Nearly 100 years ago, Horace Kephart, in his classic study Our Southern Highlanders, called the mountain region “the Land of Do-Without.” He admiringly describing the resilience of mountain people coping with the poverty in more remote communities. In our time, this tradition of “Making Do” continues to be part of the popular image of the region, even as it undergoes rapid change. Making Do involves simple living and self-reliance. It values gardening, hunting, sewing, auto repair, and other hands-on skills. Frequently “making do” has reinforced a negative image of mountain backwardness. Increasing as Americans have become aware of the excesses of consumer society and the need to conserve and recycle to live green. “Making do” has served as a model for simple living and ingenuity celebrated in the popular Foxfire books.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
America’s first National Parks were created out West. By the early 20th century, Easterners who feared the loss of nature in their rapidly industrializing region wanted their own park. […]
- Floods of 1916 and 1940
Many people in the mountains of Appalachia vividly remember September, 2004. During that month, the rains and winds of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan combined to swell the French Broad, […]
- German Settlers in the Appalachians People of German descent are one of the largest ethnic groups in the United States. They came to be known by the misnomer “Dutch” because Germans refer to themselves as Deutsch. Germans’ […]
- Annie Lee Bryson, 2010
Heritage awards presented at festival
Western Carolina University presented its 2010 Mountain Heritage Awards on Saturday (Sept. 25) to the late Annie Lee Bryson, a Cullowhee […]
- Folk Medicine Not all people in western North Carolina regularly go to the doctor when they get sick. Some still rely on the traditional folk medicine of their ancestors, drawn from the regions many cultures. . .