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Regional America

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Archival materials
The Regional America program at the 1974 Festival continued the tradition of featuring the folklife of one State - in this case, Mississippi. In the six months leading up to the Festival, Smithsonian field researchers travelled 15,000 miles through 82 counties in the State. Their mission was to locate and identify traditional music, dance, craft skills, culinary arts and story-telling. They sought individuals whose skills were transmitted by families and friends in their home communities, people who were not formally trained, but who assimilated the culture of their families and neighbors since infancy. In addition to a Fiddlers' Convention and a diversity of musical performances from African American and white Mississippians, including a group of Lebanese descent, activities were organized around three themes: cotton, cattle and timber. Some 65 musicians and more than 50 craftspeople took part in the Mississippi program between July 3 and July 7, 1974.

A quarter-acre of cotton, under cultivation since mid-April 1974 by the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, grew on the Festival grounds. Visitors were invited to the related exhibits of classing, grading, ginning, carding, and spinning from plant to finished product. Several breeds of cattle were stabled on the Mall, representing an industry of increasing cultural significance. A calf-cutting demonstration with quarter horses, cattle shows and related crafts was part of the presentation. The timber exhibit demonstrated precision felling of trees, team-work on a hand-powered cross-cut saw, and workshops on timberlore and tall tales.

The Regional America program was coordinated by Peggy Martin. Mississippi's participation was coordinated by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History under the direction of Elbert R. Hilliard and Byrle A. Kynerd. The Mississippi Agriculture and Industrial Board, Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, the State Department of Agriculture and Commerce, and the Mississippi Arts Commission assisted in the presentation, which was endorsed by the Mississippi American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission. Regional America continued to be a major program through the Bicentennial Festival in 1976.
Richard Hulan, Worth Long, Tom Harvey, Howard Marshall, Charlotte Gutierrez, Annelen Archbold, Mack McCormick, and Andy Wallace; photographer Roland Freeman.

John W. Arnold, singer, Grenada, Mississippi

Brenda Ashker, dancer, Mississippi

Joseph Ashker, 1914-1994, dancer, Clinton, Mississippi

Josephine Ashker, 1921-1997, dancer, Mississippi

Joseph Ashker, Jr., dancer, Mississippi

Tommy Ashker, dancer, Mississippi

Marion "Chunk" Bentley, 1910-, caller, Rose Hill, Mississippi

Derrick Bunch, 1957-, cane flute player, Yazoo City, Mississippi

Canton Spirituals -- Canton SpiritualsEddie Lee Jackson, gospel singer, Jackson, MississippiRoscoe Lucious, gospel singer, Jackson, MississippiTinsley Murphy, gospel singer, Jackson, MississippiClaude C. Nichols, gospel singer, Canton, MississippiMorris Taylor, gospel singer, MississippiTheodore Thompson, gospel singer, Canton, MississippiHarvey Watkins, gospel singer, Canton, MississippiCharles Yarn, gospel singer, Jackson, Mississippi

Sam Chatmon, 1899-1983, blues guitarist, Hollandale, Mississippi

Joe Cooper, drummer, blues band, Leland, Mississippi

Albert G. Dahduh, 1943-, musician, Jackson, Mississippi

George Dahduh, 1905-1994, musician, Mississippi

Dorris Dickerson, fiddler, Union, Mississippi

Duck Hill Billies -- Duck Hill BilliesS.C. Herbert, string band, Grenada, MississippiBilly J. Marter, string band, Grenada, MississippiR.E. Rainey, string band, Duck Hill, MississippiGeorge Timbs, string band, Duck Hill, MississippiClayton Tyler, 1909-1986, string band, Winona, Mississippi

Billy Hansford, fiddler, Union, Mississippi

Donald M. Hickman, musician, Meridian, Mississippi

Johnnie E. Hickman, musician, Toomsuba, Mississippi

Verna Hollingsworth, fiddler, Union, Mississippi

Hubert Hunkapiller, 1919-1987, fiddler, Booneville, Mississippi

Claude Kennedy, Sixtown band, Mendenhall, Mississippi

Eddie Knight, 1909-1992, flute player, Yazoo City, Mississippi

Leake County String Band -- Leake County String BandRoy C. Alford, 1919-2006, string band, Jackson, MississippiSam Alford, 1914-, string band, Carthage, MississippiBarney Ellis, 1905-1997, string band, Carthage, MississippiMorgan Gilmer, 1908-1978, string band, Walnut Grove, MississippiHoward B. Smith, string band, Mississippi

George McLeod, M. C., Fiddlers' Convention, Leakesville, Mississippi

Alvis Massengale, 1897-1993, fiddler, Mississippi

Jesse Mays, spiritual singer, Independence, Mississippi

Bill Mitchell, fiddler, Tupelo, Mississippi

Sylvester Moran, 1893-1987, fiddler, Lyman, Mississippi

Old Time Pickin' Partners -- Old Time Pickin' PartnersGene Bush, bluegrass musician, Goodlettsville, TennesseeRufus Comans, bluegrass musician, Hickory, MississippiRaymond Huffmaster, bluegrass musician, Lauderdale, MississippiAndy Jones, bluegrass musician, Meridian, MississippiAlvin Linton, bluegrass musician, Meridian, MississippiBernie Linton, bluegrass musician, Meridian, Mississippi

Pep Steppers -- Pep SteppersJames Alford, 1893-1971, string band musician, MississippiHoyt Ming, 1902-1985, string band musician, Ackerman, MississippiMrs. Hoyt Ming, string band musician, MississippiHoyt Ming, Jr., string band musician, Fayette, Alabama

Lonnie Lee Pitchford, 1955-1998, guitarist, Lexington, Mississippi

Mike Ross, fiddler, Union, Mississippi

Spiritual Ensemble -- Spiritual EnsembleDaniel Littleton, gospel singer, Jackson, MississippiMyrtle Middleton, gospel singer, Jackson, MississippiAndrew Oliver, gospel singer, Jackson, MississippiBonita Rainey, gospel singer, MississippiChristine Rainey, gospel singer, Jackson, MississippiLeonard Rainey, gospel singer, Mississippi

Houston Stackhouse, 1910-1980, guitarist, Crystal Springs, Mississippi

Everett Joe Townsend, 1920-1975, spiritual singer, Independence, Mississippi

Robert Wall, fiddler, Sebastopol, Mississippi


Willie L. Barton, 1905-, wood carver, Union, Mississippi

Robert Wayne Billie, 1950-, beader, Philadelphia, Mississippi

Michael Black, cattle spokesman, Greenwood, Mississippi

Thomas L. Burchfield, 1892-, blacksmith, Ethel, Mississippi

Wendell Callaway, sawyer, Union, Mississippi

Alena Cerinich, cook, Biloxi, Mississippi

Howard Connor, potter, Grand Junction, Tennessee

Bura Conway, 1904-1999, ox-team logger, Richton, Mississippi

James B. Cook, timber spokesman, Philadelphia, Mississippi

Cool Breeze, 1929-, wood carver, Cleveland, Mississippi

Susan Denson, basket maker, Mississippi

John Matting Ellis, broom maker, Durant, Mississippi

A. B. Eubanks, 1908-1989, ox driver, whip maker, Lucedale, Mississippi

Mark Freeman, cattleman, Mississippi

Esbie Gibson, 1910-2007, basket maker, Mississippi

Jacobina Sekul Gilich, 1913-2003, cook, Biloxi, Mississippi

James Glover, knife maker, Baldwyn, Mississippi

Gotford Hennig, 1915-, maritime blacksmith, Biloxi, Mississippi

John Hewes, cattle spokesman, Woodville, Mississippi

Eddie Hill, sawyer, Mississippi

Edwina Hobson, cotton spinner, Guntown, Mississippi

William Knight, assistant auctioneer, Collins, Mississippi

V. Joseph Langlinais, 1917-1983, net maker, Biloxi, Mississippi

Joseph Langlinais, Jr., 1937-, net maker, Biloxi, Mississippi

W. G. Lovern, chair maker, Thomastown, Mississippi

James Lucas, whittler, Weir, Mississippi

Duly Martin, 1898-1975, ox driver, Prentiss, Mississippi

Willie H. "Hamp" Martin, 1895-1976, chair maker, Lexington, Mississippi

Herman R. Massey, cattle spokesman, Jackson, Mississippi

Ethel Mohamed, 1907-1992, needle worker, Belzoni, Mississippi

Eugena Mohlhenrich, cotton spinner, Tupelo, Mississippi

Fred Moore, cattle spokesman, Morton, Mississippi

L. Willie Nabors, 1916-1997, basket maker, Oklona, Mississippi

Bert Parnell, 1910-1996, ox yoke maker, Brookhaven, Mississippi

Lollis Pierce, 1908-1990, chair maker, Leakesville, Mississippi

J. D. Rankin, cattle spokesman, Canton, Mississippi

Andrew Robertson, cotton grader, Mississippi

Liston Shows, auctioneer, Soso, Mississippi

Laymon Shumake, 1923-1989, blowgun maker, Conehatta, Mississippi

Mrs. Alan Skelton, quilter, Vicksburg, Mississippi

B. F. Smith, gin operator, Stoneville, Mississippi

Jack Smith, cattle spokesman, Mississippi

George Spears, cotton farmer, Mound Bayou, Mississippi

James Therrell, timber spokesman, Mississippi State, Mississippi

James Thomas, clay sculptor, Mississippi

T. H. Thomas, timber spokesman, Noxapater, Mississippi

Bowmar Virden, 1923-1992, cattle spokesman, Jackson, Mississippi

Richard Wesley, gin operator, Stoneville, Mississippi

Dezzie White, 1924-, corn shuck weaver, Pott's Camp, Mississippi

John White, 1910-, oak basket maker, Camden, Mississippi

Joe H. Wilson, leather worker, Bellefontaine, Mississippi

Mrs. Joe H. Wilson, leather worker, Bellefontaine, Mississippi

Frankie Lee Wright, 1948-2005, oak basket maker, Philadelphia, Mississippi
Collection Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or for additional information.
Collection Rights:
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1974 Festival of American Folklife, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
CFCH.SFF.1974, Series 8
See more items in:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1974 Festival of American Folklife
Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

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