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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Music

The article studies three historical traditions of the banjo, the folk, minstrel popular, and classical.

Traditions of the banjo are characterized by:

a) The ways in which knowledge of the banjo was transmitted.

b) Closeness of the performer or craftsman to his audience or clientele

c) Self-perceived relation between the craftsman or musician to other crafstmen or musicians.

Exact origins of banjo unknown. Possible from West Africa with slaves.

Earliest banjo was made from a gourd.

Frets introduced in the 1860's and 70's

Peak of development (quality) in 1920's

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Where learned: ; The Physical Development of the Banjo ; New York Folklore Quarterly

Keyword(s): Audience ; Banjo ; Classical ; Craftsman ; Folk ; Fret ; GOURD ; HISTORY ; Instrument ; Minstrel ; MUSIC ; Origin ; Performer ; Slaves

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Wood Gourd
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Musical instrument

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Language

In the summer of 1816 there were frosts during each of the summer months in Hyde Park Vt. and much of the surrounding area. These frosts during the summer months discouraged many of the local farmers who abandoned their farms and moved westward. During the summer of 1816 a poem was written which is often recalled by Vermonters and printed in Vermont newspapers when the summers are unusually cool. The poem discourages people from leaving the area. the poem says:

"Moses saud we are to inhabit all the world, warmer climates lead to more vices, one doesn't change wives because of a wrinkle or farms because of a cold summer.

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Where learned: New York Folklore Quarterly ; Fitch Against Immigration

Keyword(s): AGRICULTURE ; Chill ; FARMING ; Frost ; HARVEST ; Hyde Park ; Language ; Moses ; poem ; Region ; SEASON ; Summer ; Summer ; Vermont ; WINTER ; Wives ; Wrinkle

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time

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Poem

Feeling that the Indians had been seriously mistreated Longfellow wrote in 1854, that he had found a plan for a poem on the American Indians that was fitting to their beautiful traditions. The poem did not totally portray the indians totally accurately.

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Where learned: New York Folklore Quarterly ; The Making of Hiawatha

Keyword(s): AMERICAN INDIAN ; INDIAN ; Language ; LONGFELLOW ; poem ; Traditions

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Legend

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