CHAPTER 4
Folk Customs

While some Ozark customs deal with work, recreation, and social events, most either pertain to the life cycle and rites of passage, such as birth, marriage, and death, or are calendar customs, which means they are associated with holidays. Actually, many customs concerning the life cycle involve belief in magic or the supernatural and thus technically are not customs but beliefs or superstitions. An example is the idea, once common among the hillfolk, that an ax placed under the bed of a woman in labor will make the birth easier. Another is the practice of peeling an apple in one piece and throwing the peel on the floor where it supposedly would form the first initial of a girl's future husband. An even more elaborate example is the dumb supper. The following story, told by Mary Elizabeth Mahnkey, was originally printed in the White River Leader in Branson, Missouri, in 1934. Mahnkey said the story was told and believed in Taney County, Missouri, when she was a girl.

A dear friend of mother's a plump and jolly woman, comforting and reposeful, not one capable of harboring such strange and weird beliefs, told the story of the dumb supper, so vividly, so impressively, that I never forgot. She and mother were quilting and as the story progressed, and she would bend her face to bite off her thread, she got in the way of giving a cautious glance over her shoulder, and before the tale had ended, I, too, was giving rather awed glances out into the long, darksome hall.

She was talking as if she had been present, or as if she had intimately known the parties engaged in this supernatural feast. It seemed the family were away for the night, and the grown girls, left in charge of the home, had invited in some neighbor girls to keep them company, so a dumb supper was proposed. This meant, that in utter silence, and every step taken, to be made backwards, the table was to be laid for a guest, who would come in at midnight, and who was to be the future husband of the girl at whose plate he sat down. The table was only set for one, as it seemed at the test, only one girl was grave enough to thus put her fortune to the trial.

The others watched her in fascinated silence, as she stepped quickly, if awkwardly, about her task, in the big low ceilinged kitchen. She placed a peculiar knife at the side of the mysterious guest's plate, with a roguish smile at her friends. A sharpbladed knife, set into a piece of deer horn, for one handle.

-75-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
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
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 194

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.