At the turn of the twentieth century, southeastern Kentucky remained a sparsely settled region where traditional values abounded. Throughout society, funeral rites and changes in them evince values of family, community, and religion. Visitors to the area, whether settlement-school teachers, preachers, or researchers, vividly described deathbeds, burials, and funeral occasions which illuminate local values.

Reflecting the writers' urban prejudices, these Journals and publications along with contemporary newspaper accounts provide insight into southeastern Kentucky mourning customs during the years 1880 to 1915. Although the turn of the twentieth century brought change in the way urban dwellers dealt with mourning, their mountain neighbors held strictly to traditional means of expressing grief which helped transmit these traditions to future generations.


Cultural History | Folklore | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social History