Wyoming Folklore: Reminiscences, Folktales, Beliefs, Customs, and Folk Speech

Overview


In 1935, in the depths of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order creating the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). Out-of-work teachers, writers, and scholars fanned out across the country to collect and document local lore. This book reveals the remarkable results of the FWP in Wyoming at a time when it was still possible to interview Civil War veterans and former slaves, homesteaders and Oregon Trail migrants, soldiers of the Great War and Native Americans who remembered Little Big Horn....
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Overview


In 1935, in the depths of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order creating the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). Out-of-work teachers, writers, and scholars fanned out across the country to collect and document local lore. This book reveals the remarkable results of the FWP in Wyoming at a time when it was still possible to interview Civil War veterans and former slaves, homesteaders and Oregon Trail migrants, soldiers of the Great War and Native Americans who remembered Little Big Horn. The work of the FWP in Wyoming, collected and edited here for the first time, comprises a rich repository of folklore and history and a firsthand look at the Old West in the process of becoming the new American frontier. Wyoming Folklore presents the legends, local and oral histories, and pioneer stories that defined the state in the early twentieth century.
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Editorial Reviews

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In 1935, the Federal Writers Project, a Great Depression stimulus package much criticized in its time, began to deliver its first dividends. In communities throughout the country, out-of-work writers, teachers, and scholars began gathering and organizing collections of local customs and folklore. Some of this research has been published, but much of it remains hidden in FWP archives in Washington and elsewhere. Wyoming Folklore is a historic publication: It is the first comprehensive published collection of FWP material on Wyoming folktales, beliefs, customs, and folk speech. Editor's recommendation.

Baxter Black
"Roger Welsch is probably the only man from CBS Sunday Morning who has milked a cow. This lends him credibility in the eyes of many of us and qualifies him to sort the wheat from the chaff of Wyoming folklore."

-Baxter Black, cowboy, poet, former large-animal veterinarian, and radio commentator

Baxter Black

“Roger Welsch is probably the only man from CBS Sunday Morning who has milked a cow. This lends him credibility in the eyes of many of us and qualifies him to sort the wheat from the chaff of Wyoming folklore.”—Baxter Black, cowboy, poet, former large-animal veterinarian, and radio commentator
Choice

"This gathering of folklore, legends, and history is brought to readers thanks to the 1930s archives of the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). . . . Readers and scholars of the American West and the FWP will find this book worthwhile."—S.B. DeMasi, Choice

— S.B. DeMasi

Wild West History Association Journal

"The book is fun, and it might just serve as a reminder that there are files tucked away in every state across the West that just might hide some information relevant to the studies of those who find their way here."—Gary L. Roberts, Wild West History Association Journal

— Gary L. Roberts

Western American Literature

"I recommend the book for the general reader who is interested in folklore from Wyoming, or of the wider West—folklore actually from people living there as opposed to significantly rewritten or bowlderized forms—for scholars interested in the contours of the WPA folklore projects, and for scholars looking for additional texts in the categories listed above for comparative purposes."—Lisa Gabbert, Western American Literature

— Lisa Gabbert

Choice - S.B. DeMasi

"This gathering of folklore, legends, and history is brought to readers thanks to the 1930s archives of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP). . . . Readers and scholars of the American West and the FWP will find this book worthwhile."—S.B. DeMasi, Choice
Wild West History Association Journal - Gary L. Roberts

"The book is fun, and it might just serve as a reminder that there are files tucked away in every state across the West that just might hide some information relevant to the studies of those who find their way here."—Gary L. Roberts, Wild West History Association Journal
Western American Literature - Lisa Gabbert

"I recommend the book for the general reader who is interested in folklore from Wyoming, or of the wider West—folklore actually from people living there as opposed to significantly rewritten or bowlderized forms—for scholars interested in the contours of the WPA folklore projects, and for scholars looking for additional texts in the categories listed above for comparative purposes."—Lisa Gabbert, Western American Literature
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803243026
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,472,407
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author


James R. Dow is a professor emeritus of foreign languages and literatures at Iowa State University and is the author of German Folklore: A Handbook. Roger L. Welsch is a well-known folklorist and essayist and the author or coauthor of more than thirty books, including A Treasury of Nebraska Pioneer Folklore and Cather’s Kitchens: Foodways in Literature and Life, both available in Bison Books editions. Susan D. Dow’s photographs have appeared in several of James Dow’s books.
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