Folklore

For many, summer is often associated with camp and quintessential camp activities like swimming, making s’mores and telling ghost stories.

Last week, a group of nine students in Pocahontas County took telling ghost stories a step further, by learning how to make short, animated films at Monster Movie Camp.


July 15, 1915: West Virginia Folklore Society Founded in Morgantown

Jul 15, 2019
The West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University
E-WV, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

The West Virginia Folklore Society was founded in Morgantown on July 15, 1915, by John Harrington Cox and Robert Allen Armstrong of West Virginia University and Walter Barnes of Fairmont State.

One of the earliest state folklore societies in the nation, it remained active for only two years. However, during this time, the society collected traditional ballads and songs that were later published in Cox’s classic book Folk-Songs of the South.

Daniel Walker/ WVPB

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re going on a road trip to meet people who are working in Appalachia to preserve American culture and traditions.

Luke Mitchem

Ten folklore students from George Mason University in Virginia recently spent a week visiting central and southern West Virginia. They traveled to five counties to learn more about the culture, stories and history found throughout our area and how traditions have impacted the personal lives of several West Virginians. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from students, like Alex Bridges, who helped record 25 oral histories with people across West Virginia, as part of a summer folklore class. We’ll also hear the latest from the statehouse after Gov. Jim Justice issued a special session of the W.Va. Legislature on possible Supreme Court impeachments.

courtesy photo

Folk artists, musicians, and chefs across the mountain state will be teaching their crafts to apprentices during 2018, as part of a new project by the West Virginia Folklife Program -- a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. The Humanities Council selected five master artist and apprentice pairs, including salt rising bakers, gospel musicians, and Appalachian fiddlers.

December 22, 1981: Louis Watson Chappell Dies at 91

Dec 22, 2017
Louis Chappell
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Historical Photographs Collection

Louis Watson Chappell, a leading authority on West Virginia folk music, died on December 22, 1981, at age 91. The North Carolina native joined West Virginia University’s English Department in 1921. He soon became fascinated with regional folk songs, spurred on by his WVU colleague and pioneering folklorist, John Harrington Cox.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

87-year-old Jim Shaffer has had his hands busy since 1946. He's the last commercial broom-maker left in West Virginia. People from all over the country have come to see and take home some of Schaffer's work. On Saturday September 30th a short film about Jim Shaffer will be screened at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.. The event is free and open to the public. 


Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

Eighty-seven year-old Jim Shaffer has had his hands busy since 1946. He is the last commercial broom-maker left in West Virginia. People from all over the country have come to see, and take home, some of Shaffer’s work.

A short film about Jim Shaffer is being screened at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress later this month at an event called "Reel Folk: Cultural Explorations on Film". The video was produced earlier this year by Inside Appalachia, in collaboration with the West Virginia Folklife Program

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we take a road trip to explore stories of people who are reviving Appalachian traditions, like baking salt rising bread or making sorghum sweeteners.

Some folklorists, artists and educators are wondering what the future of traditional arts in the country will look like. On Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill that would eliminate the state's Secretary of Education and the Arts and reorganize several of the departments the position oversees. Most of those departments oversee cultural and arts programs like the state archives, the state museum, the annual Vandalia music gathering and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The bill still needs to be approved by the state Senate to take effect.

Scotty White / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Appalachia has some of the best settings for scary stories, including dark underground coal mines and remote forests. There are hundreds of remarkably bizarre, mysterious ghost tales that take place here in West Virginia.

Charleston Gazette-Mail

This week, Rick and Laurie are speaking with state folklorist Emily Hilliard from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

They discuss the definition of folklore, the importance and process of collecting it, and the benefits it can provide to the state.

If you have a tip for Emily, call the West Virginia Folklife Program's Hotline at 1(844)618-3747

The West Virginia Humanities Council website is
http://wvhumanities.org/

Inside Appalachia Preview: Spooky Folk Stories

Oct 30, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the latest form the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.  Also, some spooky ghost stories and our Mountain Stage song of the week. 

That’s all on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

In West Virginia, Executive Director of Main Street Fairmont, Kate Greene, sees a city on the move.

The Clinch River region of Southwestern Virginia is looking for new economic opportunity.

And Tennessee State Park Ranger, Bobby Fulcher, has spent the last three decades traveling the Tennessee hills to record folk-music. These stories and more on this week's Inside Appalachia.