Appalachian Folkways / Edition 1

Appalachian Folkways / Edition 1

by John B. Rehder
Pub. Date:
Johns Hopkins University Press


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Appalachian Folkways / Edition 1

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.

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
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.02(d)

Table of Contents

1The Real Appalachia1
2The Shape of Appalachia33
3Ethnicity and Settlement53
4Folk Architecture and the Cultural Landscape72
5Ways of Making a Living151
7Folk Remedies and Belief Systems224
8Folk Music, Folk Art, and Folk Festivals244
9Folk Speech: Terms and Sayings289

What People are Saying About This

Malcolm L. Comeaux

Packed with information about the people, culture, and environment of this mountainous region of America... lovingly written and one that was long thought out and researched.

Malcolm L. Comeaux, Arizona State University

Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov

Appalachian Folkways is very comprehensive and abundantly reveals John Rehder's profound depth of expertise on this region. No such comprehensive study of Appalachian folklife presently exists, nor do any older works achieve this breadth of coverage. Expertise leaps from every page.

Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov, The University of Texas at Austin

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