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Folk Geography

Folk Geography

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Folk Geography

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  1. Folk Geography The Human Mosaic Chapter 7

  2. Differences between popular and folk culture • Popular culture • Consists of large masses of people who conform to and prescribe to ever-changing norms • Large heterogeneous groups • Often highly individualistic and groups are constantly changing • Pronounced division of labor leading to establishment of specialized professions • Police and army take the place of religion and family in maintaining order

  3. Differences between popular and folk culture • Popular culture • Money based economy prevails • Replacing folk culture in industrialized countries and many developing nations • Folk-made objects give way to their popular equivalent • Item is more quickly or cheaply produced • Easier or time-saving to use • Lends prestige to owner

  4. Differences between popular and folk culture • Folk culture • Made up of people who maintain the traditional • Describes people who live in an old-fashioned way-simpler life-style • Rural, cohesive, conservative, largely self-sufficient group, homogeneous in custom • Strong family or clan structure and highly developed rituals • Tradition is paramount — change comes infrequently and slowly

  5. Differences between popular and folk culture • Folk culture • Little specialization in labor though duties may vary between genders • Subsistence economy prevails • Individualism and social classes are weakly developed • In parts of the less-developed world, folk cultures remain common • Industrialized countries no longer have unaltered folk cultures

  6. Differences between popular and folk culture • Folk culture • The Amish in the United States • Perhaps the nearest modem equivalent in Anglo-America • German-American farming sect • Largely renounces products and labor-saving devices of the industrial age • Horse-drawn buggies still used, and faithful own no autos or appliances • Central religion concept of demut, ”humility,” reflects weakness of individualism and social class • Rarely marry outside their sect

  7. Differences between popular and folk culture • Folk culture • Typically, bearers of folk culture combine folk and nonfolk elements in their lives • Includes both material and nonmaterial elements • Material culture includes all objects or “things” made and used by members of a cultural group—material elements are visible • Nomnaterial culture, including folklore, can be defined as oral, including the wide range of tales, songs, lore, beliefs, superstitions, and customs • Other aspects of nonmaterial culture include dialects, religions, and worldviews • Folk geography—defined as the study of the spatial patterns and ecology of folklife

  8. Culture Regions • Folk Culture Regions • Folk Cultural Diffusion • Folk Ecology • Cultural Integration in Folk Geography • Folk Landscapes

  9. Material folk culture regions • Vestiges of material folk culture remain in various parts of the United States and Canada • Material artifacts of 15 culture regions in North America survive in some abundance though they are in general decline

  10. Material folk culture regions • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture • Germanized Pennsylvanian folk region—has an unusual SwissGerman type of barn • Yankee folk region—traditional gravestone art, with “winged death heads,” and barns attached to the rear of houses

  11. Material folk culture regions • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture • Upland South region—notched-log construction, used in building a variety of distinctive house types such as the “dogtrot”

  12. Material folk culture regions • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture • African-American folk region—scraped-earth cemetery, banjo that originated in Africa, and head scarfs worn by women

  13. Material folk culture regions • Each region possesses many distinctive items of material culture • Quebec French folk region-grist windmills with stone towers, and a bowling game played with small metal balls • Mormon folk culture — distinctive hay derricks and gridiron farm villages • Western plains ranching folk culture — the “beef wheel,” a windlass used during butchering

  14. Quebec

  15. Quebec • Petanque, a bowling game played with metal balls, diffused to Canada with French immigrants in the 16th century. It has persisted as one aspect of Quebec French folk region.

  16. Folk food regions • Traditional foods of folk cultures probably endure longer than any other trait • In Latin America, folk cultures remain vivid with diverse culinary traditions

  17. Folk food regions • Mexico—abundant use of chili peppers in cooking and maize for tortillas • Caribbean areas — combined rice-bean dishes and various rum drinks • Amazonian region — monkey and caiman • Brazil — cuscuz (cooked grain) and sugarcane brandy • Pampas style — carne asada (roasted beef), wine and yerba mate (herbal tea) • Pacific-coastal Creole — manjar blanco (a pudding)

  18. Folk food regions • Latin American foods derive from Amerindians, Africans, Spaniards, and Portuguese • Pattern of Latin American is not simple and culinary regions are not as homogeneous as the map we saw suggests

  19. Folklore regions • Displays regional contrasts in much the same way as material folk culture • Folk geographers consider diverse nonmaterial phenomena as folktales, dance, music, myths, legends, and proverbs • Most thoroughly studied in Europe • First research appeared early in the nineteenth century • We know more about vanished folk cultures than surviving ones • Example of Switzerland

  20. Folklore regions • Four cultural folk-song regions of North America as recognized by Alan Lomax • Northern tradition • Unaccompanied solo singing in hard, open-voiced clear tones • Based on British ballads

  21. Folklore regions • Four cultural folk-song regions of North America as recognized by Alan Lomax • Southern tradition • Unison singing is rare • Solo is high-pitched and nasal • Combines English and Scotch-Irish elements • Ballads more guilt-ridden and violent than those of the North

  22. Folklore regions • Four cultural folk-song regions of North America as recognized by Alan Lomax • Western style-simply a blend of the Southern and Northern traditions • African-American tradition • Contains both African and British elements • Polyrhythmic songs of labor and worship with instrumental accompaniment • Chorus group singing, clapping, body swaying, and strong, surging beat • Each tradition shows distinctive melodies, instrumentation, and motifs

  23. Culture Regions • Folk Culture Regions • Folk Cultural Diffusion • Folk Ecology • Cultural Integration in Folk Geography • Folk Landscapes

  24. Folk cultural diffusion • Diffuses by the same methods as other cultural elements, but more slowly • Weakly developed social stratification tends to retard hierarchical diffusion • Inherent conservatism produces resistance to change • Essential difference between folk and popular culture is speed by which expansion diffusion occurs

  25. Netherlands • The town of Bunschoten Spakensburg is one of several in the Netherlands retaining elements of folk tradition. • Many people continue to dress in traditional garb. • Since costumes differ regionally, an expert can tell where a person is from by her clothing.

  26. Folk cultural diffusion • Folk songs • Slow progress of expansion diffusion in Anglo-America religious folk songs in the United States • Eighteenth century core area based mainly in Yankee Puritan folk culture • White spiritual songs spread southwest into the Upland South • Today, still retain greatest acceptance in Upland South • Disappearance from northern source region may be because of urbanization and popularization of culture in the North

  27. Folk cultural diffusion • Folk songs • Simple folk melodies of the spirituals diffused by means of outdoor “revivals” and “camp-meetings” • Non-English-speaking people and non-protestants were little influenced by spiritual movement • Language and religion proved absorbing barriers to diffusion • French Canadians and Louisiana French were not affected by the movement

  28. Agricultural fairs • Originated in the Yankee region, spread west and southwest by expansion diffusion • A custom rooted in medieval European folk tradition • First American agricultural fair was held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1810 • Idea gained favor throughout Western New England and adjacent Hudson Valley • Diffused into the Midwest where it gained its widest acceptance

  29. Agricultural fairs • Originated in the Yankee region, spread west and southwest by expansion diffusion • A custom rooted in medieval European folk tradition • First American agricultural fair was held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1810 • Idea gained favor throughout Western New England and adjacent Hudson Valley • Diffused into the Midwest where it gained its widest acceptance

  30. Agricultural fairs • Normally promoted by agricultural societies • Originally educational in purpose • Farmers could learn about improved methods and breeds • Entertainment function added — racetrack and midway • Competition for prizes for superior agricultural products became common • By the early twentieth century, fairs had diffused through most of the United States

  31. Hay stackers • Mountain Western American folk culture produced innovations • Beaverslide hay stacker • Originated in 1907 in Montana’s Big Hole Valley • Because of recent origin, we know more about its diffusion • 30-odd feet tall, wooden ramp structure used to raise hay to the top of a stack

  32. Hay stackers • Beaverslide hay stacker • Employed horsepower to pull a basket up an inclined surface • Use spread to at least eight nearby states and into three Canadian provinces

  33. Blowguns • Often past diffusion of a folk culture item is not clearly known or understood, which presents problems of interpretation • Example of the blowgun — long, hollow tube through which a projectile is blown by force of breath • Geographer Stephen Jett mapped distribution of blowgun • Found among folk societies in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres • Used from the island of Madagascar to Amazonian jungles of South America

  34. Blowguns

  35. Blowguns

  36. Blowguns • Apparently first invented by Indonesian people on the island of Borneo • Diffused with the Austronesian linguistic group • Spread through much of the equatorial island belt of Eastern Hemisphere • Hard to account for its presence among Amerindian groups in Western Hemisphere • Was it independently invented by Amerindians? • Was it brought by relocation diffusion in pre-Columbian times? • Did it spread to New World after European discovery of America? • No answers to above questions

  37. African Stone Game, Malawi