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The term “Giwayen Mata” comes from the Hausa ethnic group of Nigeria and West Africa. It means “Elephant Women” and often refers to the leaders of women’s organizations. For a group of dancers and drummers who came together in Atlanta in 1993, it was the perfect term for their trailblazing performance style.

The Great Speckled Bird was a weekly counterculture Atlanta newspaper that was published from 1968 to 1976. It was also briefly revived in the mid 80’s for less than a year.

The life of the Bird was tied to the hippy movement, especially around “the Strip”, an area from 10th to 14th street along Peachtree road where the hippy scene was strongest. Most of the papers were sold by hippies on the street.

The main focus of the paper was opposition to the Vietnam War, but they also spent a lot of time attacking politicians, slumlords and big business.

In 1938 Mary Kate Carroll and Gladys Donaldson formed the Cotton States Cat Club with 12 cat lovers and held their first show at the Atlantan Hotel. This year (2008) the Club had its 70th consecutive annual Cat Show at the Gwinnett Center with approximately 350 cats in various competitions including best of breed, feline agility and a fancy dress competition!

Connie Wardlaw, the Club’s Secretary explains the appeal of cats this way. “I like cats because they are independent. They do their own thing. You can train them to do certain things but they are their own person.”

 

 

Jim Stacy has been a clown, a sideshow performer, a touring musician, a tattoo artist, a honky-tonk owner, and the manager of a drive-in theatre. To him, packing a second-hand popcorn wagon full of delicious gourmet carnival food and sharing it with festival-goers around Atlanta just seemed like the next logical step in a life lived by the “carny ethic.”

One of the strangest stories we came across was about St. EOM of Pasaquan. Eddie Owens Martin was an artist and soothsayer who began painting after he had a series of visions in 1935. He moved back to Buena Vista, Georgia, started calling himself St. EOM, and created Pasaquan using the old family house.

After Eddie’s death 20 years ago, the house and the grounds were left to decay. However, in the last decade there’s been a renewed interest in folk art, and the Pasaquan Preservation Society was created to protect Eddie’s unique vision.

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