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DeVaughan Woodside

Florida Folklife asked our artists a series of questions to learn more about their traditions and how those traditions have impacted their lives and the lives of those around them. Take a look at the answers we got from DeVaughan Woodside below.Photo of DeVaughn Woodside in traditional Junkanoo costume


What folk tradition(s) or traditional art(s) do you practice?

Junkanoo is the folk tradition that I practice. Junkanoo is one form of cultural expression practiced predominately in The Bahamas.

How did you learn those traditions?

In the shacks, work spaces in The Bahamas where costumes are built, I worked with Master Artist Percival “Vola” Francis as an apprentice via the Folklife Apprenticeship Program here in Florida.

Why is it important to maintain folk traditions?

It is important to teach the history and culture of Junkanoo. Junkanoo is a channel by which all aspects of society can associate. It bridges gaps between all aspects of the social structure.

How did you first get involved with the Florida Folklife Program?

I got involved in the Florida Folklife Program while in college at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL. I was introduced to the program by Dr. Jan DeCosmo and Dr. Tina Bucuvalas.

What Florida Folklife Program projects have you participated in and/or what folklife awards have you received?

I have been a Florida Folklife apprentice on three occasions and most recently a master artist in 2017-2018. I have also participated in the Florida Folk Festival on at least two occasions.

How has the Florida Folklife Program benefited you or what value does the program have?

I have benefited from the program in many ways. Most specifically, I have had an opportunity to work closely with a living legend (Vola Francis) in the folklife tradition that I practice. The Florida Folklife Program has allowed me to showcase my tradition to a wide variety of people and cultures.

How can the Florida Folklife Program better serve you?

The Florida Folklife Program has served me well. I hope to continue to be a part of the program so that I can continue to learn and pass the tradition on to the next generation.