Originating from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, this fascinating online exhibit examines the folkways and culture of the people in southern West Virginia. As the project sought to examine the relationship between the people and their rugged physical surroundings, it is appropriate that the exhibit offers a host of materials that orient the visitor to this part of the country, including several well designed maps. The site itself contains 679 audio recordings and 1256 photographs, all of which can be searched by subject, geographic location, and title. The audio clips feature natives of the region talking about everyday experiences such as hunting, gardening, coal mining, and timbering. Additionally, there are several special collections organized around certain themes, including "Seasonal Round of Activities on Coal River" and "Seining for Hellgrammites on Coal River." All in all, Tending the Commons is another detailed and thorough presentation of material from the vast collection of the American Folklife Center that will be of interest to the casual visitor, or those seeking to learn more about the folkways of this area.
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