Preface

Folklife, a familiar concept in European scholarship for over a century, is the sum of a community's traditional forms of expression and behavior. It has claimed the attention of American folklorists since the 1950s. Each volume in the Folklife in the South Series focuses on the shared traditions that link people with their past and provide meaning and continuity for them in the present, and sets these traditions in the social contexts in which they flourish. Prepared by recognized scholars in various academic disciplines, these volumes are designed to be read separately. Each contains a vivid description of one region's traditional cultural element-- ethnic and mainstream, rural and urban--that, in concert with those of other recognizable southern regions, lend a unique interpretation to the complex social structure of the South.

This comprehensive study of the Ozarks is the first such work since Vance Randolph's books in the early 1930s. Utilizing field research he and others have collected during the past two decades, W. K. McNeil goes beyond the survivalist approach of Randolph to show that Ozark folk culture is alive and well and constantly changing. He discusses historical folk culture and compares it to the current cultural traditions within this region, whose geographical boundaries include northern Arkansas, southern Missouri, and parts of Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

William Lynwood Montell SERIES EDITOR

-ix-

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Ozark Country
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • FOLKLIFE IN THE SOUTH SERIES ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chapter 1 Historical Overview 1
  • Chapter Family Ties 17
  • Chapter 3 at Work 51
  • Chapter 4 Folk Customs 75
  • Chapter 5 Ozark and Appalachian Folk Music 97
  • Chapter 6 Games and Entertainment 131
  • Chapter 7 Folk Narratives 151
  • Appendix 167
  • Notes 173
  • Bibliographical Essay 181
  • Bibliography 185
  • Index 189
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