Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Appalchian Culture

This is a really cool site for anyone who is at all interested in the culture of the Appalachian Mountains. http://www.aca-dla.org/ There is a huge section of downloadable music with recordings as early as the 1920's and 30's up until now. I am always thrilled when I find some song that I've heard in Newfoundland that is the same as one from the mountain culture. The two places share the same basic genetic make up; both areas were setteled largely by people from the British Isles; and then both areas were so isolated for most of their history that a lot of the folk ways have a similarity that you don't see in other areas. One of the people who recognized that was Professor MacEdward Leach; he collected folk songs from both areas in the 50's. There is a site put up by the Memorial University of Newfoundland with excerpts from those songs.http://www.mun.ca/folklore/leach/ The differences and the sameness of both cultures is very fascinating to me. I have been back to Newfoundland as an adult a few times, but I haven't been back to the South since I was about 14 or so. Chris wants to go; he loves the South; and he suggested we could go on a fishing trip through all the states the Haydens settles in. We'd start in Virginia, go to North Carolina, then Tennesee, Mississippi, and end in Arkansas. It would be really cool, that's for sure.


Melissa said...

I'm glad we're not hillbillies anymore.

Paula said...

Well Melissa, we may have endured the hardships that a lot of people did coming to this country, and to Nfld, for that matter, but for a lot of our history we certainly were not "hillbillies". The first Haden that came across to the new world was married to an Earl's daughter, and was married in Haden Hall in England. They most certainly came across the Atlantic as part of that more wealthy and cultured class. What caused the reversals of fortune? I don't know. I do know that while my grandmother was certainly constrained by the prejudices of growing up in the south, she wasn't what I would classify as a hillbilly. She was a school teacher before she was married. And neither was my grandfather.