Wisconsin Folklore

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.72
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $4.72   
  • New (2) from $20.00   
  • Used (6) from $4.72   


    Highly entertaining and richly informative, Wisconsin Folklore offers the first comprehensive collection of writings about the surprisingly varied folklore of Wisconsin. Beginning with a historical introduction to Wisconsin's folklore and concluding with an up-to-date bibliography, this anthology offers more than fifty annotated and illustrated entries in five sections: "Terms and Talk," "Storytelling," "Music, Song, and Dance," "Beliefs and Customs," and "Material Traditions and Folklife."
    The various contributors, from 1884 to 1997, are anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, historians, journalists, museologists, ordinary citizens reminiscing, sociologists, students, writers of fiction, practitioners of folklore, and folklorists. Their interests cover an enormous range of topics: from Woodland Indian place names and German dialect expressions to Welsh nicknames and the jargon of apple-pickers, brewers, and farmers; from Ho-Chunk and Ojibwa mythological tricksters and Paul Bunyan legends to stories of Polish strongmen and Ole and Lena jokes; from Menominee dances and Norwegian fiddling and polka music to African-American gospel groups and Hmong musicians; from faith healers and wedding and funeral customs to seasonal ethnic festivities and tavern amusements; and from spearing decoys and needlework to church dinners, sacred shrines, and the traditional work practices of commercial fishers, tobacco growers, and pickle packers.
    For general readers, teachers, librarians, and scholars alike, Wisconsin Folklore exemplifies and illuminates Wisconsin's cultural traditions, and establishes the state's significant but long neglected contributions to American folklore.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Leary (folklore, U. of Wisconsin-Madison) assembles, annotates, and illustrates bits of the state's tradition as collected by anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, historians, journalists, museologists, fiction writers, folklorists, and plain folks from 1884 to 1997. Welsh nicknames, Paul Bunyan legends, polka music, faith healers, gospel groups, tavern amusements, church dinners, and of course pickle packer work practices are among the tales. Some of the songs include musical scores. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299160340
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 1,458,603
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

James P. Leary, faculty associate in the Folklore Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is an award-winning Wisconsin folklorist and author of Midwestern Folk Humor; Down Home Dairyland; Minnesota Polka; and Yodeling in Dairyland: A History of Swiss Music in Wisconsin.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: On Wisconsin Folklore 3
Pt. 1 Terms and Talk
1 The Significance of Manitowoe 33
2 Names in the Welsh Settlement 36
3 German Nicknames of Places in Early Dodge County 40
4 Deutsche Sprichworter: German Sayings in Milwaukee 42
5 Milwaukee Talk 49
6 Ten Thousand Swedes: Reflections on a Folklore Motif 62
7 Characters on the Chippewa Waters 72
8 The Brewing Industry 80
9 Apple-Picking Terms from Wisconsin 85
10 Farm Talk from Marathon County 89
11 Application to Live in Northern Wisconsin (North of Highway 29) 106
Pt. 2 Storytelling
12 Turtle Getting Credit (A Tale) 113
13 Ojibwe Stories from Northern Wisconsin
Dee Bainbridge, Ojibwe Storyteller 122
The Stories of Keith Wilmer 134
14 Legends of Paul Bunyan, Lumberjack 139
15 Ghost Stories (As Told by Old Settlers) 149
16 Gamroth the Strong 159
17 George Russell: The Repertoire and Personality of a North Country Storyteller 163
18 Finnish Folktales 176
19 Woods and Waters
Hunting and Fishing 183
The Deer and Elk Hunt 187
Pt. 3 Music, Song, and Dance
20 Menomini Indian Dance Songs in a Changing Culture 191
21 The Wanigan Song Book 200
22 Kentucky Folksong in Northern Wisconsin 219
23 "The Light Fantastic" in the Central West: Country Dances of Many Nationalities in Wisconsin 251
24 Hoppwaltzes and Homebrew: Traditional Norwegian American Music from Wisconsin 259
25 Polka Music in a Polka State 268
26 Black Gospel Music in Milwaukee 284
27 Joua Bee Xiong, Hmong Musician 292
Pt. 4 Beliefs and Customs
28 John Mink, Ojibwe Informant 307
29 Faith and Magic 323
Hexing 324
Sorcery 327
Faith Healing Can and Does Work 328
30 The "Plaster Doctor" of Somerset 331
31 "Jecz Cha Nacha!": You Are Invited to a Polish Wedding in Wisconsin 339
32 The Wisconsin Oneida Wake 343
33 Julebukk 346
Christmas at Grandmother's 347
Yule Buk 349
Christmas Customs in and around Oregon, Wisconsin 350
34 The Yuba, Wisconsin, Masopust Festival 352
35 Dyngus 356
36 Belgians Bring Along Their Customs 362
37 The Swiss Colony at New Glarus 367
38 Woods Customs 371
Lumberjack Games 372
Lumberjack Games 373
Wisconsin Pastimes 375
39 Wisconsin Tavern Amusements 377
Pt. 5 Material Traditions and Folklife
40 Wisconsin Indian Drums and Their Uses 389
41 Alex Maulson, Winter Spearer 396
42 Work at Rest 407
43 Meet a Wooden Shoe Hewer 432
44 Feast of Folklore: The St. James Church Pork Hocks and Sauerkraut Supper 435
45 Shrines and Crosses in Rural Central Wisconsin 445
46 "We Made 'Em to Fit Our Purpose": The Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Skiff Tradition 457
47 Tobacco Growing in Southwestern Wisconsin: Ethnicity in a Traditional Labor Practice 476
48 The Pickle Factory 486
Further Reading: A Selected List 497
Further Listening and Viewing: A Selected List 522
Index 526
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)