Ireland and Appalachia

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Ireland and Appalachia

Post by Dennis324 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:32 pm

Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. European migration into Appalachia began in the 18th century. As lands in eastern Pennsylvania and the tidewater areas of Virginia and the Carolinas filled up, immigrants began pushing further and further westward into the Appalachian Mountains. A relatively large proportion of the early backcountry immigrants were Ulster Scots— later known as "Scotch-Irish".

Scholarly estimate is that over 200,000 Scotch-Irish migrated to the Americas between 1717 and 1775. As a late arriving group, they found that land in the coastal areas of the British colonies was either already owned or too expensive, so they quickly left for the hill country where land could be had cheaply. Here they lived on the frontiers of America. Early frontier life was extremely challenging, but poverty and hardship were familiar to them.

Appalachia, and especially Kentucky, became internationally known for its violent feuds, especially in the remote mountain districts. They pitted the men in extended clans against each other for decades, often using assassination and arson as weapons, along with ambushes, gunfights, and pre-arranged shootouts. The infamous Hatfield-McCoy Feud of the 19th century was the most well-known of these family feuds. Some of the feuds were continuations of violent local Civil War episodes. Journalists often wrote about the violence, using stereotypes that "city folks" had developed about Appalachia; they interpreted the feuds as the natural products of profound ignorance, poverty, and isolation, and perhaps even inbreeding. In reality, the leading participants were typically well-to-do local elites with networks of clients who were fighting for local political power.

Just saw the following video of a park in N. Ireland. Apparently County Antrim where my ancestors came from. Wish I knew exactly where in Antrim they came from but it makes me wonder if they were familiar with these sites. Love this music btw. Smile



The video above puts me in mind of our own Great Smoky Mtn National Park in Tennessee and N. Carolina. We dont have the castles here, but the landscape seems similar to me.



Note the similarities in music. Smile Is it any wonder that when the Irish came to America, so many of them migrated here to the Great Smoky? I've been there many many times and consider it heaven on earth. Its my favorite vacation spot and only 5 hours drive away for me.

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Dennis324

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Re: Ireland and Appalachia

Post by Dennis324 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:50 pm

Take a look at the following short videos.

Irish Dancing:


American Clog Dancing:


Note the similarities in both the music and the styles. The american clogging video used a banjo and the Irish one used a fiddle or hurdy gurdy or viola, I cant quite make it out. But the patterns and beat and structure of the music is veeeeery similar. So is the dance, though it appears that the Irish Step dancers leap about more often than the American Appalachian Cloggers.

No doubt in my mind that a lot of the Appalachian culture descended from the Irish immigrants who came to the region around the time of the American Revolutionary War. Just thought it was interesting.

Smile

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Re: Ireland and Appalachia

Post by Miles1 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:53 am

Dennis324 wrote:
Note the similarities in music. Smile

To be honest, the 2nd one sounds more like "irish" music to me than the first one - they don't use guitars much in traditional irish music.

As for the irish dancing video, am not sure where that announcer dude got his accent from, but it definitely wasn't Ireland. Then again, they're kiwis so I suppose they're not too familiar with it.... :-P With all the irish dancing competitions that go on in america, how did you manage to pick an irish dancing clip from New Zealand TV?

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Re: Ireland and Appalachia

Post by Dennis324 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:57 am

Lol! It was (sadly) the best tv quality I could find that had music similar to the moutain style of Appalachia.

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