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The Florida Folklife Reader

Tina Bucuvalas

Publication Year: 2011

Florida is blessed with a semitropical climate, beautiful inland areas, and over a thousand miles of warm seas and sandy beaches. And Floridians are every bit as colorful and diverse as the tropical foliage. The interaction between Florida's people and its environment has created distinctive mixes of traditional life unlike those anywhere else in America.

Florida's cultural foundation includes Seminoles, Anglo-Celtic Crackers, African Americans, transplanted northerners, and ethnic communities, as well as cultural syntheses developed from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries in Key West, Tampa, St. Augustine, and Pensacola. In recent decades, the state's population has been strongly impacted by large-scale immigration from Cuba, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. South Florida leads other regions in the development of a contemporary cultural synthesis, but Orlando and Tampa are rapidly evolving. Even sleepy north Florida is experiencing a significant shift.

Although several books detail the traditions of specific Florida regions or folk groups, this is the first to provide an overview of Florida folklife. The Florida Folklife Reader brings together essays written by folklorists, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists on a wide array of topics. The authors examine topics as diverse as regional and ethnic folk groups, occupational folklife, the built environment, musical traditions, rituals, and celebrations.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

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p. ix-ix

There are many people to thank for their generous contributions of time and information. No one could have a better colleague than Kathleen Monahan, director of Cultural and Civic Services for the City of Tarpon . . .

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pp. xi-xx

As a California ex-patriate, I approached my first ethnographic contract position in Florida with low expectations. In the 1980s, few Californians considered that they could exist elsewhere—and especially not in . . .

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Key Largo to Marathon: A Report on the Folklife of the Upper and Middle Keys

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pp. 3-9

The Historical Museum of Southern Florida’s Folklife Program completed a project to survey the folklife of the Florida Keys in 1989. The last general survey of Keys culture was conducted in the 1930s when the . . .

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African American and West Indian Folklife in South Florida

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pp. 10-22

Present-day metropolitan Miami, which encompasses most of Dade County, is an evolving environment that illustrates the historical flow of cultural ideas between diverse populations. The black population provides . . .

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The Patronal Festival of Vueltas in Cuban Miami: “No One Loses, They Always Win!”

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pp. 23-34

Like many other immigrant groups, Cubans in Miami have reconstructed parts of their social and political structure in order to negotiate the difficult transition between their past and their present. For decades, most Cubans . . .

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Michael Kernahan: A Life in Pan

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pp. 35-49

In a field of sawgrass behind a warehouse complex on the edge of Miami’s suburban Tamiami Airport, Michael Kernahan creates high-precision musical instruments, known as pans, from discarded oil and . . .

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Folklife of Miami’s Nicaraguan Communities

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pp. 50-66

The Nicaraguan community in Miami is comprised of three distinct culture groups: the Creole peoples of the southern Atlantic coast, the Miskito population of the Rio Coco and Puerto Cabezas area, and the . . .

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Exploring Peruvian Music in Miami

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pp. 67-83

The Am ericas, North and South, are coming together. Their point of encounter is Miami, crossroads of the Americas. Five decades ago, Cubans laid the cornerstone for a Latin American presence in Miami. Today, . . .

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The Seminole Family Camp

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pp. 84-89

There is no better examp e of a traditional Florida building type than the chickee, the traditional Seminole Indian building which has long been a part of Seminole life. Most Floridians recognize these structures . . .

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Sacred Steel

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pp. 90-95

Mention “steel guitar” and most people will think of the weeping sound of the instrument played in country music. Some might think of pedal steel guitars that are routinely found in white country gospel groups and . . .

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Musical Practice and Memory on the Edge of Two Worlds: Kalymnian Tsambóuna and Song Repertoire in the Family of Nikitas Tsimouris

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pp. 96-153

Nikitas Tsimouris (1924–2001) was one of a few Dodecanese bagpipers still practicing at the end of the last century. Experts—who are as rare as the pipers themselves—considered him a master of his instrument, the . . .

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Eternal Be Their Memory!

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pp. 154-160

Among the many documented customs modern Greeks continue to practice, as they have since classical times, are those related to observances for the dead.1 Yet in all the academic accounts written about Greeks . . .

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Richard Seaman’s Presence within Florida’s Soundscape

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pp. 161-177

In his home in Jacksonville’s Avondale neighborhood, Richard Seaman told me that his homeplace in Kissimmee had burned to the ground long ago. He told me how different the community is from what it was like . . .

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Legacy and Meaning in the Changing Sacred Harp Tradition of the Okefenokee Region

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pp. 178-206

On May 4, 1958, singing school teacher Silas Lee, from Hoboken, Brantley County, Georgia, took a small group of Sacred Harp singers to the stage of the Florida Folk Festival (FFF).1 The singers had traveled from their . . .

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Nativism and Cracker Revival at the Florida Folk Festival

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pp. 207-224

The Florida Folk Festival (FFF ) bills itself as the longest running state-supported folk festival in the United States. For the past fifty-nine years the festival has been the formally sanctioned institution for public display of . . .

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“The Rest Is Up to You and Me”: Sunday Morning Band and Ritual Identity in the Florida Panhandle

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pp. 225-236

This essay seeks to illustrate some of the material, verbal, and ritual planes of reality that pervade African American life into death. Past scholars predicted that ritual performances would experience some erasure . . .

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Maritime Folklife

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pp. 237-274

Florida’s teeming coastal waters and inland lakes and rivers have spawned two long-standing, vigorous, fishing traditions: one recreational and the other commercial. Both are important to the state, but despite its . . .

Selected Florida Folklife Bibliography

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pp. 275-281

Appendix I: Early Folklife Research in Florida

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pp. 282-286

Appendix II: Public Folklife Programs in Florida

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pp. 286-290


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pp. 291-295


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pp. 296-300

E-ISBN-13: 9781617031427
E-ISBN-10: 1617031429
Print-ISBN-13: 9781617031403
Print-ISBN-10: 1617031402

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2011