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Old 05-05-2015, 11:43 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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I think that there was a time where the Appalachian culture was probably more similar to the rest of the South but as time marched on I think that many parts of Appalachia were left behind.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Montana
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My family has lived in the depths of that area (SW Virginia, almost in WV, almost in TN/KY) for 13 generations. I would say it is a part of the South, but very distinct as well. I think the person who likened it to the Cajun culture in Louisiana made the most apt comparison.

If you asked any of the people in our valley if they were Southern, they would unquestionably say yes, which I think says something. How people self-identify is important I think. Additionally, where they migrate to or head when they leave is also important (if they married people or went to school outside of the valley, it was usually to the Carolinas - heading south).

In terms of dialect, the speech is very distinct. Words used and the sounds are similar to those of Appalachian people in the deep hills of NC and eastern KY, but completely distinct from those in other parts of those states (Raleigh, Louisville, Chattanooga, Roanoke). When someone from the 'lowlands' comes to our valley, even if their families came to one of the original southern colonies in the 1800s, they will have absolutely no idea what half the people are saying to them. It is like an entirely different language. The society, as others have mentioned, is insular. The traditions are different, and even the music and its roots are distinct, as New Orleans jazz would be considered.

Physically, it is an interesting case, as the mountains have allowed it to remain so isolated. In terms of money, Bluefield, VA/WV at one time made so much money from the mining industry that they ended up with the first traffic jams in the USA due to the amount of automobiles their citizens were able to purchase. However, with the ebb and flow of economic times they back-slid into poverty again.

So, I would say part of the South, but a microcosm of culture.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryant View Post
Eastern Tennessee, Western NC and SW Va are what I consider the "upland Appalachian south." I've been to Chattanooga and Knoxville, and both are solid southern towns. However, Eastern Kentucky is more similar to West Virginia. I see very little similarities between eastern Ky and East Tn. The poverty and drug use here is terrible. Political corruption is terrible. To put in bluntly, Kentucky's stereotypical perception is because of the the trash heap that is eky.

Central and western Kentucky are "upper southern" areas. Far northern Kentucky,near Cincinnati, are more midwest influenced.

I live in East Tennessee and IMO Knoxville and Chattanooga are not radically different from the rest of the south. These cities are Appalachian but because they are in the Tennessee valley they don't have as strong of an Appalachian culture as the mountain communities to the east, and to the west up on the Plateau. I agree with the many posters here that Appalachian culture is a subset of Southern culture anyway, at least southern Appalachia is. I cant think of anyone here in East Tennessee that would deny this place is part of the South. We also would not deny it is part of Appalachia and most people here are proud of both. Appalachia north of Virginia and Kentucky is a whole different ball game. They don't even pronounce the word Appalachian the same let alone have similar cultural traits. Chattanooga and Pittsburg could not be more different places. Northern Appalachia is simply part of the North, northern speech, northern values and northern ways. Nothing wrong with that but just saying it is different up there. Id love to go up there and see Mount Washington. I hear that is the most impressive part of the Northern Appalachians, or Appalaychens as they like to say it there.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:24 PM
 
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I'd say it is a distinct culture, but has some variations that depend on the location within the region.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Ohio, USA
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It's part of the South. New England and New Jersey have alot of differences but they're both still part of the Northeast.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CurlyFries View Post
It's part of the South. New England and New Jersey have alot of differences but they're both still part of the Northeast.
You know Appalachia covers both the South and the North right?
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Ohio, USA
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Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
You know Appalachia covers both the South and the North right?
You didn't read the first part of the topic's original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewberry22 View Post
**Disclaimer: I'm specifically referring to Southern WV, Southwestern VA, Eastern KY, Western NC, Upstate SC, and North GA as these are the areas that emphasize the "thickest" Appalachian culture**

Appalachian culture and Southern culture share a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. The mountains of Appalachia are naturally rugged and difficult to cross...which has served as a natural isogloss and cultural boundary for many years. The cuisine, music, dialect, and general way of life was blocked off from it's flatland neighbors for hundreds of years until roads became more accessible. Appalachian cuisine is distinct, Appalchian "story-telling" isn't common elsewhere, Some old-timers use an Appalchian dialect that is almost incomprhensible to "out of towners," bluegrass style music is native to the area and differs from the music that is prevalent beyond the confines of the hills, and moonshine culture is quite distinct as well. Further...the means of providing for one's family is different in that farming isn't quite as common because the lack of useable land therefore mineral extraction/moonshine running became the bread and butter of Appalachia in their respective times.

These differences also stretch a bit further back to our ancestors. Most people from Appalachia have a mixture of Scots-Irish ancestry and some have a blend of native American indian as well with very few of African ancestry like the rest of the lowland South. Personally...I am almost entirely Scots-Irish (like most of my Southwest VA neighbors) with exception to my great-grandmother who was 100% cherokee from Western NC. This can be contrasted from most people from the lowland south who have a mixture of general "american", african, french, and english ancestry.

So...this brings me to my question. Is Appalachian culture a unique American culture all to it's own that has developed in close proximity to Southern culture or a sub-set of greater Southern culture that has evolved within it's boundaries and influenced it?
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Old 01-14-2016, 02:35 PM
 
29,889 posts, read 27,333,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CurlyFries View Post
You didn't read the first part of the topic's original post.
I did when I first posted in this thread but that was a while back. For the sake of clarity, the OP probably should have indicated that he/she was specifically talking about Appalachian culture in the South in the title.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:29 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CurlyFries View Post
It's part of the South. New England and New Jersey have alot of differences but they're both still part of the Northeast.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
You know Appalachia covers both the South and the North right?
However, historically Appalachia was considered to Southern and was especially around the West Virginia - Virginia - Kentucky - North Carolina - Tennessee border areas. Appalachia was the mountain areas of the South, populated mostly by whites compared to other parts of the South which is more a mixed black and white population.

You can still see the heart of Appalachia even today - County Economic Status in Appalachia, FY 2016 - Appalachian Regional Commission

New York and New Jersey were almost never considered part of Appalachia, while Pennsylvania occasionally was. However there was Federal money to be had so New York and even Mississippi (which lacks Appalachian mountains) eventually joined the Appalachian commission.
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Ohio, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
However, historically Appalachia was considered to Southern and was especially around the West Virginia - Virginia - Kentucky - North Carolina - Tennessee border areas. Appalachia was the mountain areas of the South, populated mostly by whites compared to other parts of the South which is more a mixed black and white population.

You can still see the heart of Appalachia even today - County Economic Status in Appalachia, FY 2016 - Appalachian Regional Commission

New York and New Jersey were almost never considered part of Appalachia, while Pennsylvania occasionally was. However there was Federal money to be had so New York and even Mississippi (which lacks Appalachian mountains) eventually joined the Appalachian commission.
Mississippi does have some mountains.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodall_Mountain
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