Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

J.W. Miller, Kenneth Clarke, Mary Clarke

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


A body of moon beliefs from Kentucky was compared with a body of moon beliefs from Germany to discover similarities and dissimilarities between the two and to ascertain how well a body of beliefs (specifically moon beliefs) can be transferred from the Old World to the New World. The presence of a German culture in Kentucky was established and parallels were drawn between the structure, function, and esthetic aspects of both groups of beliefs. The Kentucky moon beliefs that migrated from 'Germany showed a surprising persistence, considering the move to America, change of language, and exposure to unfamiliar cultures. Some reasons these beliefs persist in Kentucky were found to be the common Germanic background Germany shares with other Northern European countries, the geographic and social isolation of German settlers in Pennsylvania who migrated to the Appalachians, and the purposeful maintenance of an ethnic identity by many immigrating Germans.


Anthropology | Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Folklore | Social and Behavioral Sciences