"Appalachian Culture in West Virginia" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Local Custom Tip by deecat

United States of America Local Customs: 260 reviews and 260 photos

  Glassmaking, an art in West Virginia
by deecat

"Here are mountain and ripsnorting river and ripsnorting people who came to conquer them both." poet Stephen Vincent Benet

The photo is from a West Virginia brochure

I admire the Appalachian culture and its people. The people are poor and proud, independent but hospitable. This struggle with poverty and isolation has caused some people to leave the state while others feel trapped. But most of the people have found contentment in its mountains

Often, member of the same family stay in one West Virginia town for generations.

The Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College in Randolph County has kept the art and music produced by Appalachia's early settlers. Both country music and bluegrass have their origins in Appalachian culture.

Appalachian crafts and arts are most often made from natural resources such as glass, clay, and wood. And, most of the art work is made to be used such as quilts, clay pots, furniture, and jars.

The Augusta Heritage Center connects Appalachian craftspeople, musicians, dancers, artists, and craftspeople with people who are eager to carry on these wonderful traditions.
Students learn basket making, wood carving, quilting, glassblowing, and clogging. Music students study the fiddle or dulcimer.

If you want to make a West Virginian "bristle", just mention how some people characterize them as illiterate and unsophisticated. The detest that "hillbilly image" and are not afraid to voice that hate.

A West Virginia writer, Don West, says it best, "How many people know that one reason why West Virginia became a state was that the hillbillies rejected the idea of slavery?"

Thank goodness this Appalachian culture is being preserved.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 9, 2005
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