Rich folklife of America's southernmost tip shaped by ethnic diversity and nomadic tourist populationsFrom the Inside Flap
This book provides a strong overview of the folk culture of a range of communities in South Florida. The chapters on occupational folklife and tourism are especially strong. The writers provide a very readable and informative study of the types of traditional activities associated with the many different ethnic and occupational groups in the region. There is excellent background history on the Seminoles, Miccosukees, and Cuban communities as well as fine descriptions of the folk arts, musical traditions, and festivals associated with each of the various cultures. The bibliography is excellent, and it's a useful starting point for further developing the insights of the writers. This volume is a great contribution to the Folklife of the South series, and it will serve the historical record well. By an Amazon.com customer on February 14, 2001
By Tina Bucuvalas, Peggy A. Bulger, & Stetson Kennedy
South Florida summons tropical vacation land images--gleaming beaches, exotic foods, colorful costumes, and grand hotels. Yet beyond this facade teems a rich folklife that is the subject of this alluring book. The three collaborating authors present south Florida folklife from the 1930s to the present in four parts: the Everglades and Gulf Coast, the Miami megalopolis, the Keys, and the seasonal residents and tourists. Together, these create a mosaic of contrasts. South Florida embraces extravagant wealth and heartbreaking poverty, constant evolution and solid tradition, tropical peace and devastating storms, settled generations and the newest Americans.
It is a folk region identified not by physical or political boundaries, but by its hot, sultry climate and the many people who interact with the land and with one another. South Florida Folklife explores the area for the first time from a folklorist's perspective and firmly establishes it as a microcosm of the United States, an enticing example of the human diversity that characterizes life in this country. Stetson's contributions deal with the chapters on Key West and the Florida Keys.
Tina Bucuvalas, Tarpon Springs, Florida, is curator of art and historical resources with the City of Tarpon Springs. She is president of the Florida Folklore Society and served as state folklorist and director of the Florida Folklife Program of the Florida Department of State.
Peggy Bulger, A native of New York State, received her MA in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University in 1975; and her PhD in Folklife and Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. After establishing Florida's folklife program, including apprenticeship programs, educational videos and publications, workshops, exhibits, and creating the Florida Folklife Collection, Bulger left in 1989 to work as the Folk Arts Director and Senior Program Officer for the Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta. In 1999, she was chosen as the director of Library of Congress' American Folklife Center
Stetson Kennedy was head of the Florida Writers' Project unit on folklore, oral history, and socio-ethnic studies for the Works Progress Administration between 1937 and 1942. He traveled the cities, towns, and rural backwoods of Florida collecting oral histories, songs, and stories from a diverse cross-section of people. His work resulted in one of the first volumes in the American Folkways Series edited by Erskine Caldwell, and remains a unique and important documentation of the social history of Florida.