278: Wart Cures

The first post I wrote in this series was about warts, and since then I’ve discovered that wart charming and curing represents one of the largest classes of healing magic in the Ozarks. Why? Probably because it was at one time a common problem among hillfolk, one that wasn’t life threatening but a nuisance nonetheless.... Continue Reading →

266: Birds, part II

Sources: Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA) Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF) Owl Owl guts over the doorway – “A man in Fort Smith, Arkansas, told me that his father placed the entrails of a big horned owl over the door, to keep witches away.” ~Randolph OMF 284 Owl gizzard worn... Continue Reading →

260: Peach Tree

The peach tree has not only been a giver of fruit for Ozark people, the Ozarks has a long history with both peaches and apples, but also a wonderful source of medicine. Traditional use in Cherokee medicine include: Decoction or teaspoon of parched seed kernels taken for worms. Infusion of scraped bark taken for vomiting.... Continue Reading →

257: Dogwood Tree

The dogwood, Cornus florida, is a fine Ozark tree with many uses. The bark used to be used as a quinine substitute before the actual stuff was available to Ozark hillfolk. The roots and bark are astringent, used internally for diarrhea and externally for dermatological needs. It’s an analgesic, to be chewed for headache, or... Continue Reading →

256: Redbud Tree

The redbuds, Cercis canadensis, are just starting to bloom here in the Ozarks. The flower of the tree is edible and tastes a little like snow peas. Pick the flowers just where the bloom meets the stem. The lower part should be left attached to the tree otherwise it won’t bloom there the next year,... 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 134: The Ozark Folksong Collection

Today I attended the opening ceremonies of the Ozark Folksong Collection here at the University of Arkansas. It's an absolutely amazing digital collection that's taken about 6 years of hard work to build. It centers around the work of Mary Celestia Parler, who I've mentioned many times here, she was one of the best Ozark... Continue Reading →

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