Chris Joyce

Potter Chris Joyce has deep family roots in North Carolina, in the pottery-rich south-central section of the state. His longtime love of pottery shows in his work, in the ways that he blends tradition and innovation into beautiful new combinations.


Carolyn Long

Among Long’s childhood recollections is a memory of her grandmother and cousins gathering to make soap. The soap was made with lye and lard put aside at hog-killing time. Long remembers the finished product as large, rough blocks that contained a variety of colors.

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Pastor Brenda Peace-Jenkins

“I’m just being obedient to what God has given me to do. He wants me to stay in this section of town, even when these walls get torn down and a new church is built. I have to be in Flint Hill, to help this community.”

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Hugh Carroll

Hugh Carroll credits his success to his family and to God. “Without them,” he explains, “I could not have done the concerts that I was doing.” The Carroll Family currently includes Hugh, son Russell, daughter-in-law Becky, and grandchildren Bella, Gracie, Lydia, and Olivia.

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St. Sing Family

Perhaps most remarkable is the emotion that comes through in the St. Sings’ playing, a quality that is difficult to achieve, no matter the amount of practice. Robin says, “Somebody told me once, ‘You really play from your soul.’ Well, that might be a good way to look at it.” Robert concurs, “Music’s good for you—any kind.”

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Wayne Reid

“A lot of people own guitars,” laughs Henderson native Wayne Reid. “But everyone that owns a guitar is not a musician.”


Moka Henry Lynch

Lynch’s pipes are some of his most distinctive work, combining strong figural images on the carved-stone bowls with delicately carved wooden stems. One of his favorite stem designs features a deep double spiral pattern in gleaming exotic wood.

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Margaret Person

Asked what it is that draws her to traditional hymns, Person explains, “Just listen to the words. That is the most important part of a song—the words. They bring back memories about how God has done things for you. When I hear about choirs that only sing contemporary gospel, I think, Oh, Lord—they just don’t know what they’re missing.”

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Chambergrass – Kim Terpening & Dave Schwartz

“Most of the time, we try to keep the songs pretty pure in what they are, whether they’re classical or bluegrass. We try not to mix them up too much. We’ll mix in little things, but I think 80% of what we do is pretty much either bluegrass or classical.”

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About the Project

In 2010 and 2011, the North Carolina Folklife Institute—with partners including the Warren County Library and Arts Council, members of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, and the Concerned Citizens of Tillery—conducted research on the living and historical traditions of Warren, Vance, and Halifax Counties. The project is a chapter of NCFI’s Statewide Heritage Initiative, which has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Resourceful Communities Program of the Conservation Fund.

NCFI folklorists Michael Taylor and Sarah Bryan interviewed dozens of tradition bearers in the three-county region, Taylor working primarily with musicians, and Bryan documenting non-musical traditions. The fieldwork was supplemented by interviews that Taylor conducted in 2009 with Warren County musicians, as part of the New Harmonies exhibit, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council. Bryan also researched archival sources of documentation on the area’s folklife traditions. The Haliwa-Saponi Tribe made available interviews conducted in 2010 for the Haliwa-Saponi Arts Documentation Project, which provided important insight for the project as well. Photographer Christopher Fowler made portraits of many of the artists who participated in the project, and photographic documentation of their work. Throughout the research, NCFI received invaluable guidance from community-based advisors, including Sue Loper, former Director of the Warren County Library; Gary Grant, Director of the Concerned Citizens of Tillery; Marty Richardson, of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe; and Jereann Johnson, cofounder of the Heritage Quilters.


The audio recordings, transcripts, photographs, and other materials gathered in the course of this research are archived at the North Carolina Folklife Institute in Durham, and will be archived at the offices of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe in Hollister and at the Warren County Library in Warrenton as well.

Click here for an electronic copy of this report.

Click here for full-color PDF’s of artist profiles.

Full-color PDFs of artist profiles are available from the North Carolina Folklife Institute. Contact NCFI at (919) 383-6040 or