Knowledge of folk custom and folk belief can help to explain ways of thought and behavior in modern America. American Folklife, a unique collection of essays dedicated to the presentation of American tradition, broadens our understanding of the regional differences and ethnic folkways that color American life.
Folklife research examines the entire context of everyday life in past and present. It includes every aspect of traditional life, from regional architecture through the full range of material culture into spiritual culture, folk religion, witchcraft, and other forms of folk belief. This collection is especially useful in its application to American society, where countless influences from European, American Indian, and African cultural backgrounds merge. American Folklife relates folklife research to history, anthropology, cultural geography, architectural history, ethnographic film, folk technology, folk belief, and ethnic tensions in American society. It documents the folk-cultural background that is the root of our society.
Contributors to the book include Gerald L. Davis, Jacob D. Elder, James L. Evans, James Marston Fitch, Henry Glassie, Leslie P. Greenhill, Ward H. Goodenough, Fred B. Kniffen, William B. Knipmeyer, Warren E. Roberts, Walter L. Robbins, David J. Winslow, and Don Yoder. Professor Yoder, who edited the volume, is Professor Emeritus of Folklore and Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.