Chesapeake Traditions Today


Chesapeake Traditions Today is a 10-part, weekly series celebrating folklife of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the Chesapeake Bay region. The series will revisit some of the cultural traditions and community members represented by the Chesapeake Traditions program at the National Folk Festival in 2018, and highlight what tradition bearers are up to today. Chesapeake Traditions Today will also introduce you to new traditions and culture keepers, all representing communities and ways of life on the Shore. Listen to new episodes Thursday mornings on WSDL 90.7 (and at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University), and view new videos here each week, all summer.

This project is produced by the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University and the National Folk Festival, with support from Maryland Traditions and the National Council for the Traditional Arts, in collaboration with Delmarva Public Media.

Episode 5: Picking Crabs
"Hurricane" Hazel Cropper is a 16-time world champion crab picker, and is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for the speed and volume of blue crab she can pick. Learn about this Crisfield, MD resident's long connection to the Chesapeake Bay's crabbing industry, and how she uses her talent to teach the "art" of crab picking today.

(Initial air date: August 6, 2020)

Episode 5: Gospel Quartet
For over 60 years, The Sensational Royal Lights have traveled throughout Delmarva to deliver their music ministry through quartet-style gospel music. In today's episode of Chesapeake Traditions Today hear from three long-time members of this group that got its start in Cordtown, a small community near Cambridge, MD, and hear what inspires these Maryland Heritage Award winners today.

(Initial air date: July 30, 2020)

Episode 4: Scrapple
In today's episode of Chesapeake Traditions Today, meet Newell Quinton from San Domingo, near Sharptown, MD. Newell is a culture keeper carrying on the tradition of making scrapple. He does this using hogs he's raised, and cast iron pots and techniques passed down over generations. It doesn't get more farm to table than this!

(Initial air date: July 23, 2020)

Episode 3: Smith Island Cake
In today's episode of Chesapeake Traditions Today we meet Janice Marshall of Smith Island, MD. Janice is a culture bearer in a long line of women who make what is today known as Maryland's state dessert, the Smith Island cake. Learn more about this multi-layered confection and its possible history, and get ready to get hungry!

To learn more about Smith Island visit

To try your hand at making Smith Island cake, check out this recipe from our friends at the Maryland Office of Tourism:

(Initial air date: July 16, 2020)

Episode 2: Skipjack Captains
Episode 2 of Chesapeake Traditions Today features two skipjack captains from the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay: Harold “Stoney” Whitelock and Kermit Travers. Learn about the iconic boat’s connection to the families and communities of the region, through these two captains.

Want to know more about skipjack heritage? Listen to an extended clip with Capt. Whitelock thanks to our friends at Delmarva Public Media.

Learn more:
Capt. Stoney Whitelock:
Capt. Kermit Travers:
The history of the skipjack:

(Initial air date: July 9, 2020)

Episode 1: Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians
The Delmarva Peninsula (present day Delaware, and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia) includes the traditional homelands of the Lenape, Nanticoke, Nause-Waiwash, Assateague, Pocomoke, and Accohannock peoples—all of whom continue to carry on their ancestors’ legacies today. To kick off this new series on Chesapeake traditions, we’re highlighting and paying homage to a community of the region’s first peoples.

In Episode 1, meet Donna Wolf Mother Abbott, Chief of the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians. Chief Donna will provide insight into the history and culture of her people, and the traditions and work carrying them into the future.

To learn more about the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, visit, or @TheNWBI on Facebook.

(Initial air date: July 2, 2020)

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