Culture Archive

  • The widespread poverty that the Great Depression brought to Appalachia led to the founding of one of the area’s most valuable treasures: the Penland School of Crafts. Nestled deep in the hills of western North Carolina’s Mitchell County is the small community of Penland. . .

    Penland School of Crafts

    The widespread poverty that the Great Depression brought to Appalachia led to the founding of one of the area’s most valuable treasures: the Penland School of Crafts. Nestled deep in the hills of western North Carolina’s Mitchell County is the small community of Penland. . .

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  • Most moviegoers are familiar with popular films that have made Appalachia their subject–like Thunder Road and Deliverance–or those that have […]

    Notable Movies

    Most moviegoers are familiar with popular films that have made Appalachia their subject–like Thunder Road and Deliverance–or those that have […]

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  • What do the GreenJackets, the RiverDogs, the Grasshoppers, the Catfish, the SandGnats, the BlueClaws, and the Crawdads have in common? They do not refer to square dance teams or high school debate clubs. Rather these intimidating monikers belong to professional, minor-league baseball teams. . .

    Asheville Tourists

    What do the GreenJackets, the RiverDogs, the Grasshoppers, the Catfish, the SandGnats, the BlueClaws, and the Crawdads have in common? They do not refer to square dance teams or high school debate clubs. Rather these intimidating monikers belong to professional, minor-league baseball teams. . .

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  • Circuit riding clergymen, mostly Methodist and Baptist, brought religion to the scattered and hard-to-reach settlements of Appalachia before the Civil War. Obtaining resident pastors for sparsely-settled mountain communities was an ongoing problem. . .

    Circuit Riders

    Circuit riding clergymen, mostly Methodist and Baptist, brought religion to the scattered and hard-to-reach settlements of Appalachia before the Civil War. Obtaining resident pastors for sparsely-settled mountain communities was an ongoing problem. . .

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  • Decoration Days are an important part of Appalachian ritual life.  Usually held in the summer, these days are set aside by families and church congregations to clean and decorate their cemeteries. . .

    Decoration Day

    Decoration Days are an important part of Appalachian ritual life. Usually held in the summer, these days are set aside by families and church congregations to clean and decorate their cemeteries. . .

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  • Appalachian religious belief and expression were deeply influenced by the camp-meeting movement that swept the South in the early 19th century. . .

    Camp Meetings

    Appalachian religious belief and expression were deeply influenced by the camp-meeting movement that swept the South in the early 19th century. . .

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  • Appalachia has long been appreciated as a reservoir of traditional culture. But every July, Folkmoot USA brings the world’s traditional cultures to Appalachia. Folkmoot USA, one of the world’s largest international folk dance festivals, is held in and around Waynesville, NC. . .

    Folkmoot

    Appalachia has long been appreciated as a reservoir of traditional culture. But every July, Folkmoot USA brings the world’s traditional cultures to Appalachia. Folkmoot USA, one of the world’s largest international folk dance festivals, is held in and around Waynesville, NC. . .

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  • Stepping is a form of dance involving synchronized stomping, clapping, singing, and chanting. It was developed in the early 20th century by African-American fraternities and sororities. It was based on earlier African-American dance traditions known as ring shouts and patting juba. . .

    Stepping

    Stepping is a form of dance involving synchronized stomping, clapping, singing, and chanting. It was developed in the early 20th century by African-American fraternities and sororities. It was based on earlier African-American dance traditions known as ring shouts and patting juba. . .

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  • In Appalachia, Old-Time Music refers to a variety of traditional music styles -- ballads, folk songs, fiddle and banjo tunes, sacred songs, and even some popular songs recorded in the early 20th century. . .

    Old Time Music

    In Appalachia, Old-Time Music refers to a variety of traditional music styles -- ballads, folk songs, fiddle and banjo tunes, sacred songs, and even some popular songs recorded in the early 20th century. . .

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  • Folk festivals occur regularly in western North Carolina. Their origins go back to the 1920s. Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was one of the first. Their popularity has grown as our constantly-changing modern society fears losing touch with its cultural roots. . .

    Folk Festivals

    Folk festivals occur regularly in western North Carolina. Their origins go back to the 1920s. Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was one of the first. Their popularity has grown as our constantly-changing modern society fears losing touch with its cultural roots. . .

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  • Dulcimers come in two versions. The so-called “mountain dulcimer” looks like a skinny fiddle with 3 to 6 strings, sits across the player’s lap, and is plucked with the fingers. The other consists of a box frame with 40-120 strings; because its sound is produced by hitting the strings with small mallets, it is often called the “hammered dulcimer”. . .

    Dulcimers

    Dulcimers come in two versions. The so-called “mountain dulcimer” looks like a skinny fiddle with 3 to 6 strings, sits across the player’s lap, and is plucked with the fingers. The other consists of a box frame with 40-120 strings; because its sound is produced by hitting the strings with small mallets, it is often called the “hammered dulcimer”. . .

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  • In 1934, the United States Congress officially established what is today the most popular National Park in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a result, over 500,000 acres of scenic. . .

    Horace Kephart

    In 1934, the United States Congress officially established what is today the most popular National Park in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a result, over 500,000 acres of scenic. . .

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  • Wilma Dykeman of Asheville, North Carolina, was a major Appalachian author. Her novels “The Tall Woman,” “The Far Family,” and “Return the Innocent Earth” vividly evoke life in the region as it experienced rapid change between the Civil War and the 20th century.

    Wilma Dykeman

    Wilma Dykeman of Asheville, North Carolina, was a major Appalachian author. Her novels “The Tall Woman,” “The Far Family,” and “Return the Innocent Earth” vividly evoke life in the region as it experienced rapid change between the Civil War and the 20th century.

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  • Languages are spoken in a variety of dialects. Appalachian English is the name given to the dialect spoken in the Southern Mountains. It differs from Standard English, the version taught in schools and spoken by network television announcers, in several ways. . .

    Appalachian English

    Languages are spoken in a variety of dialects. Appalachian English is the name given to the dialect spoken in the Southern Mountains. It differs from Standard English, the version taught in schools and spoken by network television announcers, in several ways. . .

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  • The recent growth of farmers’ markets across Appalachia is part of the effort of mountain farmers to survive in a national market dominated by large-scale agribusiness. The Department of Agriculture identifies more than 800 farmers’ markets throughout the region. . .

    Farmers’ Market

    The recent growth of farmers’ markets across Appalachia is part of the effort of mountain farmers to survive in a national market dominated by large-scale agribusiness. The Department of Agriculture identifies more than 800 farmers’ markets throughout the region. . .

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