Bibliographical Essay

Anyone interested in learning more about Ozark folklore should begin a search for titles with the excellent two-volume Ozark Folklore: An Annotated Bibliography. Both volumes were compiled and edited by Vance Randolph; the first was originally published in 1972, done by Randolph alone. In the preparation of the second volume, published in 1987 by the University of Missouri press in a set with the republished first volume, Randolph was greatly assisted by Gordon McCann, who did a majority of the entries and got the manuscript ready for publication after Randolph's death in 1980. These two books, which constitute the best published folklore bibliography from any American region, discuss a majority of the publications on Ozark folklore that appeared in print through 1982. Because Ozark Folklore: An Annotated Bibliography is so thorough and has such extensive commentary for entries, my remarks here will be confined mainly to works that have been published since 1982.

Two magazines that are a valuable resource for anyone interested in Ozark culture are The Ozarks Mountaineer and Bittersweet. The Mountaineer founded in 1952 by Roscoe Stewart, was edited for over twenty-five years by Clay Anderson; since his death in 1993 Gerald Dupy has been the editor. A popular magazine written in a nonacademic style, the Mountaineer has numerous articles on topics that are otherwise little discussed in print. The magazine's value for folklorists is that most of the articles are based on detailed interviews with traditional craftsmen and musicians. Bittersweet, which was produced by students at the Lebanon, Missouri, high school from 1973 to 1983, is now defunct. Like Foxfire, the magazine that influenced it, Bittersweet was very nostalgic and presented materials that are widespread as though they were unique to the Ozarks. Nevertheless, the magazine did contain much valuable firsthand material on Ozark folklore and popular culture, and it was generally better written than Foxfire. A similar publication is now being produced at the high school in West Plains, Missouri.

Probably the first serious collector of Ozark folk traditions was the indefatigable Silas C. Turnbo ( 1844-1925), who spent over forty years amassing interviews dealing with Ozark folklife. During his lifetime he received little acclaim for his efforts, but his important work is gaining official notice now, seventy years after his death. In 1987 genealogist Des

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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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