Tucked between Appalachia and the Deep South, the Upper Cumberland region straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee line along the banks of the Cumberland River. Here, dating from the days of the nation's earliest history, is one of America's richest repositories of folklife. Rather than revealing an artifact, however, this comprehensive study of the Upper Cumberland reveals a living tradition whose roots in the past continue to nourish the present.
Documented here in descriptive text, photographs, and interviews are varieties of folk cultural expression in music, architecture, crafts, schools, religious life, folk medical practices, and customs surrounding birth, puberty, marriage, and death. Upper Cumberland Country explores the spectrum of folklore from yesterday and today--from pioneer life and early folk architecture to teens "cruising" and women deer hunters. In a region filled with relics, modern voices from the Upper Cumberland speak directly of the living traditions that give the region its unique character. Though rooted in pioneer heritage, the folklife here springs into the present with resonant meanings for contemporary times.