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Flatlanders and Ridgerunners: Folktales from…
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Flatlanders and Ridgerunners: Folktales from the Mountains of Northern…

by James York Glimm

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Oral folklore provides important insights into Pennsylvania mountain culture because it opens a window for us on the inner personality of mountain people. Oral folklore is vital to people in this kind of culture: it entertains them, it informs them, and it serves them as a glue that keeps the society together. These tales are more than a defensive reaction to outside pressure; they are an attempt to maintain cultural balance within the community by taking something threatening and turning it into something harmless and silly.
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