A Tennessee Folklore Sampler
Selected Readings from the Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin
Since 1934 the Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin has been a respected source on the wonderfully diverse history and traditions of the Volunteer State, but until now that publication’s wide-ranging articles have been largely restricted to the society’s membership. With the appearance of A Tennessee Folklore Sampler, editors Ted Olson and Anthony P. Cavender provide a broad audience with a rich selection of the work published over the course of this acclaimed journal’s seventy-five-year history.
Packed with colorful descriptions and analysis of the state’s folkways, A Tennessee Folklore Sampler covers all three of the grand divisions of Tennessee—East, Middle, and West— and includes articles by some prominent students of folklore, among them Charles Wolfe, Charles Faulkner Bryan, Thomas Burton, Donald Davidson, Herbert Halpert, Mildred Haun, Michael Lofaro, Michael Montgomery, and Tom Rankin. Following an introductory section that places the book into historical, cultural, and socioeconomic contexts, A Tennessee Folklore Sampler is divided into ten parts covering material culture, medicine, beliefs and practices, customs, play and recreation lore, speech, legends, ballad and song, instrumental traditions and music collecting, and folk communities. Each part begins with an introduction that places the selections in context and concludes with suggestions for further reading. The appendix features an essay that explores the history of the Tennessee Folklore Society and the evolution of folklore studies of the state.
The anthology will be a welcome resource for folklorists and scholars in many fields as well as a special treasure for general readers. With more than sixty illustrations complementing the text, A Tennessee Folklore Sampler presents a vivid overview of Tennessee folk culture that illuminates the very soul of the state.
Ted Olson is the author of Blue Ridge Folklife and Breathing in Darkness: Poems, and the coeditor of The Bristol Sessions: Writings about the Big Bang of Country Music. He teaches at East Tennessee State University. Anthony P. Cavender is professor of anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at East Tennessee State University. He is the author of Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia and has published articles in Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Folklore Research, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Human Organization, Appalachian Journal, and American Speech, among others.