226: Folklore of Hertfordshire

I’ve been reading through Doris Jones-Baker’s “The Folklore of Hertfordshire” which has a small section on traditional charms and remedies. It’s interesting to see how many of these folk beliefs may have gone on to influence what would eventually become Appalachian and then later Ozark folk medicine. Part of the work I’m doing with this blog... Continue Reading →

Day 214: Rappahannock Folk Medicine

I recently got a copy of Frank G. Speck’s article Rappahannock herbals, folklore and science of cures from the library and it’s interesting to see how many commonalities there are between the Rappahannock beliefs and that of the Appalachian peoples and later the Ozark peoples. Most of the cures and folklore collected by Speck and... Continue Reading →

Day 212: Healing with Stumpwater

Stumpwater, that is water that has collected in the hollow bowl of a tree stump, is an interesting part of folk materia medica. Its use can be found throughout the Ozarks and the Appalachians, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other cultures were to use the mystical substance as well. Stumpwater is mostly connected to... Continue Reading →

Day 211: Cross-Cultural Materia Medica

Ozark medical knowledge isn’t a uniform set of traditions and practices. It was born out of a sense of necessity, and has always incorporated new knowledge into the repertoire as it was discovered. It’s never been a closed, protected tradition (for the most part) but instead has represented an ever-changing materia medica that has incorporated... Continue Reading →

Day 210: The “Little People”

I’ve talked about this subject briefly when I wrote up a post on the CherokeeNunnehi which can be found in the archive. The idea of the “Little People” as they are called is a little different, as the Nunnehi tend to be seen more as just immortal, ghostly beings, and the Yunwi Tsundi, or the “Little People” as they... Continue Reading →

Day 209: Turkey Tales

Wild turkeys were a staple food for many Ozark hillfolk, if they were able to get them. They’re quick runners and are often easily spooked. Here are a couple turkey anecdotes from Vance Randolph, and a few turkey tales: “Many a mountain girl conceals dried turkey bones about the room in which she meets her... Continue Reading →

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