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. […]
- Thomas Legion
Timothy N. Osment
William Holland Thomas, state legislator and “white chief” of the Cherokee, was 56 years old when the Civil War began. From the beginning of […]
- Ghost Towns Towns do not survive forever. Western North Carolina has a number of its own lost towns. They disappeared for a number of reasons.
- Burley Tobacco
For over 100 years burley tobacco has been an important cash crop in western North Carolina as well as in other areas of Appalachia. The large, weather-beaten, rough-timbered tobacco […]
- Douglas James Ferguson, 1982
Presentation of 1982 Mountain Heritage Award
To Douglas James Ferguson
Western Carolina University’s 1982 Mountain Heritage Award went last Saturday to Douglas James […]