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Culture Regions


Culture Regions
Folk Cultural Diffusion
Folk Ecology
Cultural Integration in Folk
Folk Landscapes

Cultural integration in folk



between folk and popular

Few folk groups escape some interaction

with the larger world
A lively exchange is constantly on-going
between folk and popular cultures
Most commonly, the folk absorb ideas
filtering down from popular culture

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, an Inca
capital, is a major
tourist destinations.
Here, llama wool
sweaters, ponchos,
and rugs are
displayed for the
tourist trade.
Woven on handlooms, they have
natural wool

Cuzco, Peru
colors or are
colored with mineral
or vegetable dyes.
Similar products are
also produced by
factory machines
using chemical dyes
for trendy colors for
appeal to mass

Cultural integration in folk


Interaction between folk and popular

Occasionally elements of folk culture penetrate
the popular society
Folk handicrafts and arts often fetch high prices
among city dwellers
They may exhibit quality, attention to detail, and
uniqueness absent in factory-made goods
Some folk goods are revised to make them more
Popular folk items include-Irish fisherman sweaters,
Shaker furniture, and Panamanian Indian molas

Mountain moonshine
Home manufacture of corn whiskey in the
Upland South has been going on since the
early pioneering days of the 1700s
Probably diffused to America with the
pioneering Scotch-Irish
The word whisky has a Celtic origin,
probably from the Scottish Gaelic uisge
beatha (water of life)
Home manufacture of whisky has occurred
in many Appalachian hill settlements for
200 years

Mountain moonshine

making withstood the

prohibitionist attitudes of the
nineteenth century religious revival
Many mountaineers are devout Baptists or
Methodists, but defied antiliquor teachings
Many mountain people proved very willing
to vote their areas legally dry
Corn whiskey is very persistent in the folk

Mountain moonshine

corn liquor was intended

mainly for family consumption
Over the years, Appalachian moonshine
began to find its way to market
Proved the best way for hill folk to
participate in the money economy
Converted a bulky grain crop of low cash
value in a compact beverage of high value
per unit of weight

Mountain moonshine

Early as 1791, the U.S. federal government

began taxing manufacturers of whiskey
From the beginning, mountaineers found ways
to avoid the tax
Stills lay concealed in remote coves and hollows
to escape detection
When stills were discovered and destroyed, new
ones in different locations replaced them
Revenuers were no more successful in stopping
whisky making than the churches had been

Mountain moonshine
The important effect was mountain folk
accepted markets offered by popular culture
but rejected its legal and political institutions
By the 1950s, some 25,000 gallons of white
lightning reached the market each week from
the counties of eastern Tennessee alone

In spite of numerous raids by federal authorities,

production continued unabated
Today, a substantial amount of illicit whisky still
reaches markets from southern Appalachia

Mountain moonshine

Whiskey production, legal and illegal, in Kentucky

and Tennessee represents an impressive survival
of folk industry to serve a market in popular
Illegal whisky production and popular culture
integration led to the creation of the folk
A fast vehicle needed to outrun the law, but humble in
Some have claimed these vehicles were the forerunners
of the basic American stock car
Stock-car racing then is considered another result of
interplay between folk and popular cultures

Country and Western music

Upland Southern folk music had a very
impressive impact upon American popular
Derived to a great degree, from folk ballads
of English and Scotch-Irish, who settled in
the upland-South in colonial times

Some have hypothesized use of the fiddle (violin)

is an effort to recapture sounds of the Celtic
Scottish bagpipe
Gradually, Upland Southern folk music absorbed
influences of the American social experience

Country and Western music

Derived to a great degree, from folk

ballads of English and Scotch-Irish, who
settled in the upland-South in colonial
Became a composite of Old World and New
World folk traditions
Long remained confined to the traditional
society that developed it
Dealt with themes such as love and hate,
happiness and sorrow, comedy and tragedy
Gave expression to a unique life-style and a
particular land

Country and Western music

Entry of country music into popular culture

began about the time of World War I
Diffusion was facilitated by the invention of the
Popularization brought changes
Small number of songs in folk culture exploded
with the popular culture
Electrical amplification needed in crowded noisy
night spots produced a curious mixture with the
use of the electric guitar
Themes of lyrics increasingly addressed life in
the popular culture

Country and Western music

Bluegrass, one of the many styles of

country music, emerged in the 1930s
Developed by Bill Monroe
Unique sound is achieved by the joining of a
lead banjo with fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and
string bass
Using only electric instruments keep it faithful
to its origins
High-pitched, emotional vocal sound clearly
reveals derivation from Scottish church singing

Country and Western music


one of the many styles of

country music, emerged in the 1930s

remains greatest in its Upland

Southern core area in Kentucky, Tennessee,
Virginia, and North Carolina
Most performers come from this core area
Music retains strong identification with
Appalachian places

Country and Western music


of migration of Upland
Southern folk on bluegrass music
Migrated to Missouri, Arkansas, Texas,
and Oklahoma plus the Depression era
movement of Okies and Arkies to the
Central Valley of California
Provided natural areas for bluegrass
expansion in the mid-twentieth century

Culture Regions

Culture Regions
Folk Cultural Diffusion
Folk Ecology
Cultural Integration in Folk
Folk Landscapes

Folk landscapes

architecture most visible aspect of

the landscape
Comes from the memory of traditional
Built on mental images that change little
from one generation to the next
Folk buildings are extensions of a people and
their region

the unique character of each district or

Offer a highly visible aspect of the human mosaic

Folk Architecture:
Maasai House, Kenya

The Maasai are pastoralists

who bring their cattle into
their circular housing
compounds (engangs or
manyattas) at night.
Maasai bomas (houses)
are built by women.
Latticed frames are
constructed with termite,
ant and beetle resistant
wood poles, insulated with
packed leaves, and
covered with cattle dung
readily available in the

Folk Architecture:
Maasai House, Kenya

A snail-shell entry
inhibits entry of human
or animal intruders.
Lattice sleeping
platforms covered with
cowhide are attached to
internal walls. There are
no windows, only vents
for the central fire.
Insect damage and
leakage call for ongoing
maintenance. Using
plastic sheeting as a
roof cover is a modern
luxury few can afford.

Folk landscapes

in folk architecture the

traditional, the conservative, and the
Expect from it a simple beauty
Harmony with the physical environment
A visible expression of folk culture

Building materials

way we classify folk houses and

farmsteads is by the type of building
materials used

Building materials

tend to blend nicely with

the natural landscape
Farm dwellings range from: massive
houses of stone for permanency, to
temporary brush thatch huts

Building materials

conditions influence
choice of construction materials)


cultivators of tropical rain

forests build houses of poles and

Building materials

Sedentary subsistence farming peoples of

adjacent highlands, oases, and river valleys
of the Old World zone

Rely principally on earthen construction

Sun-dried (adobe) bricks
Pounded earth
In more prosperous regions, kiln-baked bricks
are available

People in the tropical grasslands, especially

in Africa, construct thatched houses from
coarse grasses and thorn bushes

Building materials

of Mediterranean farmers
and some rural residents of interior
Indian and the Andean highlands
Most live in rocky, deforested lands
Use stone as principal building material
Create entire landscapes of stone

roofs, terraces, streets, and fences

Lends an air of permanence to the


Folk architecture: China

The Kazak practice

transhumance, spending
the summer with their
horses, goats, sheep
and cattle in high
pastures of the Tien
Shan (Heavenly
Mountains) of
northwestern China.
These yurts have
wooden trellis walls and
are covered with felt
which is pressed animal

Folk architecture: China

The top flap can be
opened to vent a
central fire or closed
to keep out rain.
As winter
approaches, the
yurt is dismantled
and carried by pack
animals to lower

Folk architecture: China

Many Kazak now
winter in Chinese
style, mud-brick,
sod-roofed houses.
Yurts are
change as wood
gives way to plastic
and felt to canvas.

Building materials


in the middle and higher

Houses made of wood where timber is

In the United States, log cabins and
later frame houses
Folk houses of northern Europe and in
the mountains of eastern Australia are
made of wood

Building materials

Housing in the middle and higher latitudes

In some deforested regions Central Europe and
parts of China

built half-timbered houses

Framework of hardwood beams with fill in the interstices
of some other material

Sod or turf houses typify prairie and tundra areas


In pioneer times, the American Great Plains

Nomadic herders often live in portable tents

made of skins or wool

Floor plan


Single structure where family, farm

animals, and storage facilities share space
In simplest form is one storied People
and animals occupy different ends of
More complex ones are multi-storied
arranged so people and livestock live on
different levels

Floor plan

unit housing common

among some shifting cultivators
Multiple families live under the same
Sleeping and cooking done in separate
Living space is shared

Floor plan

unit housing common

among some shifting cultivators
Example the Sarawak longhouse found
on the Malaysian portion of the island of

between 5 and 8 nuclear

An elongated dwelling
Raised above forest floor on stilts
Reflect a clan or tribal social organization

Folk Architecture: Manali, India

Folk Architecture: Manali, India

This house has been

constructed by the
Kullu people who
live in the lower
Himalayas of
Himachal Pradesh.
This is a steeply
sloped, rocky and
forested area and
people make the
best use of local

Folk Architecture: Manali, India

Noted for their

woodwork, the Kulli
carve and paint religious
and tribal designs toe
propitiate the gods and
ward off evil
The substantial stone
roof will support a heavy
winter snowfall.
Fodder and cattle are
kept below the living

Most common are farmsteads where the house,

barn, and stalls occupy separate buildings

Example of the courtyard farmstead

Various structures clustered around an enclosed yard

Appears in several seemingly unrelated culture regions
Found in Inca-settled portions of Andes Mountains
Also found in the hills of central Germany, and eastern
Have wide distribution offer privacy and protection

Floor plan

Strewn farmstead prevails in countries

where Germanic Europeans immigrated and
Anglo-America, Australia, and New Zealand
Buildings lie spaced apart each other in no
consistent pattern
Especially common in zones of wooden
construction where fire is a hazard
Poorly suited for defense
Often associated with rural regions of more than
average tranquility

Irish folk houses

Other characteristics that help classify

farmsteads and dwellings
Form or shape of roof
Placement of chimney
Details such as number and location of doors and

Estyn Evens
Used roof form and chimney placement, among
other traits, in classifying Irish houses
Determined three major folk-housing culture

Irish folk houses


floor plan and material

composition had been included, more
regions would have been identified
Other features such as the bed
outshot of far north Ireland, mud
wall constructions of interior
counties, and off-center door found
in several districts

Folk housing in North America


folk houses are being built today

Popular culture with its massproduced, commercially built houses
has overwhelmed folk traditions
Many folk houses survive in refuge

Folk housing in North America

Yankee or New England folk houses

Wooden frame construction

Shingle siding often covers exterior walls
Have a variety of floor plans
New England large house huge two-and-ahalf stories, built around a central chimney and
two rooms deep
As Yankee folk moved west, they developed
the upright and wing dwelling
Houses are often massive because of cold

Folk housing in North America


Southern folk houses

Smaller and built of notched logs

colonial Scandinavian settler technique
Saddlebag house--two log rooms
separated by a double fireplace

Folk housing in North America


Southern folk houses

Dogtrot house-two log rooms separated

by an open roofed breezeway
Shotgun house-African-American, one
room wide, but two to four rooms m
Creole cottage-half-timbered with a
central chimney and built-in porch, found
in Acadiana, a French-derived folk region
in Louisiana

Folk housing in North America


folk houses

House type found in French speaking


story atop a cellar, attic rooms beneath a

curved, bell-shaped roof
Balcony-porch with railing extends across the
front, which is sheltered by overhanging eaves
Summer kitchen sealed off during the long
cold winters
Houses often built of stone

Folk housing in North America

Ontario farmhouseoccurs frequently in

the Upper Canadian folk region
One-and-a-half stories tall, usually built of
Has distinctive gabled front dormer window

Interpretation of folk architecture is not a

simple process

Problem of independent invention versus

diffusion is raised repeatedly
Folk cultures rarely leave behind many written
records, making landscape artifacts all the
more important