In the first comprehensive exploration of the history and practice of folk medicine in the Appalachian region, Anthony Cavender melds folklore, medical anthropology, and Appalachian history and draws extensively on oral histories and archival sources from the nineteenth century to the present. He provides a complete tour of ailments and folk treatments organized by body systems, as well as information on medicinal plants, patent medicines, and magico-religious beliefs and practices. He investigates folk healers and their methods, profiling three living practitioners: an herbalist, a faith healer, and a Native American healer. The book also includes an appendix of botanicals and a glossary of folk medical terms. Demonstrating the ongoing interplay between mainstream scientific medicine and folk medicine, Cavender challenges the conventional view of southern Appalachia as an exceptional region isolated from outside contact. His thorough and accessible study reveals how Appalachian folk medicine encompasses such diverse and important influences as European and Native American culture and America's changing medical and health-care environment. In doing so, he offers a compelling representation of the cultural history of the region as seen through its health practices.
Healing Traditions from the Appalachian Fields and Forests
Author: Phyllis D. Light
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Category: Health & Fitness
This book is the first to describe the history, folklore, assessment methods, and remedies of Southern and Appalachian Folk Medicine—the only system of folk medicine, other than Native American, that developed in the United States. One of the system's last active practitioners, Phyllis D. Light has studied and worked with herbs, foods, and other healing techniques for more than thirty years. In everyday language, she explains how Southern and Appalachian Folk Medicine was passed down orally through the generations by herbalists and healers who cared for people in their communities with the natural tools on hand.
Exploring themes of work and labor in everyday life, Richard J. Callahan, Jr., offers a history of how coal miners and their families lived their religion in eastern Kentucky's coal fields during the early 20th century. Callahan follows coal miners and their families from subsistence farming to industrial coal mining as they draw upon religious idioms to negotiate changing patterns of life and work. He traces innovation and continuity in religious expression that emerged from the specific experiences of coal mining, including the spaces and social structures of coal towns, the working bodies of miners, the anxieties of their families, and the struggle toward organized labor. Building on oral histories, folklore, folksongs, and vernacular forms of spirituality, this rich and engaging narrative recovers a social history of ordinary working people through religion.
Science and medicine have been critical to southern history and the formation of southern culture. For three centuries, scientists in the South have documented the lush natural world around them and set a lasting tradition of inquiry. The medical history of the region, however, has been at times tragic. Disease, death, and generations of poor health have been the legacy of slavery, the plantation economy, rural life, and poorly planned cities. The essays in this volume explore this legacy as well as recent developments in technology, research, and medicine in the South. Subjects include natural history, slave health, medicine in the Civil War, public health, eugenics, HIV/AIDS, environmental health, and the rise of research institutions and hospitals, to name but a few. With 38 thematic essays, 44 topical entries, and a comprehensive overview essay, this volume offers an authoritative reference to science and medicine in the American South.
From semitropical coastal areas to high mountain terrain, from swampy lowlands to modern cities, the environment holds a fundamental importance in shaping the character of the American South. This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture surveys the dynamic environmental forces that have shaped human culture in the region--and the ways humans have shaped their environment. Articles examine how the South's ecology, physiography, and climate have influenced southerners--not only as a daily fact of life but also as a metaphor for understanding culture and identity. This volume includes ninety-eight essays that explore--both broadly and specifically--elements of the southern environment. Thematic overviews address subjects such as plants, animals, energy use and development, and natural disasters. Shorter topical entries feature familiar species such as the alligator, the ivory-billed woodpecker, kudzu, and the mockingbird. Also covered are important individuals in southern environmental history and prominent places in the landscape, such as the South's national parks and seashores. New articles cover contemporary issues in land use and conservation, environmental protection, and the current status of the flora and fauna widely associated with the South.
Southern folklife is the heart of southern culture. Looking at traditional practices still carried on today as well as at aspects of folklife that are dynamic and emergent, contributors to this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture examine a broad range of folk traditions. Moving beyond the traditional view of folklore that situates it in historical practice and narrowly defined genres, entries in this volume demonstrate how folklife remains a vital part of communities' self-definitions. Fifty thematic entries address subjects such as car culture, funerals, hip-hop, and powwows. In 56 topical entries, contributors focus on more specific elements of folklife, such as roadside memorials, collegiate stepping, quinceanera celebrations, New Orleans marching bands, and hunting dogs. Together, the entries demonstrate that southern folklife is dynamically alive and everywhere around us, giving meaning to the everyday unfolding of community life.
The Frontier Nursing Service and Rural Health in Appalachia
Author: Melanie Beals Goan
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In 1925 Mary Breckinridge (1881-1965) founded the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS), a public health organization in eastern Kentucky providing nurses on horseback to reach families who otherwise would not receive health care. Through this public health organization, she introduced nurse-midwifery to the United States and created a highly successful, cost-effective model for rural health care delivery that has been replicated throughout the world. In this first comprehensive biography of the FNS founder, Melanie Beals Goan provides a revealing look at the challenges Breckinridge faced as she sought reform and the contradictions she embodied. Goan explores Breckinridge's perspective on gender roles, her charisma, her sense of obligation to live a life of service, her eccentricity, her religiosity, and her application of professionalized, science-based health care ideas. Highly intelligent and creative, Breckinridge also suffered from depression, was by modern standards racist, and fought progress as she aged--sometimes to the detriment of those she served. Breckinridge optimistically believed that she could change the world by providing health care to women and children. She ultimately changed just one corner of the world, but her experience continues to provide powerful lessons about the possibilities and the limitations of reform.
When the original Encyclopedia of Southern Culture was published in 1989, the topic of foodways was relatively new as a field of scholarly inquiry. Food has always been central to southern culture, but the past twenty years have brought an explosion in interest in foodways, particularly in the South. This volume marks the first encyclopedia of the food culture of the American South, surveying the vast diversity of foodways within the region and the collective qualities that make them distinctively southern. Articles in this volume explore the richness of southern foodways, examining not only what southerners eat but also why they eat it. The volume contains 149 articles, almost all of them new to this edition of the Encyclopedia. Longer essays address the historical development of southern cuisine and ethnic contributions to the region's foodways. Topical essays explore iconic southern foods such as MoonPies and fried catfish, prominent restaurants and personalities, and the food cultures of subregions and individual cities. The volume is destined to earn a spot on kitchen shelves as well as in libraries.