Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Lynwood Montell, Albert Petersen, Kenneth Clarke


This degree program was once known as Intercultural & Folk Studies.

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The culture of tobacco has been associated with the history of Kentucky almost from the beginning and remains to this day a vital force in the state’s economy. In this age of scientific and technological advances – of increasing automation – we find that in tobacco farming, hand labor still figures prominently in the production of a major staple crop. This has resulted in the retention of traditional method, technology and terminology, long since lost in the culture of other crops which lent themselves more easily to mechanization.

The study is divided into three parts. Chapter I deals briefly with the validity of a folkloristic study of tobacco farming, the origin and cultural diffusion of tobacco, the history of tobacco in Kentucky, and the focus of the present study. Chapter II describes the traditional methods used in raising Burley tobacco during the general period between the Civil War and the Second World War, noting later innovations where appropriate. Chapter III examines as a case study the growing of a Burley crop on a specific farm in order to make a firsthand evaluation of the relative strength and persistence of tradition in a present-day farming situation.


Agriculture | Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Anthropology | Arts and Humanities | Cultural History | Folklore | History | Life Sciences | Plant Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social History | United States History