Category Archives: Material Lore

The guy he told you not to worry about

General Information:

  • Type of folklore: Internet folklore/meme
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Informant: Tracy Mutoni
  • Source: Twitter
  • Date collected: 20 May 2020

Informant Data:

  • Once a universal microblogging, Twitter has evolved into a social networking platform in the past 14 years. Today twitter has become the most popular medium for celebrities and politicians to communicate with the public. Still, the founder, Jack Dorsey, and twitter at large advocate for censorship, safety, and nonviolence. Twitter seldom becomes boring due to constantly generated memes.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: As the environment evolves, innovative strategies and ideas emerge. For each new device, there is one faster and more effective imagined in the future but a slower version in the past as well This comes with a prize—especially on the environment. The faster and more efficient devices under deep learning emit increasingly toxic gas than simple model cars created a long time ago.
  • Social Context: This specific item contains three different eras of AI. Each era is representative of the field’s progress and challenges. A device from a past era could still get the job done, agreeably. It is just that the new guy emerging from within Deep Learning is much faster and more suitable for the new era.

Item:

Transliteration:

  • Your novel research idea. Some guy in the 1980s. Republishing the idea, but with Deep Learning.

Context(free translation):

  • Any kind of novel research ideas in AI is exciting. Under zero competition, one can often feel they have thrived. It is easy to compare especially with previous work like that from years ago. Sadly, some guy out there will come up with an idea, whether totally different, almost similar, you name it. Given new emerging technology, ideas from a long time ago can be revisited and used to develop totally cool and new complex models.  AI does not still well with old and boring. And that seems to be the message of this item.

Collector’s name: Tracy Mutoni, Russian Lit 013, Dartmouth College. (faithfully translated to my best of skill)

Tags/Keywords:

  • #AImemes #DeepLearning #machinelearning #oldFashionAI, #research

Fraternity Rush Party Themes

Title: Fraternity Rush Party Themes

General Information about Item:

  • Customary/Material Folklore
  • Informant: W.M.
  • Date Collected: 05/25/2020

Informant Data:

  • W.M. is a male Dartmouth College student. He is unaffiliated.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: The celebration of new members into a fraternity is celebrated amongst the brothers in a social event open to campus as well. The celebrations include a theme, sometimes a traditional theme of the house or decided on each year. Members of the house, new and old, dress in costumes in accordance with the theme and celebrate together.
  • Social Context: Social gathering is a common event put on by a fraternity and open to the campus. In these instances, a theme for the party is decided on by the house and is put on, usually around the end of the rush process.

Item:

  • Many fraternities hold social gatherings before, during, and after the rush process. It is common for these to have themes decided on by the members, new and old, of the house hosting the gathering. Typically the new members are celebrated as the members all dress in costume and decorate the house for the gathering.

Collector’s Comments:

  • I found this tradition to be an interesting custom as it is open to non-members. The fraternity members are typically the ones deciding and dressing in theme, but then they open up the celebration to the campus as well.

Collector’s Name: Charlie Wade

Tags/Keywords:

  • Celebration
  • Costumes
  • Fraternity

House Families

Title: House Families

General Information about Item:

  • Customary Folklore
  • Informant: R.C. ’22
  • Date Collected: 05/19/2020

Informant Data:

  • R.C. is a male student at Dartmouth College. He is affiliated.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: Families are small units of close individuals. The adoption of this technique into fraternity culture serves a similar purpose.
  • Social Context: House families are smaller groups in the house new members are sorted in to. These act as smaller and closer social groups for the new members in the house.

Item:

  • This specific fraternity gives its new members “families” within its members. These families consist of one to two new members and a handful of older members to serve as a resource during and after the rush process.

Collector’s Comments:

  • I found these families to be an interesting and useful way to help new members during the rush process. They stay families for life, long after active membership in the fraternity ends. In this specific example, the family the informant was in was easily dated back to Dartmouth alumni from 2014.

Collector’s Name: Charlie Wade

Tags/Keywords:

  • Customary Lore
  • Family
  • Social

Fraternity House Song

 

General Information about Item:

  • Verbal folklore
  • Informant R.C.
  • Date Collected: 05/18/2020

Informant Data:

  • The informant is a current Dartmouth student. He is a member of the class of 2022 and is affiliated.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: When rushing a fraternity, there is a sense of pride and community associated with the house and its members. Members are seen as “brothers” and the house is the “home” of its members. The singing of a song honors these two traditions.
  • Social Context: The collective act of singing together has always been associated with the idea of community. The singing of a house song is a social activity new and old members participate in to foster this principle.

Item:

  • There is a song made up by the fraternity members, that is sung to honor the house and its members. This is meant to help new members feel welcomed during the rush process (or directly after).

 

Collector’s Comments:

  • The use of a song to help new members feel part of a new community is not uncommon. I thought it was interesting to see the same type of welcoming folklore displayed in this process.

Collector’s Name: Charlie Wade

Tags/Keywords:

  • Verbal Folklore
  • Fraternity Rush
  • New Members

Invitation Letter/Card

Title: Invitation Letter/Card

Information about Item:

  • Form of material and customary folklore
  • Informant: S.I.
  • Date Collected: 5/8/2020

Informant Data:

  • S.I. is a female member of the Class of 2021 at Dartmouth. She is affiliated with Greek Life, and she is from California.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural: A letter or card is given to you that invites you to be part of the house. The letter is usually signed by the president and the recruitment chair of the house.
  • Social: This information was collected through a video chat interview.

Item:

  • A letter or card that is sent to the individual as an official invitation to be part of the house

Collector’s Name: Gia Kim

Tags/Keywords:

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Letter
  • card
  • rush

Rush Round Themes

Title: Rush Round Themes

Information about Item: 

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Informant: H.W.
  • Collected 5/13/2020

Informant Data:

H.W. is a member of the Class of 2020 at Dartmouth from Portland, OR. She is affiliated with Greek Life at Dartmouth.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural: Rush rounds are the three steps of the Inter-sorority Council (ISC) sorority rush process taking place over 1.5 weeks.
  • Social: The item was collected through a video chat interview. Only current members of the organization dress according to the theme. According to the informant, the social significance of this item is that it is a way to “be memorable” to potential new members and ultimately tells something about the specific organization.

Item:

Current members of sororities may dress according to different themes for the three rounds of the rush process. Some examples given by the informant are Outer Space theme and Rock and Roll theme.

Collector’s Comments:

This item made clear the importance of how the Greek organization presents itself to potential new members during the rush process.

Collector: Meredith Srour

Tags/Keywords:

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Sorority Rush
  • Themes

 

 

House Gear

Title: House Gear

Information about Item:

  • Form of material and customary folklore
  • Informant: L.G.
  • Date Collected: 5/8/2020

Informant Data:

  • L.G. is a female member of the Class of 2022 at Dartmouth. She is affiliated with Greek Life, and she is from New York.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural: The clothing represents their membership within the house. Individuals are also able to tell what term the person has joined the house depending on the house gear they are wearing because a house usually makes 2-3 new house gears every 2 terms.
  • Social: This information was collected through a video chat interview.

Item:

  • Members wear “house gear” to show that there are a member of that house.

Collector’s Name: Gia Kim

Tags/Keywords:

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Clothing
  • Sorority rush

Fraternity Shake Out Clothing

Title: Fraternity Shake Out Clothing

Information about Item:

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Informant: R.B.
  • Collected 5/13/2020

Informant Data:

R.B. is a member of the Class of 2020 at Dartmouth and is affiliated with Greek Life. He is from California and studying Engineering.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural: Shake Out is a step of the Interfraternity Council rush process.
  • Social: This item was collected through a video chat interview. Not all fraternities request that potential new members wear formal attire. It may be “out of respect” to dress formally, and this is only done by potential new members.

Item: Potential new members of fraternity organizations wear formal attire for the Shake Out event.

Collector’s Comments:

This item is similar to a different item collected- Sorority Pref Night clothing. Formal attire may be required for both processes, potentially indicating the significance and formality of certain events.

Collector’s Name: Meredith Srour

Tags/Keywords:

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Clothing
  • Fraternity rush

Sorority Pref Night Clothing

Title: Sorority Pref Night Clothing

Information about Item:

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Informant: M.F.
  • Date Collected: 5/8/2020, 5/17/2020

Informant Data:

  • M.F. is a female member of the Class of 2022 at Dartmouth. She is affiliated with Greek Life, and she is from Minnesota.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural: Pref night is the third and final “round” of Inter-Sorority Council rush, where each round is a different step of the process. After pref night, potential new members must determine which sorority they are interested in joining.
  • Social: This information was collected through a video chat interview. All current members of the Greek organization and selected potential new members must participate in pref night. The significance of dressing in more formal attire for pref night may be out of respect and to demonstrate that the matter is taken seriously.

Item:

  • On pref night, potential new members and current members of the organization must dress formally, often in all black clothing.

Collector’s Comments:

I recognized a similarity between this item and a different item collected- Fraternity Shake Out Clothing. It seems that formal attire is a common feature of both.

Collector’s Name: Meredith Srour

Tags/Keywords:

  • Material folklore
  • Customary folklore
  • Clothing
  • Sorority rush

Chilkoot Trail Certificate

Title: Chilkoot Trail Certificate

General Information about Item:

  • Material Lore
  • Language: English, French, Tagish, Tlingit
  • Country of Origin: United States, Canada
  • Trail of Origin: Chilkoot
  • Informant: Ian Andrews
  • Date Collected: 10-29-19

Informant Data:

Ian Andrews is currently a graduate student at MIT. He grew up in Juneau, Alaska and hiked the Chilkoot Trail after finishing his undergraduate studies. Ian hikes recreationally, from trails in his hometown, to spending a week hiking in the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.

Contextual Data:

Historical Context: First used by the Tlingit people of Alaska as a trade route, the Chilkoot became an important trail for miners and prospectors coming to Alaska during the Klondike gold rush at the end of the 1800s. The trail was mostly abandoned after the end of the gold rush in 1898, until the trail was restored for recreational hikers in the 1960s. (Source)

Item:

 

A certificate given to hikers on the Chilkoot trail who reach the Lake Lindemann Museum.

Texture:

At the top of the certificate, there is a depiction of four birds. This is done in the Form Line art style, traditional to the Native Tlingit people of the area. This design is credited to Ross Atlin at the bottom of the certificate.

On the certificate, there is a message of congratulations to the receiving hiker:

Congratulations for hiking the Chilkoot Trail

The Chilkoot Trail is important because of the role it played in the mass movement of people to Alaska and the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. The Trail is part of the Klondike Gold Rush International Historic Park.

The certificate contains the same message in French, as the Chilkoot trail stretches between Alaska and Canada.

Felicitations pour avoir parcouru la piste Chilkoot

La piste Chilkoot revet und grande importance en raison du role qu’elle a joue dans l’arrivee massive des gens en Alaska et au Yukon durant la ruee vers l’or du Klondike. Cette piste fait partie du parc historique international de la ruee vers l’or du Klondike.

There is also a photograph of gold rushers hiking to the Chilkoot Pass summit, taken between 1897 and 1898. Next to this photograph are the Tagish and Tlingit names for the summit, Kwatese and A Shaki, respectively.

At the bottom of the certificate, there is an endorsement from both Parks Canada, and the United States National Parks Service.

Transcript:

  • “They have a museum there with different pieces of history of the trail. They have a log book and a sticker or decal you could take. I think it was actually like a certificate you could take. Some of the camps were more built up than others.”
  • The informant later followed up, confirming a certificate was rewarded to anyone who reaches the Lake Lindemann Museum.

Collectors Comment:

Neither the informant or I spoke French well enough to provide a phonetic translation of the French section of the certificate. However, it appears to be an equivalent translation of the message of congratulations written in English.

Collector’s Name: Soren Thompson

Tags/Keywords:

  • Chilkoot Trail
  • Certificate
  • Thru Hiking