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“Rudimentary Peni Farce”.

Seattle, Washington is home to the amazing Northwest Folklife Festival. It’s a four-day, free festival which features music, dance, art, spoken word, craft booths, lousy, overpriced “festival food” and…. people. — I always go to Folklife. I’ve attended around forty. I’ve performed at seven.

I found a subculture at Folklife I’m not real familiar with. I tried to talk with some of the folks depicted here; but no one had a lot to say. I did learn that most everyone makes their own clothes out of whatever they can find, because they don’t have the money to buy new clothes. I like how they came up with their own striking style. I hope big business doesn’t co-opt it and keep all the money. This is definitely not grunge; it’s not pure punk. There seems to be an anarchistic spirit happening here. I don’t know what it is. But these kids dominated my Folklife 2016. I found them more interesting than any band or group of dancers. — I hope you enjoy the photos. Years ago I worried that Folklife would not last; young people would not be interested in it. I no longer have that concern.

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Notice how these young folks’ outfits are carefully assembled. I took a lot of photos of backs, because a lot of people used their backs to display their art.

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This is not the colorful hippie crowd of days gone by. Many people wore vests which they created by cutting the sleeves off of denim jackets.

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Drab colors seem to be a touchstone.

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Lots of cigarettes being smoked. And weed.

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Most every group included at least one dog.

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Black, gray, brown.

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No, this is not the same group. It just looks the same. I saw hundreds of people who seemed to be in the same tribe.

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This must be their daddy or something. Yes, he’s colorful; but he made the majority of his outfit. I asked him if I could take his photo. He allowed me to. Afterwards, he started to take off his coat; and he asked me if I would do him a favor. I ran away.

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Here he is from the back. I wouldn’t crop out the chain link fence if I could. I think it fits right in.

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Oh, dang. I never, ever publish blurry photos. But Dude’s clothes were too out there to not show you. I shrunk the size some, so it would be a little clearer.

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Doing some hard travelin’.

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Once in a while someone adds a little blue to the color scheme. As in blue denim.

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Or they go all out, with eye-popping, colorful, frightening graphics.

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So much character in his face.

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Believe it or not, this is not the same guy. But they need to meet. Make that trip to Alaska.

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This young woman was dancing and throwing/twirling some kind of stick, for tips.

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These performers were almost too well-dressed for this story; but they did a great job in keeping the drab color scheme going, so they got past my wall.

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Is this what they mean by casual-chic? — I didn’t think so….

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“Mary had a little overdose.”

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Now, this was a tough bunch. Two of them gave me the OK to take the photo, so I did. The mean looking guy on the right then demanded payment. That didn’t happen.

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Skull motif #1.

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Skull motif #2. How odd that she is with a dude sporting a unicorn and rainbow.

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Since few wish to break the rule regarding the color of their attire, color is sometimes added by doing something to the hair.

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Another example of using colorful hair to break the monotony. Well, she had on a bright red skirt, too. — The band looked a lot like the audience.

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The guy was like, “What are you looking at, old man”? They were sitting on dirt, just feet away from a nice lawn.

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This fellow told me that he indeed makes his own clothes. I asked if I could take his photo. He said I had to “Ask Charlotte”. So I did, and she said “OK”.

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Everyone looks so serious.

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I wonder if that’s his Mom, coming out of the restroom?

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Where do they come from; where do they go?


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One last photo. I went up to this young woman and told her to go home and change. I said, “You’re not even trying to fit in! What are you, some kind of rebel”? (I didn’t.)

Here’s a YouTube video for you which fits perfectly with my story. This fifty year old song did a great job of predicting the future.