Appendix

THE OZARK FOLK CENTER

Unlike most other American mountain regions, the Ozarks has a large center devoted to the study and presentation of its culture. The Ozark Folk Center, situated on four hundred acres (of which eighty are developed), is probably also the largest facility in the country concerned with the traditional culture of a particular region. It therefore seems worthwhile to give a brief history of this institution.

In a sense, the idea for the Ozark Folk Center had its beginnings in the 1920s. Many people were distressed with certain cultural events taking place during the Jazz Age and thought that America would be better off if it returned to the ways of earlier, simpler times. To people such as Henry Ford, jazz was an abomination that needed to be replaced by traditional American music. Toward this end, Ford sponsored fiddle contests, an old-time dance orchestra, and other similar events. It was during this time that a variety of programs such as radio barn dances (the National Barn Dance in 1924 and the Grand Ole Opry in 1925, to cite the two most famous examples) were started.

Also in those years a number of folk festivals began to be held, some of which have endured to the present. The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival that was started in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1928 by Bascom Lamar Lunsford is still going strong as it nears its seventieth year. Almost as long-lived is the National Folk Festival that Sarah Gertrude Knott established in St. Louis in 1934. This particular festival has been important because instead of presenting a program that represented only the dominant culture as many of the others did, Knott employed a multicultural approach that offered a more accurate picture of the nation's diversity.

By no means were these festivals without flaws; indeed, they frequently offered a presentation of culture that was not only excessively romantic and nostalgic but that was aseptic and never actually existed. Nevertheless, they were very popular and for a time many colleges and communities throughout America had their own folk festivals. Thus, St. Joe, Arkansas, a tiny community between Marshall and Harrison, started

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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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