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Roots of a Region - Southern Folk Culture

Roots of a Region

Southern Folk Culture

By John A. Burrison
Paperback : 9781934110218, 224 pages, 16 color illustrations, November 2007

An exploration of the integral role of folk traditions in southern life


Roots of a Region reveals the importance of folk traditions in shaping and expressing the American South. This overview covers the entire region and all forms of expression—oral, musical, customary, and material.

The author establishes how folklore pervades and reflects the region’s economics, history (especially the Civil War), race relations, religion, and politics. He follows with a catalog of those folk-cultural traits—from food and crafts to music and story—that are distinctly southern. The book then explores the Native American and Old World sources of southern folk culture. Two case studies serve as examples to students and as evidence of the author’s larger points. The first traces the origins and development of an artifact type, the clay jug; the second examines a place, Georgia, and the relationship of its folklore to the region as a whole.

The author concludes by looking to the future of folklife in a region that has lost much of its agrarian base as it modernizes, a future dependent on recent immigration and appreciation of older southern traditions by a largely urban audience. Supporting these explorations are 115 illustrations—sixteen in color—and an extensive bibliography of books on southern folk culture.