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Folk Geography. The Human Mosaic Chapter 7. Differences between popular and folk culture. Popular culture Consists of large masses of people who conform to and prescribe to ever-changing norms Large heterogeneous groups Often highly individualistic and groups are constantly changing

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Folk geography

Folk Geography

The Human Mosaic

Chapter 7


Differences between popular and folk culture
Differences between popular and folk culture

  • Popular culture

    • Consists of large masses of people who conform to and prescribe to ever-changing norms

    • Large heterogeneous groups

    • Often highly individualistic and groups are constantly changing

    • Pronounced division of labor leading to establishment of specialized professions

    • Police and army take the place of religion and family in maintaining order


Differences between popular and folk culture1
Differences between popular and folk culture

  • Popular culture

    • Money based economy prevails

    • Replacing folk culture in industrialized countries and many developing nations

    • Folk-made objects give way to their popular equivalent

      • Item is more quickly or cheaply produced

      • Easier or time-saving to use

      • Lends prestige to owner


Differences between popular and folk culture2
Differences between popular and folk culture

  • Folk culture

    • Made up of people who maintain the traditional

    • Describes people who live in an old-fashioned way-simpler life-style

    • Rural, cohesive, conservative, largely self-sufficient group, homogeneous in custom

    • Strong family or clan structure and highly developed rituals

    • Tradition is paramount — change comes infrequently and slowly


Differences between popular and folk culture3
Differences between popular and folk culture

  • Folk culture

    • Little specialization in labor though duties may vary between genders

    • Subsistence economy prevails

    • Individualism and social classes are weakly developed

    • In parts of the less-developed world, folk cultures remain common

    • Industrialized countries no longer have unaltered folk cultures


Differences between popular and folk culture4
Differences between popular and folk culture

  • Folk culture

    • The Amish in the United States

      • Perhaps the nearest modem equivalent in Anglo-America

      • German-American farming sect

      • Largely renounces products and labor-saving devices of the industrial age

      • Horse-drawn buggies still used, and faithful own no autos or appliances

      • Central religion concept of demut, ”humility,” reflects weakness of individualism and social class

      • Rarely marry outside their sect


Differences between popular and folk culture5
Differences between popular and folk culture

  • Folk culture

    • Typically, bearers of folk culture combine folk and nonfolk elements in their lives

    • Includes both material and nonmaterial elements

      • Material culture includes all objects or “things” made and used by members of a cultural group—material elements are visible

      • Nomnaterial culture, including folklore, can be defined as oral, including the wide range of tales, songs, lore, beliefs, superstitions, and customs

    • Other aspects of nonmaterial culture include dialects, religions, and worldviews

    • Folk geography—defined as the study of the spatial patterns and ecology of folklife


Culture regions
Culture Regions

  • Folk Culture Regions

  • Folk Cultural Diffusion

  • Folk Ecology

  • Cultural Integration in Folk Geography

  • Folk Landscapes


Material folk culture regions
Material folk culture regions

  • Vestiges of material folk culture remain in various parts of the United States and Canada

  • Material artifacts of 15 culture regions in North America survive in some abundance though they are in general decline


Material folk culture regions1
Material folk culture regions

  • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture

    • Germanized Pennsylvanian folk region—has an unusual SwissGerman type of barn

    • Yankee folk region—traditional gravestone art, with “winged death heads,” and barns attached to the rear of houses


Material folk culture regions2
Material folk culture regions

  • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture

    • Upland South region—notched-log construction, used in building a variety of distinctive house types such as the “dogtrot”


Material folk culture regions3
Material folk culture regions

  • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture

    • African-American folk region—scraped-earth cemetery, banjo that originated in Africa, and head scarfs worn by women


Material folk culture regions4
Material folk culture regions

  • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture

    • Quebec French folk region-grist windmills with stone towers, and a bowling game played with small metal balls

    • Mormon folk culture — distinctive hay derricks and gridiron farm villages

    • Western plains ranching folk culture — the “beef wheel,” a windlass used during butchering



Quebec1
Quebec

  • Petanque, a bowling game played with metal balls, diffused to Canada with French immigrants in the 16th century. It has persisted as one aspect of Quebec French folk region.


Folk food regions
Folk food regions

  • Traditional foods of folk cultures probably endure longer than any other trait

  • In Latin America, folk cultures remain vivid with diverse culinary traditions


Folk food regions1
Folk food regions

  • Mexico—abundant use of chili peppers in cooking and maize for tortillas

  • Caribbean areas — combined rice-bean dishes and various rum drinks

  • Amazonian region — monkey and caiman

  • Brazil — cuscuz (cooked grain) and sugarcane brandy

  • Pampas style — carne asada (roasted beef), wine and yerba mate (herbal tea)

  • Pacific-coastal Creole — manjar blanco (a pudding)


Folk food regions2
Folk food regions

  • Latin American foods derive from Amerindians, Africans, Spaniards, and Portuguese

  • Pattern of Latin American is not simple and culinary regions are not as homogeneous as the map we saw suggests


Folklore regions
Folklore regions

  • Displays regional contrasts in much the same way as material folk culture

  • Folk geographers consider diverse nonmaterial phenomena as folktales, dance, music, myths, legends, and proverbs

  • Most thoroughly studied in Europe

    • First research appeared early in the nineteenth century

    • We know more about vanished folk cultures than surviving ones

    • Example of Switzerland


Folklore regions1
Folklore regions

  • Four cultural folk-song regions of North America as recognized by Alan Lomax

    • Northern tradition

      • Unaccompanied solo singing in hard, open-voiced clear tones

      • Based on British ballads


Folklore regions2
Folklore regions

  • Four cultural folk-song regions of North America as recognized by Alan Lomax

    • Southern tradition

      • Unison singing is rare

      • Solo is high-pitched and nasal

      • Combines English and Scotch-Irish elements

      • Ballads more guilt-ridden and violent than those of the North


Folklore regions3
Folklore regions

  • Four cultural folk-song regions of North America as recognized by Alan Lomax

    • Western style-simply a blend of the Southern and Northern traditions

    • African-American tradition

    • Contains both African and British elements

    • Polyrhythmic songs of labor and worship with instrumental accompaniment

    • Chorus group singing, clapping, body swaying, and strong, surging beat

  • Each tradition shows distinctive melodies, instrumentation, and motifs


Culture regions1
Culture Regions

  • Folk Culture Regions

  • Folk Cultural Diffusion

  • Folk Ecology

  • Cultural Integration in Folk Geography

  • Folk Landscapes


Folk cultural diffusion
Folk cultural diffusion

  • Diffuses by the same methods as other cultural elements, but more slowly

  • Weakly developed social stratification tends to retard hierarchical diffusion

  • Inherent conservatism produces resistance to change

  • Essential difference between folk and popular culture is speed by which expansion diffusion occurs


Netherlands
Netherlands

  • The town of Bunschoten Spakensburg is one of several in the Netherlands retaining elements of folk tradition.

  • Many people continue to dress in traditional garb.

  • Since costumes differ regionally, an expert can tell where a person is from by her clothing.


Folk cultural diffusion1
Folk cultural diffusion

  • Folk songs

    • Slow progress of expansion diffusion in Anglo-America religious folk songs in the United States

      • Eighteenth century core area based mainly in Yankee Puritan folk culture

      • White spiritual songs spread southwest into the Upland South

      • Today, still retain greatest acceptance in Upland South

      • Disappearance from northern source region may be because of urbanization and popularization of culture in the North


Folk cultural diffusion2
Folk cultural diffusion

  • Folk songs

    • Simple folk melodies of the spirituals diffused by means of outdoor “revivals” and “camp-meetings”

    • Non-English-speaking people and non-protestants were little influenced by spiritual movement

      • Language and religion proved absorbing barriers to diffusion

      • French Canadians and Louisiana French were not affected by the movement


Agricultural fairs
Agricultural fairs

  • Originated in the Yankee region, spread west and southwest by expansion diffusion

  • A custom rooted in medieval European folk tradition

  • First American agricultural fair was held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1810

    • Idea gained favor throughout Western New England and adjacent Hudson Valley

    • Diffused into the Midwest where it gained its widest acceptance


Agricultural fairs1
Agricultural fairs

  • Originated in the Yankee region, spread west and southwest by expansion diffusion

  • A custom rooted in medieval European folk tradition

  • First American agricultural fair was held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1810

    • Idea gained favor throughout Western New England and adjacent Hudson Valley

    • Diffused into the Midwest where it gained its widest acceptance


Agricultural fairs2
Agricultural fairs

  • Normally promoted by agricultural societies

    • Originally educational in purpose

    • Farmers could learn about improved methods and breeds

    • Entertainment function added — racetrack and midway

    • Competition for prizes for superior agricultural products became common

  • By the early twentieth century, fairs had diffused through most of the United States


Hay stackers
Hay stackers

  • Mountain Western American folk culture produced innovations

  • Beaverslide hay stacker

    • Originated in 1907 in Montana’s Big Hole Valley

    • Because of recent origin, we know more about its diffusion

    • 30-odd feet tall, wooden ramp structure used to raise hay to the top of a stack


Hay stackers1
Hay stackers

  • Beaverslide hay stacker

    • Employed horsepower to pull a basket up an inclined surface

    • Use spread to at least eight nearby states and into three Canadian provinces


Blowguns
Blowguns

  • Often past diffusion of a folk culture item is not clearly known or understood, which presents problems of interpretation

  • Example of the blowgun — long, hollow tube through which a projectile is blown by force of breath

  • Geographer Stephen Jett mapped distribution of blowgun

    • Found among folk societies in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres

    • Used from the island of Madagascar to Amazonian jungles of South America




Blowguns3
Blowguns

  • Apparently first invented by Indonesian people on the island of Borneo

  • Diffused with the Austronesian linguistic group

  • Spread through much of the equatorial island belt of Eastern Hemisphere

  • Hard to account for its presence among Amerindian groups in Western Hemisphere

    • Was it independently invented by Amerindians?

    • Was it brought by relocation diffusion in pre-Columbian times?

    • Did it spread to New World after European discovery of America?

    • No answers to above questions



African stone game malawi1
African Stone Game, Malawi

  • These men are playing a game commonly known as mancala. Archaeological evidence shows that the game was played in ancient times in many locations in Africa and Asia including Indonesia.


African stone game malawi2
African Stone Game, Malawi

  • The 200 million years ago existence of Pangaea, a single landmass that subsequently broke apart with continental drift, would account for the wide distribution of the stone game. Today it is sold in stores across America – an element of folk culture in a world of popular culture.


Blowguns4
Blowguns

  • Nonliterate condition of many folk cultures precludes written records that might reveal diffusion

  • Jett favors transpacific diffusion from Indonesia before the time of Columbus

    • You must explain why it is not found in the South Pacific islands and Africa

    • If you support independent invention, you must accept an identical device was invented two times

    • Cultural diffusion presents such problems


Blowguns5
Blowguns

  • Independent invention is always possible

  • Carl Sauer’s proposal that plant domestication occurred independently in both hemispheres helped free cultural geographers from deterministic view that each invention had a single origin

  • If one or more nonfunctional features, of blowguns, such as a decorative motif, occurred in both hemispheres — diffusion would be the logical conclusion


Culture regions2
Culture Regions

  • Folk Culture Regions

  • Folk Cultural Diffusion

  • Folk Ecology

  • Cultural Integration in Folk Geography

  • Folk Landscapes


Folk ecology
Folk ecology

  • Folk group’s close relationship with the physical environment

    • Adaptive strategies possess sustainability

    • Livelihood gained directly through primary activities — farming, herding, hunting, gathering, and fishing

    • Languages bear vocabularies required to exploit the habitat

    • Religions act to mitigate environmental hazards


Folk ecology1
Folk ecology

  • Folk tales honor great hunters

  • Proverbs offer wisdom concerning weather and proper time for planting

  • Architecture reflects local building materials and climate

  • One is tempted to conclude folkways exist to facilitate the adjustment to physical environment

  • It is easy to believe the path of environmental determinism


Folk ecology2
Folk ecology

  • Folkways involve more than merely cultural adaptation

    • A variety of folk cultures can exist in any particular ecosystem

    • They are not enslaved and wholly shaped by their physical surroundings

    • Not necessarily true that they live in close harmony with their environment

  • Often soil erosion, deforestation, and overkill of wild animals can be attributed to traditional rural folk


Geophagy
Geophagy

  • Defined—the eating of earth

  • Most common in parts of Africa and in the American South among Americans of African ancestry

  • Certain kinds of clay are the preferred earth for eating


Geophagy1
Geophagy

  • In African source regions, clays are consumed for a variety of reasons

    • As a treatment for certain diseases and parasites

    • Provides nutrients for pregnant women and growing children

    • Consumed as part of religious ceremonies

  • In the African-American folk region of the South coastal plain, geophagy is confined mainly to pregnant black women and to black children under the age of five


Folk medicine
Folk medicine

  • Common to treat diseases and disorders with drugs and medicines derived from the root, bark, blossom, or fruit of plants

  • In the United States, folk medicine is best preserved in the Upland South

    • Particularly southern Appalachia

    • On some Indian reservations

    • The Mexican borderland


Folk medicine1
Folk medicine

  • Many folk cures have proven effectiveness

  • Root digging in the Appalachians

    • Much of the produce is now funneled to dealers, who serve a larger market

    • Remains at heart a folk enterprise carried on in the old ways

    • Requires the traditional through knowledge of the plant environment


Folk medicine2
Folk medicine

  • Mexican folk culture region along the southern border of Texas

    • Still widely practiced by curanderos, or “curers”

    • Over four hundred medicines derived from wild and domestic plants

    • Perpetuates a tradition rooted in sixteenth century Indian and Spanish source


Folk medicine3
Folk medicine

  • Local folk medicine along the Texas southern border is based on the belief health and welfare depend on harmony between natural and supernatural

    • Disease and misfortune thought to involve some disharmony

    • The curandero strives to restore harmony by use of counseling and botanical medicines

    • In recent years fewer people have sought herbal remedies for infections, sprains, or broken bones

    • Curanderos now treat more cancer, diabetes, and hypertension than before

    • In response to change, some curanderos have become virtual paramedics and employ antibiotics in some cures


F olk medicine in zimbabw e
Folk Medicine in Zimbabwe


Folk medicine in zimbabwe
Folk Medicine in Zimbabwe

  • Traditional healers in Africa use an array of environmental products for rituals and curatives. Various roots, seeds, and horns, as well as skins from endangered animals can be seen in this healer’s hut.

  • In African culture, traditional medical practitioners are considered influential spiritual leaders.


Folk medicine in zimbabwe1
Folk Medicine in Zimbabwe

  • Some base their reputation on knowledge of biotica, some claim supernatural diagnostic and healing powers, and others are witch doctors able to intercept or exorcise evil spirits.

  • All use plant and animal materials in their word.


Environmental perception
Environmental perception

  • When folk culture groups, or individuals, migrate they seek environments similar to their own homelands

  • They function best in similar environments because the lore of the land passed down relates to one particular ecosystem

  • Overpopulation or other “push’ factors cause folk groups to migrate


Environmental perception1
Environmental perception

  • Migration of Upland Southerners from Appalachia between 1830 and 1930

    • Moved as Appalachians filled up

    • Normally moved in clan or extended-family groups

    • Initially found environmental twin of Appalachians in the Ozark-Ouachita Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas

    • Later, others sought out hollows, coves, and gaps of the central Texas Hill Country

    • Between 1880 and 1930 some 15,000 migrated to the Cascade and coastal mountain ranges of Washington State


Environmental perception2
Environmental perception

  • People so close to nature remain sensitive to subtle environmental qualities

  • “Planting by the signs,” is still found among folk farmers in the United States and elsewhere


Environmental perception3
Environmental perception

  • Folk groups are much more observant of their ecosystems than those in popular culture

    • Folk groups strive for harmony with nature, though they do not always achieve it

    • Often ascribe animistic religious sanctity to environmental forces and particular parts of their habitat

  • Many people today lament the loss of a closeness to nature

  • Once the closeness of nature is lost, it is impossible to regain because it was the product of centuries of trial and error


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