Mountain Legacies: Exploring Appalachian Culture

    Transylvania in 2022 will be filled with historic and fun but thought-provoking events and exhibits.  To kick off the series, an exhibit featuring interpretive panels, maps, and artifacts will be displayed at the Transylvania Heritage Museum, starting April 2.  An Appalachian Folk Festival will be held at the Allison Deaver House on May 14th with artisans, storytellers, and mountain music. Presenters and demonstrators will share the knowledge and skills passed down from previous generations. Later, a video series "Women in Appalachia" will delve into the roles of women in the Appalachian culture and offer opportunities for discussion. Presenters and special speakers on related topics will be held throughout the year. The aim of the series is for participants to better understand the Appalachian people and have a greater appreciation of their culture.
    The Transylvania Heritage Museum exhibit, Mountain Legacies: Exploring Appalachian Culture, opens Saturday, April 2 and runs through mid-October, Thursdays-Saturdays, noon to 4 pm. The exhibit shows how early settlers made their way into the Appalachian Mountains, made the mountains their home, struggled and yet thrived to become the community of today.
    The story of who settled the Appalachians begins with the Cherokee, Longhunters,and Kings Mountain Men. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, families with roots in Scotland, Ireland, Germany and France arrived in Appalachia with few personal possessions. Using the skills and traditions passed down from ancestors, along with diverse natural resources, they created a new lifestyle.
    Early settlers were the original DIYers, coming up the mountains in small wagons and having to make their own way, using few tools, many talents, and tenacity. Displays on exhibit include information on Wildcrafting for food and medicine as well as materials for dying materials, quilts, a moonshine still, logging camp life, and mountain music.
    Transitioning into the 20th century, sewing machines, cook stoves, and wringer washers for women, and steel tools, sawmills, and store-bought boots for the men, began to make life easier. However, the slower pace and difficulty of transportation led to inaccurate stereotypes being spread about the area.
    The events planned in 2022 will spread awareness of the true uniqueness of this community by exploring the arts and crafts, traditions and customs, food, music and other aspects of the Appalachian people. Through these shared experiences, it is hoped to open dialogue, expose existing inaccuracies in media portrayals, debunk stereotypes and provide a greater appreciation for Appalachian culture.
    The 2022 program series is presented jointly by the Transylvania County Heritage Museum, Transylvania Historical Society, College Walk Senior Living, Handcrafters Guild, and the Transylvania County Library. Both the programs and the exhibit is supported by North Carolina Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities,

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