Botany Meeting in Xalapa, Mexico. The contest was for students or young professionals with five years or less post-doctoral experience. Over 60 posters were presented at the meeting.

Karimian began the project on the dulcimer, a folk instrument prevalent in Southern Appalachia, as part of the Ethnographic Field Techniques course at FSU. She conducted ethnographic research on dulcimer makers throughout the region, documenting preferences for specific tree species based on tonal quality, as well as other factors such as convenience, price and availability. She also acquired background information about dulcimer makers, including how they acquired and developed their skills, and examined lineages of dulcimer making and the relationships between makers and musicians. The goal of the research was to preserve cultural knowledge around this folk craft, document tree species vital for cultural traditions and promote sustainability in resource use.

Sunshine Brosi, Thomas Berry, Nathan Beeman, Steven Darrow, Elizabeth Deasy, Lauren Fetzer, Christopher Massimino and Carson Sommerlatt also contributed to the project.

For more information about the award, visit www.econbot.org/_about_/index.php?sm= 06|awards_morton. For more information about the ethnobotany program at FSU, contact Dr. Sunshine Brosi at slbrosi@frostburg.edu. -end-

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