284: Ozark Taboos

There are a great many taboos in the Ozarks, inherited mostly from European traditions but with a few indigenous beliefs scattered in. The world of the Ozark hill person was a constant battle against nature, sickness, and the forces of evil. A simple misstep could potentially cause great strife to one’s family and home. The... Continue Reading →

Day 157: Nakedness in the Ozarks

One of the more interesting collections from Vance Randolph is of anecdotes related to nakedness in the Ozarks. Now, many would think that these stories were just yarns spun for "furiners" and the local newspapers, even Randolph mentions that many of the anecdotes were likely made up, but if there's any truth at all at... Continue Reading →

Day 148: So They Say

“So They Say” was a regular section in the “Bittersweet” magazine, being compiled by many different authors and amateur folklorists. Here’s a taste of some of the folk beliefs compiled by Lisa Mestan for the Summer 1983 Volume 10, No. 4 issue of the publication. For those interested in the “Bittersweet” series, it’s mostly available... Continue Reading →

Day 147: Quilting Lore

Quilting is one of the more impressive Ozark art forms out there, in my opinion. My family has inherited several family quilts, all of which are amazingly sturdy despite being made of cloth thinner than paper. I can remember as a kid looking over the patterns on the quilt tops as they lay out over... Continue Reading →

Day 146: The Ozark Granny Woman

In the Ozarks and Appalachians the so called "granny women" were often just older women who had experience with home remedies and delivering babies. Acting as midwives was, for the most part, the main domain of the granny women, but they were also known to give out healing remedies. Vance Randolph provides a wealth of... Continue Reading →

Day 145: The Seventh Son

The seventh son or seventh daughter is held with great regard as a natural-born healer in many European folk traditions. This is often held as a "sign" that the child will have some inborn powers to heal certain diseases. In the Appalachians the seventh son or seventh daughter is often said to be able to... Continue Reading →

Day 143: Family Stories: Wart Charming

This recording starts off with my paternal grandmother Wilma talking about going to get warts charmed off her feet, then moves into a conversation about wart charming between myself, Wilma, her husband Fred, their son and my father Randy, and my mother Valerie. Wilma: Oh that was after we moved to Fayetteville and we lived... Continue Reading →

Day 138: Pawpaw French

There's a dialect of American French that few people know about. Of course most have heard of Cajun French, and to a lesser extent Louisiana Creole, but what I'm talking about today has came to be known as "Pawpaw French" or "Missouri Creole French." French occupation and settlement in the New World was not limited... Continue Reading →

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