A few years ago, I had a blog series on the subject, although it never really got going. And, recently, a book was published about the twelve tribes of North America, looking something like this
This comes from a book by ]], American Nations. Anyway, he describes Appalachia and Greater Appalachia like this:
Greater Appalachia was founded in the early 18th century by wave upon wave of rough, bellicose settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of northern Ireland, northern England and the Scottish lowlands. Lampooned in popular culture as “rednecks,” “hillbillies,” “crackers” and “white trash,” these clannish Scots-Irish, Scots and northern English frontiersmen spread across the highland South and on into the southern tiers of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois; the Arkansas and Missouri Ozarks; the eastern two-thirds of Oklahoma; and the Hill Country of Texas, clashing with Indians, Mexicans and Yankees as they migrated.
In the British Isles, this culture had formed in a state of near-constant war and upheaval, fostering a warrior ethic and a deep commitment to individual liberty and personal sovereignty. Intensely suspicious of aristocrats and social reformers alike, these American borderlanders despised Yankee teachers, Tidewater lords and Deep Southern aristocrats.
In the Civil War, much of the region fought for the Union, with secessionist movements in western Virginia (creating West Virginia), eastern Tennessee and northern Alabama. During Reconstruction, the region resisted the Yankee effort to liberate African slaves, driving it into a lasting alliance with its former enemies: the overlords of the Tidewater and Deep Southern lowlands of Dixie.
The borderlanders’ combative culture has provided a large proportion of the nation’s military, from officers such as Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett and Douglas MacArthur to the enlisted men fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. They also gave the continent bluegrass and country music, stock-car racing and evangelical fundamentalism.
The book would focus just a bible on the way Appalachians use Scripture and other articles of faith in building their Appalachian culture, viewpoint, and the such. I would like to include such things as the Sin-Eater, a tradition carried over from Scotland, Wales and other civilized parts of England. Not to mention the music.
Songcatcher is a movie about cataloguing the connections between mountain music and the old Irish ballads.
I better stop now.
I’m just in the beginning stages at the moment, but I’ll keep you informed. If you are interested, let me know.
- Lawmaker recognized for work on behalf of region (times-news.com)
- Bob Kincaid: Self-Determination, Appalachian Style (understory.ran.org)
- An Inspired Giveaway: Appalachian Elegy by bell hooks (kentuckypress.wordpress.com)
- The Appalachian Trail…thinking about the weather (writer77.wordpress.com)