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-A more general term than folklore.
-Anything that is locally or regionally defined, produced or expressed (i.e.
Cheerwine is part of our regional vernacular in North Carolina)
-The shared language of a community or group
-An established way of thinking or acting
-A continued pattern of beliefs or practices
-A customary of characteristic method or manner
-A dynamic and living idea
The new generation of folklorists recognize the interactions between how an individual tells a story and how the audiences react and interact, and interrelationships between art, architecture and other expressive elements of culture. Folklorists today look at the dynamic relations between the socially given, the traditional, and the creative individual. The field has re-calibrated itself from a focus on the traditional and ready-made, to a focus on the balance of traditional and emergent, socially given and creative. Such synthetic work seeks to better understand the world by recognizing the circular system of individual, group, and expression. Folklorists today have and use theories, but they also strive to maintain an empirical richness in their study, letting the fieldwork, the data, and the people involved direct the big picture as much as possible. --Mary Magoulick
The “stuff” of folklore. Includes material objects, but also things we don’t often think of as texts, including objects and rituals. Think of the text as the primary source around which folklorists conduct their work.
Everything that surrounds the text: the setting, people and situation. Anything in addition to the expressions, items, ideas or objects being shared.
Includes any kind of lore involving words, whether set to music; organized in chronological, story form; or simply labeling an activity or expressing a belief in a word or phrase. Some of the most recognizable forms of verbal lore studied by folklorists are folk songs, myths, folk tales, ballads, jokes and proverbs and personal narratives.
Material folklore may be “permanent” (such as buildings, tools, instruments or books) or ephemeral (such as food or paper ornaments), but is always tangible—it can be touched, seen, eaten or lived in. Often, the material culture that folklorists study is created by members of a folk group. Folklorists are also interested in the ways in which community members learn to produce these things.
Custom refers to patterned, repeated behavior in which a person’s participation indicates involved membership. These practices may be situations that are stylized and/or “framed” by special words, gestures or actions that set them apart from everyday behaviors, or they may be as simple as gestures used in everyday communication within an intimate group of friends.
-Richard Chase made Jack Tales the subject of official academic inquiry with his publication in 1943 of The Jack Tales. Jack first appeared in rhyme in the 15th century in “Jack and His Step Dame.” The name crops up in other famous rhymes, too—Little Jack Horner, Jack and Jill, and Jack Sprat.
-Think back to Fixin’ to Tell About Jack. What was special about the way that Ray Hicks told Jack Tales. His grandson, Orville Hicks, still continues the tradition today in Watauga CountyThink back to Fixin’ to Tell About Jack. What was special about the way that Ray Hicks told Jack Tales. His grandson, Orville Hicks, still continues the tradition today in Watauga County
Lowery responded with more revenge killings. On December 7, 1865, he married Rhoda Strong. Arrested at his wedding, Lowery escaped from jail by filing his way through the jail's bars.Lowery's band became a powerful force opposing the postwar conservative Democratic power structure. The Lowery gang robbed and killed numerous people of the establishment. Because of this, they gained the sympathy of the non-white population of Robeson County. The authorities were unable to stop the Lowery gang, largely because of this support. In February 1872, shortly after a raid in which he robbed the local sheriff's safe of more than $28,000, Henry Berry Lowery disappeared. It is claimed he accidentally shot himself while cleaning his double barrel shotgun. As with many folk heroes, the death of Lowery was disputed, and he was reportedly seen at a funeral several years later. Without his leadership, every member except two were subsequently captured or killed
Herder was a German scholar whose ideas and writings form the basis of the Romantic Nationalist movement. He believe that humanity was something man could achieve only as a member of a nation, and that nations could arrive at humanity and wholeness only if they remained true to their national characters. Herder argued that each nation was organically different from every other nation, and employed folklore as a way of reclaiming Germany’s ‘authentic,’ pure heritage. (1744-1803)
The term belief (or beliefs) refers to both the things we believe in and the act of believing. They range from customary actions or behaviors that bring about a desired outcome (like practical advice or a home remedy) to fundamental concepts (including religion) that we learn through verbal narratives, or through observation and interaction within our particular communities. Sims, 56
Beliefs are based on our values, core guidelines that shape and direct our attitudes and assumptions about the world and other people. Our beliefs develop through complex, dynamic interactions of history, geography, gender, politics, ethnicity—basically, all the features and experiences that surround and are contained within the groups we belong to.
REMEMBER: It is not the place of any outsider to make judgments or assumptions about whether any group’s or person’s beliefs are inherently true, or whether or not they are good or bad. Figuring out whether a text is actually true is not the most important question.
What is important to the folklorist is how members of the group who participate in a particular expression connect and interact with, as well as comment on or respond to, the belief stated or implied in the text (verbal, customary or material).
Sociologist Gary Alan Fine defines contemporary legend as “an account of a happening in which the narrator or an immediate personal contact was not directly involved, and is presented as a proposition for belief; it is not always believed by the speaker or audience, but it is presented as something that could have occurred and is told as if it happened.”
An emic account is a description of behavior or a belief articulated in terms meaningful to the speaker or community; that is, an emic account comes from within the culture.
An etic account is a description of a behavior or belief that comes from an observer outside the community.
First Professor of English at Harvard University. Widely known for his collection known as the Child Ballads, 305 written ballads originating in England and Scotland (and American variants), published in ten volumes between 1882 and 1898. Child did not actually work in the field; many of his ballads were gathered from printed broadsides.
Considered the father of the early 20th century folklore revival in England, Sharp traveled to the Appalachian region of the United States during World War I to document English folksongs surviving in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. Sharp was aided by English collector and dancer Maud Karpeles and American folklorist Olive Dame Campbell.
An American teacher, musicologist and folklorist whose Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1910) had a profound influence on students of folks songs and helped to establish folk music as a legitimate discipline. In 1933, John Lomax and son Alan began doing field recording under a governmental grant. Using a 315 pound portable recorder, the two made extensive recordings at prison farms in Texas and Louisiana, in the process introducing Angola prisoner Huddie Ledbetter, also known as Lead Belly, to the world (1867-1948)
Son of John Lomax, Alan was arguably the most prolific American field recordist of the 20th century, documenting performances and interviews by Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters, Jelly Roll Morton, Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell and many others. Always politically outspoken, Lomax was an advocate of multiculturalism, and a highly visible proponent of international musical and cultural traditions. Lomax recognized that folklore flourishes not in isolation, but in conversation with other cultures. (1915-2002)
Filmed in the mountains of North Carolina, this documentary revisits the region where English folklorist Cecil Sharp collected British ballads in the early 1900s. It contrasts the nature of the ballad singers with the presence of the juke box: although the lyrical tradition has changed, the singing style continues. Features Dillard Chandler, who sings with rare intensity and style. 27 min. B&W. 1972
Proximity—in which groups are established geographically; this can include ethnic, national and regional groups, and may involve certain customs, traditions and material cultures that are geographically specific
Necessity, obligation or circumstance—in which groups are established via family or peer groups
Regular interaction—in which groups form through shared experiences that establish common values, behaviors and attitudes; this may include school and work
Occupational groups—in which groups are connected by profession, i.e. firefighters, teachers, writers
Shared interests or skills—in which groups form around a common set of skills or interests. While these types of groups may often be founded on a relatively bounded body of knowledge—how to build a lowrider, for instance—they often give rise to whole worldviews specific to that group.
Oppositional groups—groups formed in opposition to other groups, i.e. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
A chronicle of the way a particular family thinks of itself.
Family stories define the family as a unit that encounters numerous transitions together over time.
For an individual family, folklore is its creative expression of a common past.
Family stories are interpretive, offering guidance—based on the collective experience of the family—to individual members as they make sense of the world outside the family.
In response to efforts by miners to organize into a labor union, the Stone Mountain Coal Company announces it will cut the pay miners receive, and will be importing replacement workers into town to replace those who join the union. The new workers are African Americans from Alabama and are coming in on the train, but the train is stopped outside town and the black men are told to get off. Derided as scabs they are then attacked by the local miners, but manage to get back on the train and continue their journey.
The situation between the Baldwin–Felts men and Chief Hatfield reaches critical mass with the arrival of reinforcements with orders to carry out the evictions. The mayor tries to negotiate as Kenehan comes running to try and stop the fight. The sudden movement sets off a climactic gunfight between the exposed mercenaries and the armed townspeople firing from barricades and rooftops. Hatfield shoots two men and survives the battle, but Kenehan is killed and the mayor is shot in the stomach. Griggs is brought down, while Hickey escapes to Radnor's boarding house where he is shot and killed by Mrs. Radnor. Seven Baldwin–Felts men and two townspeople are ultimately killed.
Adapted from the film by John Sayles for the stage by Mike Wiley with music performed by Mike Taylor.
A glimpse into the life, food, and Mardi Gras celebrations of black Creoles in French Louisiana, featuring the stories and music of "Bois Sec" Ardoin and Canray Fontenot. Dry Wood is one of a number of Les Blank's critically acclaimed films on Lousia
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