Workshop and Plant Walk Schedule

If you're in the Northwest Arkansas area, or are going to be here this summer, I have some exciting learning opportunities for you. Right now I have two plant identification walks and two workshops on the schedule. Details below (can also be found on my website): Saturday May 13, 2017 - Lake Fayetteville Plant Walk ... Continue Reading →

Something New

I’m currently working on an encyclopedia of Ozark folk magic and medicine, which will eventually be published, but in the mean time I’m going to start publishing entries, from A to Z everyday on my blogs. Because I distinguish between plant based and faith based medicines, I’ll be alternating posts. One day will be an... Continue Reading →

Ozark Jig and the Stomp Dance

“Within the Ozarks cultural exchange drastically transformed the Scotch Irish customs of song, dance, and story. I have often defined story and storytelling as the cultural and emotional core for a people. This is most evident in the intertribal realities of the Ozarks. For southeastern tribes and the Shawnee and Delaware, the stomp dance lies... Continue Reading →

247: Concern

I’ve had the same dream for a while now, that I’m left alone singing on a barren and dead land. Rivers all dried up. Living things all long gone. I’m left singing at sacred places that don’t exist anymore. I’m left singing the songs of spirits that don’t wander anymore. Singing for mountains and hills... Continue Reading →

Day 166: Simplicity

One of the things that drew me to the folk healing traditions is this notion of simplicity, the idea that it's a knowledge that's passed down rather than a necessary set of objects or rituals. In the Ozarks any folk healing can be seen as an extension of daily activity not as a separate time... Continue Reading →

Day 132: The Importance of Evidence

Evidence is crucial when helping to revive or preserve folk traditions because it means the difference between a work of fact and a work of fiction. Folk traditions get misused and misinterpreted a lot because of the "fill in the blanks" method of so-called "preservation". It's the idea that if you don't have evidence for... Continue Reading →

107: Ozark ABC’s

This is something I came up with, mostly for fun, but also to help myself remember certain Ozark folk beliefs. I can come up with a lot more and might make another post sometime. A is for Asafetida, hung around the neck. B is for Booger Dog, stalking through the night. C is for Caul,... Continue Reading →

Day 68: Sappy Birthday Reflections

Having quit alcohol (mostly) and recreational tobacco use this birthday feels very different from my other ones. Thinking back I’m pretty surprised I’m not an alcoholic, or addicted to other substances. I always say that though my life has been hard, there are always lives out there that have had it much harder, and to... Continue Reading →

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