"Folklife of Wiregrass Georgia" focuses on continuity and change in the traditional culture of South Georgia. Traditional culture is also called folklife, or traditions learned and passed on informally which have shaped the region's distinctive sense of place and identity. Early European settlers called this area "Wiregrass Country" after the lush native grass that grew beneath stands of longleaf pine. The exhibit explores three themes: traditions associated with farms and farming, religion and sacred life, and community art and life. Some of these traditions are no longer practiced; others are part of daily life in Wiregrass Georgia.

Overview

From 1996-2005, the South Georgia Folklife Project (SGFP) was a collaborative effort of the Valdosta State University (VSU) College of the Arts and the Georgia Folklife Program to provide support, documentation, and interpretation of traditional arts within a 41-county service area which stretches from the Alabama border to the Atlantic, and the Florida state line to Cordele. This series includes fieldwork material and correspondence that is not associated with any other series, such as initial South Georgia Folklife Survey (1996) and the 1997-98 Exploring Community Heritage grant (Georgia Humanities Council), as well as administrative files from the varioius NEA Folk and Traditional Arts infrastructure Initiative grants. This series also includes administrative and fieldwork material associated with the following concerts and public programs: Tunes and Traditions (2000), African American Studies Series Lectures and the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Ballads and Breakdowns (2003), Hymns and Hoedowns, (2005) Visions and Voices: the Artistry of Wiregrass Women (2006), and the Wiregrass Folkways Celebration (2006).


Valdosta State University Archives - View my 'South Georgia Folklife Project Photograph Collection' set on Flickriver

Radio Programs

Wiregrass Ways

Wiregrass Ways is a 13-part series produced by WWET 91.7 FM in Valdosta and aired on Georgia Public Radio in 1998. This project was supported in part by an award from the Georgia Council for the Arts through the Appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sounds of South Georgia

Sounds of South Georgia is a 12-part series produced by Laurie Kay Sommers and aired on Georgia Public Radio in 2005 and 2006. It focuses on the traditions of diverse cultural groups living in South Georgia. This project was supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Pinetrees and Wiregrass Forest.
A man stands in a field of high tobacco.
Ben and Harry Chesser driving hogs home across a field.
A man collects sap from a pine tree.
A man places chemicals on a Pine tree.
A thicket of pines with catfaces.
A cabin-style home.
A little girl stands on the back of a gopher turtle.
A flyer for the Wiregrass Quartet.
Workers pick watermelons in a field.
A painting of cotton fields and a horse and buggy.
Three men examine peanuts in a field.
A young man pours boiled peanuts in a bag.
A congregation in an old-timey church.
Two workers process tobacco in a large machine.
People examine piles of tobacco
Two workers process tobacco in a large machine.
Workers box peaches.
Worker fill a large caldroun with unprocess cane syrup.
A table laid out with jars of honey and a sign that reads: Honor System, take check.
Country cured ham at Jones Country Meats.
People examine cured hams.
High Bluff Primitive Baptist Church
Jewish family at a Bar Mitzvah.
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Members of the Royal Family Singing Convention in Mystic take a break from the singing to fill their plates with home cooked food and enjoy another year's dinner on the grounds.
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