Tag Archives: appalachia

Mountain songs and sayings have living reality

The convenient and pithy term for the mountain people of Kentucky, “our contemporary ancestors,” does not indicate the origin of the customs, beliefs, and peculiarities which persist among them. For they too had ancestors. These were, for the most part, British, and of the soil. Just as today many a mountaineer has never been ten […]

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B’ar in the Syrup Bar’l

Back in the days when this was new ground you had to cotch a b’ar ef you wanted to keep warm. Yessuh, my pappy knew this country when she was somep’n. He come over the mountains from South Ca’liny with his pappy, my gran’pappy, and gran’maw, when he was jus’ a boy. When they decided […]

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When the war ended, all the coal mine whistles blowed

My father was a coal miner back in the…well, he went into the coal mine when he was 12 years old, and he came out when he was 47. And he worked through the First World War, well he worked, that’s all he ever done, ’till he came to the farm. But he worked through […]

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I used to flesh them by hand

“I started working at tanning when I was fifteen years old and I’m 63 now. It’s hot. Like putting your nose right on the grindstone all the time– day in and day out like taxidermy. Deer hides, deer skin products, clothes, bags, coats — we do the whole thing right from the rawhide to the […]

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