Tag: folklife

Folklife: The Forgotten Custom of Women Proposing to Men During Leap Year

The custom of women proposing to men during Leap Year is traced back to a legend of St. Patrick. So girls get out your scarlet flannel petticoats and make a date with your local justice of the peace!  No worries fellas! You can blame the Scots for declaring it open season on bachelors.

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Folklife: The Ghostly Legend of Wicked John and the Devil

Storytelling has been a long-standing deep-rooted tradition with Appalachian families.  The pioneers of Appalachia developed an elaborate structure of folklore combined with various tales that were passed on orally from one generation to the next.  These oral histories were told to ensure the preservation of their community.

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Folklife: Creasy Greens and Leather Britches

The time-honored saying of “Kissing don’t last, cookery do!” seems to characterize our memories of the old ways of cooking in the South and Appalachia. 

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Folklife: The Faith Healing Tradition of “Talking Out the Fire”

I’ve been told by the elder women in my family it’s a special gift from God. 

My grandma Viola “talked the fire out” of several burns I received as a child.  When I was a teenager, I asked Grandma Viola if she could show me how to do it.  She told me that the gift had to be handed down from a man.

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