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Preface With the growing focus upon American experience in creating New World cultures, this volume on the folklife approach to our traditional cultural patterns will, we trust, take its place in the academic world beside its many European counterparts. It is our hope that it will stimulate research that will help us all to understand the American experience and, in doing so, to understand ourselves. The volume presents a variety ofofferings. Ward Goodenough's essay is an introduction to the broadest possible setting for folklife studies— the anthropological and ethnological sciences—and lays stress on the place of folklife data in the very contemporary American search for personal and group identity. James Marston Fitch's article, growing out of his work in historic preservation at Columbia University, sets folk or vernacular architecture against a world-wide research setting, while Warren E. Roberts gives us a detailed approach to the architectural history and setting of one folk-culturally significant building from rural Indiana. Fred Kniffen, leader of the folklife wing in American cultural geography, during his long teaching career at Louisiana State University fathered some thirty doctoral dissertations, most of them in the area of American folk-cultural patterns as studiable in geography. We are happy to include in this volume Dr. Kniffen's essay on the relation of cultural geography to folklife studies, as well as the KnipmeyerGlassie article on regional boat patterns of French Louisiana (originally part of a Kniffen dissertation). The article by Leslie P. Greenhill, director of the American Archive of theEncyclopaedia Cinematographica, reports on the world-wide ethnological filming mission of the encyclopaedia's sponsor, the Institute for Scientific Film at Göttingen, West Germany, and its possibilities for recording American traditional activities on film. Two excellent examples of historical ethnography at its scholarly best are the papers by David J. Winslow on turnpikes and turnpike lore in New York state and Walter Lee Robbins on the custom of shooting in the New Year among the Germans ofthe southern states. They combine data from the widest possible network of historical source materials with interviews of current informants. The paper by Gerald L. Davis on coil basketry in the Sea Islands is likewise a model ofthe interview approach to a living craft and points to new dimensions in black studies, emphasizing material aspects of black culture. The paper by James L. Evans points up what one can learn of the historical origins of ethnic tensions, in this case those between Hispanos and Anglos in the lower Rio Grande Valley in the nineteenth century. The method is historical but the focus is on contemporary ethnic problems. Finally, the closing paper of the volume, that by Jacob D. Elder on Yoruba ritual in Trinidad, directs us to a wider vii horizon for American folklife research, which will necessarily include the study of Caribbean traditional cultures. Finally, a word of gratitude is expressed to all those who have aided me in the production of this volume—the contributors, who represent among them not only colleagues in research but also, in some cases, former students; the American Folklore Society, whose committee on material culture contributed some of the drive for the project; the Folklore and Folklife Department of the University of Pennsylvania, which encouraged the project from its inception in 1968; the University of Texas Press; and, finally, Scott Hambly, my editorial assistant at the University of Pennsylvania, whose able aid has facilitated the progress ofthe volume at the copy-reading and galley stages during the past year and a half. Don Yoder viii Preface American Folklife THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK ...


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