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Chapter 7 - Folk and Popular Culture A. Folk Culture Anglo American hearths and folk building traditions Nonmaterial folk culture: food, music, medicines, and folklore Folk regions and regionalism B. Popular Culture Nature and patterns of popular culture

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chapter 7 folk and popular culture

Chapter 7 - Folk and Popular Culture

A. Folk Culture

Anglo American hearths and folk building traditions

Nonmaterial folk culture: food, music, medicines, and folklore

Folk regions and regionalism

B. Popular Culture

Nature and patterns of popular culture

Diffusion and regionalism in popular culture

  • Folk Culture - material and nonmaterial aspects of daily life preserved by smaller groups partially or totally isolated from the mainstream currents of the larger society around them. (figure 7.1)
  • from different ethnic groups.
  • Popular culture formed from common interests, and communication.
folk cultural diversity and regionalism
Folk cultural Diversity and Regionalism
  • Folk culture can be defined as the collective heritage of institutions, customs, skills, dress, and way of life of a rural community.
  • Material culture - physical things: from musicl instr. to furniture, tools, buildings - comprises the built environment (landscape created by humans)
  • Non-material culture - songs,story, speech, philosophy...
  • No true folk societies exist in Anglo America
  • Old Order Amish - reject modern technology - the “good life” must be reduced to its simplest forms. (fig 7.2)
anglo american hearths fig 7 4
Anglo American Hearths (fig 7.4)
  • From Europe to the U.S. through relocation diffusion, and then from east coast to entire U.S. through expansion diffusion, cultural identities
  • French settlement in St. Lawrence Valley
  • Upper Canada - with New England folk house
  • Southern New England - from rural southern England
  • Hudson Valley - from Dutch.Flemish, English, German, and French Huguenot settlers
  • Delaware River - from English/Scottish-Irish/Swedish and German.
  • Chesapeake Bay - Mainly English settlers
  • Southern Tidewater - English modified by West Indian, Huguenot, and African influence
  • Salt Lake hearth

Folk houses of the world

  • Figure 7.5 The extended family compound of the Bambara of Mali
  • Rural House in China - Hakka’s To Lou: house 700 people
  • Cave dwelling in China
  • Folke Houses (Fig 7.6, 7.7)
  • Maasai - in Mayotte, southern Africa, France affiliated
  • China -Xinjiang - Uygur yurt
  • Reed Dwelling of the Uros people on Lake Titicaca, Peru
  • Icelandic sod farm house
  • Nias Island, West Coast of Sumatera, Indonesia
  • Stone House in Naple
northern hearths 1 lower st lawrence valley fig 7 8
Northern Hearths 1 - Lower St. Lawrence Valley (fig 7.8)
  • One of the few areas with similar building structure as seen in France. 3 major styles:
  • Norman cottages - same in Normandy
  • Quebec cottage - more spread, two unequal room, with a steeply pitched roof with wide overhanging eaves
  • Montreal house - large stone house
  • Quebec long barn - unlike 3 major types,this is not found outside of French Canada
northern hearths 2 southern new england fig 7 9

Northern Hearths 2 - Southern New England (fig 7.9)

Featured by sturdy posts and stout horizontal beams held together by simple joinery and sided by overlapping clapboards, steep roofs and massive central chimneys.(fig 7.9)

1) garrison house - from medieval Europe

2) saltbox house - asymmetrical gable roof covering a shed or extra room

3) New England large house up to 10 rooms, lobby entrance, central chimney and variation of 4) upright-and-wing house

4) upright-and-wing: wing represents a one-story of the basic gable-front house plan.

Northern Hearths 3 -The Hudson Valley (fig 7.10)

First Dutch settlers built first house here; features steep roof with flared eaves. Common feature: split Dutch door with an upper half allowing air to enter while closed lower half kept children in and animal out

middle atlantic hearths
Middle Atlantic Hearths
  • More influential than other styles. log cabin evolved from there, I house.
  • Germans/ Scandinavians/ eastern Finns introduced log houses in the 17th century in Delaware and New Jersey.
  • Delaware Valley (or Pennsylvania hearth): four-over-four (fig 7.11), I house (two-over-two), Germanbank barn combined animal shelter with the grain storage the threshing functions (English barn only store crops). No other hearth region had as widespread an influence on American vernacular architecture as did the Pennsylvania hearth.
  • Chesapeake Bay : raised foundations, outside end chimneys, detached kitchen, front porches and front -to-rear ventilation passages, sometimes brick but mostly wood frame. Brought to Indiana, Illinois, Iowa (I House named after these)
southern hearths
Southern Hearths
  • The Southern Tidewater - Charleston single house to avoid inland humid and disease. Veranda along one side of the structure (fig 7.12)
  • Mississippi Delta - French built hearth in New Orleans and lower Mississippi during 18th century. Grenier house in Louisiana with raised floor, Shotgun house, introduced by Haitian black (fig 7.13)
interior and western hearths
Interior and Western Hearths
  • Originally built sod dugouts or earth houses in the absence of timber. Balloon frame with cheap wire and standard size frame. developed one-story gabled rectangle. double-wing, and two-story foursquare farmhouses.
  • Utah - central-hall house
  • Thick-walled Spanish adobe house
  • Western states with Middle Atlantic culture hearth, log-cabin from Delaware Valley...
architectural diffusions fig 7 14
Architectural Diffusions (fig. 7.14)
  • Three source regions in the U.S. -New England, Middle Atlantic and Southern Coastal
  • New England - based on simple English original, variants spread to NY,OH,IN, IL, WI and IA
  • Middle Atlantic - started from English I house and Finnish-German log building. Southward along the Appalachian Uplands, westward across PA, into Ohio Valley Midwest - creating a interior “national hearth”. Westward to the N Rockies and Pacific NWest, imprints found such as dogtrot (fig 7.15), saddlebag house plans and double-crib barn design. During 19th century, log construction and techniques carried across to Pacific coast.
  • Southern Coastal Stream - diffused to Upland South
  • Stone fence: glacial fieldstone available in NY and New England. Sedimentary rock (angular/flat) in Southern OH, IN or part of KY made fence easier to build than in glacial boulder in NY and New England
  • Wood fence: “bulk” -from French Canada to S Appalachian (7.16a) “Wattle fence” (7.16b) common in medieval Europe, only in MA and Virginia.
  • Angled-rail, zigzag log fence (snake/worm) found in S and eastern portion of the Middle West (7.16c)
  • Post-and-rail fence- consume less land and fewer rails - popular in S New England and Delaware Valley (7.16d)
  • 19th century, wired fencing was popular
  • hedge and sod fencing prevailed in forest margins to mountains.
nonmaterial folk culture
Nonmaterial Folk Culture
  • Songs/foods are more durable than physical culture which were replaced, forgotten or left behind.
  • Cuisine - selection of foods and the style of cookery - “Cookefest”, products of local environment.
  • Brunswick stew, clambake, smoked salmon, Cornflakes, and beef jerky are Indian food and American food - New England clam chowder, southern pone, johnnycake, hush puppies......
  • Folk-tie: Figure 7.17 shows the traditional annual round of folk culture farming in Louisiana.
  • Ethnic peoples in region formed a particular food preference, such as Kimchi in Korea, Sashimi in Japan, Fried Rice in China, Spring roll in Vietnam......
  • Drink - rum from Indian and Tidewater sugarcane and molasses. Whiskey from Scots and the Scotch-Irish to America, particular to the Appalachian
drink preferences folk songs
Drink Preferences/Folk Songs
  • Moonshine production in Tennessee in 1950s. (7.18) isolated environment vs.. production
  • 7.19 Folk song regions of eastern U.S. - songs carried by settlers to the New World then turned into Americanized
    • Northern songs : unaccompanied solo singing in clear hard tones
    • Southern Backwoods and Appalachian : unaccompanied high-pitched, and nasal solo singing, based on English tradition, modified by Appalachian “hardscrabble” life, slowly evolved into today’s “country music”
    • Western song: from N and S mixture along the Ohio Valley and across Mississippi, narrative songs reflected life of cowboy,riverman, sodbuster and gold seeker.
    • Canadian songs - fishing sealing and whaling life in Newfoundland and Atlantic coast, with strong Irish character, solo without accompany.
    • Black - union of Anglo American folk song, English country dancing, and West African musical patterns. Choral and instrumental, hand/feet used to establish rhythm, strong beat, leader-chorus style and deep-pitched mellow voices
  • Jazz originated from New Orleans in the later 19th century - a union of minstrel show ragtime and the blues, typical south black music
  • Urban blues - harsh vocal accompanied by electric guitars, harmonicas, and piano - product of Chicago brought by artists from MS. (7.20)
  • Bluegrass - high-pitched derivative of Scottish bagpipe sound and church singing tradition
folk medicine
Folk Medicine
  • Folk health wisdom- plants, barks, leaves, roots,
  • European/American herb medicines:basil for melancholy, thyme tea eased sorrow (thyme for sore muscle in Chinese medicine) fennel for obesity. Sage for cold, balm tea for fever, marjoram for cough/ bronchitis/ yellow jaundice. Lemon balm and rosemary for boldness, cold boiled chervil roots for aged.
  • Native American: Sassafras - cure everything, Bearberry- astringent/diuretic Boneset for intermittent fever/arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. Goldenrod for fever, chest pain, boils and cold.
  • Top of plants for head disease and roots for leg problems
  • Folk medicine best preserved in Upland South and southern Appalachian, and along Mexican border in Texas
  • “Dog bite cured by dog hair”.
chinese folk medicine
Chinese Folk Medicine
  • Apple (without skin) - diarrhea
  • pear + honey - cough
  • bleeding nose - chive + egg
  • prevent heart disease - red dates
  • ginseng..ginkgo
  • Acupuncture
  • General Practice

Uniformities and Globalization - popular culture

    • Global McDonald and Pizza Hut, Coca-cola..Polo Shirt, Nike Air.
    • Taste of China (fast Chinese food)
    • Popular Culture - diffuses rapidly, drive-through to-go... auto culture.
    • 38,000 shopping malls, Mall of America, Woodfield Mall in Chicago, King of Prussia in Philadelphia.
  • Popular culture is commercialized culture.
    • chain stores (book store), cinemas, Kinkos
    • Wal-Marts, K-Marts, Sears,..
  • Regional Emphasis
    • uneven distr. of classical town names (7.31) suggest that no all expressions of popular culture are spatially uniform.
    • 7.32 a.TV viewers, b. Snack Nuts c. Fraternal Orders d. Smoking


vernacular regions
Vernacular Regions
  • Figure 7.34 - the generalized consensus regions based on an understood sense of place, derived from current population and landscape characteristic as well as on historical differences that impart distinctive regional behaviors and attitudes.