Folklore Mythology

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By Michael Ann Williams

The good Smoky Mountains, on the border of japanese Tennessee and western North Carolina, are one of the maximum peaks of the southern Appalachian chain. even if this quarter stocks a lot with the cultural traditions of all southern Appalachia, the folklife the following has been uniquely formed by way of historic occasions, together with the Cherokee removing of the 1830s and the construction of the nice Smoky Mountain nationwide Park a century later.This booklet surveying the wealthy folklife of this specified position within the American South bargains a view of the tradition because it has been outlined and altered by way of students, missionaries, the government, travelers, and folks of the area themselves.Here is an summary of the background of an attractive panorama, person who examines the nature typified by way of its early settlers, via the displacement of the folks, and by means of the way within which the folklife was once came across and outlined through the 19th and 20th centuries. right here is also an exam of varied people traditions and a research of the way they've got replaced and developed.

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Still, taken together, the writings of Mooney and Kephart present an important early attempt at ethnographic description of the cultures of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Early Ethnographers: James Mooney and Horace Kephart Although passing travellers had left brief accounts of the peoples of the Great Smoky Mountains, serious study of the cultures found there did not begin until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Two men did much to define these cultures to readers outside the region: James Mooney, who lived among the Eastern Cherokee in the 1880s, and Horace Kephart, who settled on Hazel Creek in Swain County, North Carolina, in 1904.

Many people helped along the way. As I was starting, Robert Cogswell of the Tennessee Arts Council and Jan Davidson, now director of the John C. Campbell Folk School, provided a number of useful leads and suggested valuable themes to pursue. Others who supplied important information along the way were Jane Harris Woodside of East Tennessee State University; quilt historian and folklorist Laurel Horton; Suzanne Hill McDowell, curator of the Mountain Heritage Center; and Beverly Patterson of the North Carolina Arts Council.

A storehouse of traditional knowledge, Swimmer also provided Mooney with about three-quarters of the Cherokee myths later published in his collection in 1900. " Along with collecting sacred formulas and myths, Mooney also studied medical practices and Cherokee ballplay (which he documented photographically). As a man of his day, Mooney did not question the evolutionary principles of nineteenth-century anthropology or the belief in the superiority of his own culture. But his identification with Ireland led to a sympathy with Native Americans, and he brought to his work more respect for the people he studied than many of his contemporaries did.

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