Overview

Arts in Earnest explores the unique folklife of North Carolina from ruddy ducks to pranks in the mill. Traversing from Murphy to Manteo, these fifteen essays demonstrate the importance of North Carolina's continually changing folklife. From decoy carving along the coast, to the music of tobacco chants and the blues of the Piedmont, to the Jack tales of the mountains, Arts in Earnest reflects the story of a people negotiating their rapidly changing social and economic ...
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Arts in Earnest: North Carolina Folklife

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Overview

Arts in Earnest explores the unique folklife of North Carolina from ruddy ducks to pranks in the mill. Traversing from Murphy to Manteo, these fifteen essays demonstrate the importance of North Carolina's continually changing folklife. From decoy carving along the coast, to the music of tobacco chants and the blues of the Piedmont, to the Jack tales of the mountains, Arts in Earnest reflects the story of a people negotiating their rapidly changing social and economic environment.
Personal interviews are an important element in the book. Laura Lee, an elderly black woman from Chatham County, describes the quilts she made from funeral flower ribbons; witnesses and friends each remember varying details of the Duke University football player who single-handedly vanquished a gang of would-be muggers; Clyde Jones leads a safari through his backyard, which is filled with animals made of wood and cement that represent nontraditional folk art; the songs and sermon of a Primitive Baptist service flow together as one-"it tills you up all over"; Durham bluesman Willie Trice, one of a handful of Durham musicians who recorded in the 1930s and early 1940s, remembers when the active tobacco warehouses offered ready audiences-"They'd tip us a heap of change to play some music"; and Goldsboro tobacco auctioneer H. L. "Speed" Riggs chants 460 words per minute, five to six times faster than a normal conversational rate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822381617
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 12/13/1989
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,094,186
  • File size: 9 MB

Table of Contents


Contents

Acknowledgments


Introduction


Of the Past

1
The North Carolina Wildfowl Decoy Tradition


Matchak
Stephen




2
“I Never Could Play Alone”: The Emergence of the New River Valley String Band, 1875–1915


Carter
Thomas


Sauber
Thomas




3
The Hugh Dixon Homestead: What to Make of Tradition?


Osborn
Rachel B.




4
Economic and Cultural Influences on German and Scotch-Irish Quilts in Antebellum Rowan County, North Carolina


Horton
Laurel




5
The Development of the Bright-Leaf Tobacco Auctioneer's Chant


Mansfield
Bill





Of Individuals

6
The Solitary Memory: A Greek-American's Recollections of the Folk Play Panáretos


Porter
John A.




7
The Banjo-Song Genre: A Study of “High Sheriff,” Dink Roberts's Man-against-the-Law Song


Conway
Cecelia




8
The Narrative Style of Marshall Ward, Jack-Tale-Teller


Gutierrez
Charlotte Paige




9
Symbols from Ribbons: Afro-American Funeral-Ribbon Quilts in Chatham County, North Carolina


McDonald
Mary Anne




10
“Learnin’, Though”; Environmental Art as a Creative Process


Condon
Kathleen





Of Communities

11
In the Good Old Way: Primitive Baptist Tradition in an Age of Change


Sutton
Brett




12
Banjos and Blues


Lornell
Kip




13
Why Do Duck Decoys Have Eyes?


Forrest
John




14
Tugging on Superman's Cape: The Making of a College Legend


Wise
James




15
The Dissembling Line: Industrial Pranks in a North Carolina Textile Mill


DeNatale
Douglas





Notes


Contributors


Index

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