Questions For Immigrant Traditional Artists

Identify someone in your community who immigrated from another country. Interview them using the questions below and ask them to sign a release form or give an oral release so that you can use the information you gather.

Name of Student Interviewer: __________________________  Date: ______________

Name of Interviewee: ________________________________________________________

Male or Female (circle) Age:____ Written Release Acquired? ____ Oral Release? ____


Personal history and relationship to place

Where were you born?

How and when did you arrive in Louisiana?

When you arrived in Louisiana, did you find people and traditions that helped you feel comfortable here?

What traditions does your cultural community maintain here that are similar to those of home? Holidays? Crafts? Music? Food? Religious traditions?

Do you or your family maintain these traditions?

Do you have a particular relationship to the land here?

In your opinion, are there conditions that distinguish your work, being made here, from work made in other parts of the country or world?

Importance of tradition, innovation

In general, why do you do what you do? Can you describe the commitment you bring to your work?

What influences your work? Is the history of your art form and your culture important to your work? How?

What role does your art form play in your community? How does this role or function influence your work?

Can you describe your artistic process? Do you work alone or with others?

Has your work changed? Is it evolving? Have you made changes in the way you practice this art form?

What materials do you use? Where are the materials found/located?

What tools and/or equipment are used?

How do you decide what you're going to make?

How long does it take to complete?

How do you know when you're finished?

What does "mastery" mean to you?


How did you learn your craft/art form?

Who taught you? Can you describe your relationship to that person?

What was your most memorable experience with your art form?

What inspires you now?

Can you describe your relationship to your community or family? Are there groups of people with whom you affiliate, or who have a common interest?

Do you see yourself as a keeper of the culture? What does this idea mean to you? What would you like your legacy to be?

Do you share your knowledge/technique/experience with the next generation?