Appalachian Folkways / Edition 1

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Overview

Appalachia may be the most mythologized and misunderstood place in America, its way of life and inhabitants both caricatured and celebrated in the mainstream media. Over generations, though, the families living in the mountainous region stretching from West Virginia to northeastern Alabama have forged one of the country's richest and most distinctive cultures, encompassing music, food, architecture, customs, and language.

In Appalachian Folkways, geographer John Rehder offers an engaging and enlightening account of southern Appalachia and its cultural milieu that is at once sweeping and intimate. From architecture and traditional livelihoods to beliefs and art, Rehder, who has spent thirty years studying the region, offers a nuanced depiction of southern Appalachia's social and cultural identity. The book opens with an expert consideration of the southern Appalachian landscape, defined by mountains, rocky soil, thick forests, and plentiful streams. While these features have shaped the inhabitants of the region, Rehder notes, Appalachians have also shaped their environment, and he goes on to explore the human influence on the landscape.

From physical geography, the book moves to settlement patterns, describing the Indian tribes that flourished before European settlement and the successive waves of migration that brought Melungeon, Scotch-Irish, English, and German settlers to the region, along with the cultural contributions each made to what became a distinct Appalachian culture. Next focusing on the folk culture of Appalachia, Rehder details such cultural expressions as architecture and landscape design; traditional and more recent ways of making a living, both legal and illegal; foodstuffs and cooking techniques; folk remedies and belief systems; music, art, and the folk festivals that today attract visitors from around the world; and the region's dialect. With its broad scope and deep research, Appalachian Folkways accurately and evocatively chronicles a way of life that is fast disappearing.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

An important work that must be read by anyone interested in developing a comprehensive knowledge of southern Appalachia.

CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewarship
An informative and entertaining look into the 'culture hearth' of the southern Appalachian Mountains... a distinctive cultural center in America.

— James E. Bird

Winston-Salem Journal - Julie Baxter

Rehder obviously loves Appalachia and seeks to present it honestly, completely and positively.

Baton Rouge Advocate - Greg Langley

Rehder's book is one of the best about Appalachia... A very good and accurate reference for persons interested in the region and in cultural geography.

Southeastern Geographer - Katie Algeo

An enjoyable and enlightening excursion through the cultural geography of Southern Appalachia.

CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewarship - James E. Bird

An informative and entertaining look into the 'culture hearth' of the southern Appalachian Mountains... a distinctive cultural center in America.

Journal of East Tennessee History - Susan H. Ambler

An engaging book to read... I plan to use this book the next time I teach my course on the Sociology of Appalachian Culture.

Journal of Cultural Geography - Carol Ann Gillespie Ph.D.

In this comprehensive, in-depth look at the distinct cultural region of Southern Appalachia, Rehder emphasizes that the mosaic of identities present in Southern Appalachia cannot be generalized.

Winston-Salem Journal - Barbara Bamberger Scott

Rehder obviously loves Appalachia and seeks to present it honestly, completely and positively.

Agricultural History - Sara M. Gregg

Rehder demonstrates an honest curiosity and a heart-felt appreciation of rural lifeways, which enrich his study and add to its popular appeal.

Professional Geographer - Barbara G. Shortridge

An intriguing regional geography.

Cultural Geographies - Nicholas Bauch

Readers looking for an encyclopedic, detailed and well-researched account of cultural traits... sprinkled with Rehder's anecdotes and colorful language, will benefit greatly.

Journal of Appalachian Studies - Loretta J. LeMay

A valuable contribution to Appalachian literature.

Geographical Review - George Towers

I assign the book for my 'Geography of Appalachia' course because of its many strengths.

Winston-Salem Journal
Rehder obviously loves Appalachia and seeks to present it honestly, completely and positively.

— Barbara Bamberger Scott

Baton Rouge Advocate
Rehder's book is one of the best about Appalachia... A very good and accurate reference for persons interested in the region and in cultural geography in general.

— Greg Langley

Choice

An important work that must be read by anyone interested in developing a comprehensive knowledge of southern Appalachia.

Southeastern Geographer
An enjoyable and enlightening excursion through the cultural geography of Southern Appalachia.

— Katie Algeo

Journal of East Tennessee History
An engaging book to read... I plan to use this book the next time I teach my course on the Sociology of Appalachian Culture.

— Susan H. Ambler

Journal of Cultural Geography
In this comprehensive, in-depth look at the distinct cultural region of Southern Appalachia, Rehder emphasizes that the mosaic of identities present in Southern Appalachia cannot be generalized.

— Carol Ann Gillespie Ph.D.

Sunday Advocate
Rehder's book is one of the best about Appalachia... A very good and accurate reference for persons interested in the region and in cultural geography.

— Greg Langley

Agricultural History
Rehder demonstrates an honest curiosity and a heart-felt appreciation of rural lifeways, which enrich his study and add to its popular appeal.

— Sara M. Gregg

Professional Geographer
An intriguing regional geography.

— Barbara G. Shortridge

Cultural Geographies
Readers looking for an encyclopedic, detailed and well-researched account of cultural traits... sprinkled with Rehder's anecdotes and colorful language, will benefit greatly.

— Nicholas Bauch

Journal of Appalachian Studies
A valuable contribution to Appalachian literature.

— Loretta J. LeMay

Geographical Review
I assign the book for my 'Geography of Appalachia' course because of its many strengths.

— George Towers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801878794
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Series: Creating the North American Landscape Series
  • Edition description: 20
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,141,599
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

John B. Rehder is a professor of geography at the University of Tennessee. His previous book, Delta Sugar: Louisiana's Vanishing Plantations, won the Vernacular Architecture Forum's 2000 Abbott Lowell Cummings Award and is also available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 The real Appalachia 1
2 The shape of Appalachia 33
3 Ethnicity and settlement 53
4 Folk architecture and the cultural landscape 72
5 Ways of making a living 151
6 Foodways 205
7 Folk remedies and belief systems 224
8 Folk music, folk art, and folk festivals 244
9 Folk speech : terms and sayings 289
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