Tag Archives: appalachian culture

Jean Thomas: Kentucky’s Traipsin’ Woman

She had hosted Susan Steele Sampson, wife of Kentucky’s governor, the previous year at her first American Folk Song Festival, held at the Traipsin’ Woman Cabin. Now, in August 1931, Jean Thomas found herself invited to the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort to discuss the creation of an American Folk Song Society and an annual festival […]


Drop a stone upon her grave and make a wish

Ten miles north of Dahlonega, GA, at the intersection of US 19 and State Road 60, is a stone pile in a triangle where the roads cross, known as the Stone Pile Gap. “This pile of stones marks the grave of a Cherokee princess, Trahlyta,” reads the Georgia Historical Commission marker standing guard. “According to […]


Kentucky’s fotched-on women

In the late 1800s, the Progressive Movement was sweeping the industrialized cities of the North. One of the key features of this urban social and political reform movement was the creation of settlement houses and schools to meet the needs of economically deprived families. Beginning in 1899, two intrepid young women, Katherine Pettit and May […]


A certain girl in the Senior Commercial room wrote the following

Barney was very industriously studying her history lesson when suddenly she looked up and asked: “Mr. Humbertson, what is beheaded?” “Why, beheaded is having the head cut off, of course.” After a moment of thought, Barney suddenly exclaimed: “Well, then I guess defeat is having the feet cut off.” Miss Kraft who was given the […]


June bride? Time for a shivaree!

Shivaree was a nineteenth and early twentieth century Appalachian custom (originally dating back to sixteenth-century France) of teasing a married couple on their wedding night or shortly thereafter. The bride was carried around in a tub at times, and the groom was ridden on a rail. In Tennessee the custom was more commonly called serenading, […]

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