Holly Tannen Mistress of Folklore
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Alchemy Dulcimer

About Holly Tannen


  • M.A., Folklore, Department of Anthropology, U.C. Berkeley, 1988
  • Master's Thesis: "That's No' a Story, Laddie, that's a Song!: Traditional Ballads as Free-Phrase Prose Narratives among the Travelling People of Scotland"
  • B.A., Psychology, U.C. Berkeley, 1969


  • College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Coast Campus. Associate Professor of Anthropology, 1989 - 1996 : Cultural Anthropology; Anthropology of Women; Introduction to Folklore; Roots of American Folk Music; Analyzing Contemporary Folklore; Healing in Cross-Cultural Perspective; Shamanism, Magic, and Witchcraft
  • Dominican College, San Rafael, CA Song as Story, Story as Song. (1989; 1994)


  • "The Real Old-Time Religion: Towards an Aesthetic of Neo-Pagan Song" (with Sabina Magliocco) Ethnologies March 1999
  • "AIDS Jokes: Punishment, Retribution and Renegotiation" (with David Morris) Southern Folklore 46 #2, 1989
  • The Songfinder SingOut! magazine, 1993 - 97
  • Advice to the Folklorn Mendocino Commentary, 1990 - 1992


Flower of Australia (2012); Crazy Laughter (2007); Rime of the Ancient Matriarch (1999); Between the Worlds (1989); Invocation (1983). In England: Frosty Morning with Pete Cooper (1978); The Dulcimer Players ( 1978). Holly also plays on Andrew Cronshaw's Earthed in Cloud Valley (1977) and Wade in the Flood (1978) and on The Young Fogies (1985) Kenny Hall (1974), We Won't Move! Songs of the Tenants' Movement, and Berkeley Farms (1972).


  • "White Folks Was Wild Once Too: Intertextuality, Reflexivity, and the Codification of Belief in Neo-Pagan Song"(with Sabina Magliocco) American Folklore Society, 1997
  • "The Real Old-Time Religion: Contemporary Neo-Pagan Song " Folklore Dept., U.C. Berkeley, 1998
  • "Goddesses and Matriarchies: Evaluating the Evidence" College of the Redwoods, 1994
  • "Problems of Authenticity Confronting a Folk 'Revival' Performer" Kroeber Anthropological Society, U.C. Berkeley, 1988
  • "Traditional Ballads as Free-Phrase Prose Narratives among the Travelling People of Scotland" California Folklore Society, 1987
  • "AIDS Jokes and the Folklore of Homophobia" American Folklore Society, 1987
  • "The Travelling People of Scotland as Carriers of Tradition" Gypsy Lore Society, 1987


  • Voyage en Rimbaldie (Manuel and Muriel Sanchez, 2004)
  • Full Circle (Donna Read, National Film Board of Canada,1993); Almeda Riddle (George West, 1987); Musical Holdouts (John Cohen, 1973)
  • Sound Track: Bounty Man (Twentieth-Century Fox, 1972)


  • Co-coordinator and musical director, Caspar World Folk Festival, Caspar, California, 2003.
  • Musical Director, Voices from the Frolic and Beyond, joint project of Mendocino County Arts Council, Mendocino County Museum, and Ukiah Players' Theater. Spring-Fall 1994


  • Wrote and performed the role of Yoruba goddess Oya in David Morris' post-modern Baroque opera, Il Bobo Sferrato, Berkeley 1992.
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