[Homestead] Ethnicity (was Tortillas)
billj at harborside.com
Sun Apr 8 22:52:33 EDT 2007
>Bill Jones wrote:
>>I like the idea of thinking of "Appalachian" as a "native" culture.
>> Even if the people of Appalachia are mostly of European ancestry
>>genetically, the _culture_ was "born" here, as surely as any other.
>I'm not so sure you can say "mostly". While that is what is portrayed
>in movies, I'm not sure that is true in real life. There is a LOT of
>Native American and African blood in Appalachian culture.
First of all, there's no "blood" in culture. Culture means the
collection of handed-down ways of doing things.
Second, there was a big IF in that sentence. A person's culture is
independent of his genetic origins. Substitute "Regardless of their
genetic origins, Appalachians' culture was 'born' here, as surely as any
Why would you take the mitigating clause that begins "Even if..." and
treat it as the main point?
It is not a culture transported intact from another continent, like the
culture of recent Irish immigrants in Boston. The Appalachian way of
talking did not exist on some other continent whence brought hither as
was (although no doubt there were countless influences from abroad and
>>I hate to say it, but I find the people here to be bone ignorant,
>>even about the things you might expect somebody to know about. The
>>only people I've met who know what fava beans are either work at the
>>feed store, or are from California, Germany, etc.
> Why is someone ignorant because they don't know what fava beans are?
> ........does that make us ignorant? There is a big difference, IMO,
> between an inherent bias (of which we are all guilty) and ignorance..
Of course I speak only of gardening; I'm sure they're much more informed
than I about countless other issues.
I realize that you might not appreciate the importance of winter
gardening to people gardening west of the Cascades. Fava beans are the
number one choice for soil improvement here, because I can plant them
any day in winter and it's like a miracle. Because of this it's one of
few legumes to set seed without irrigation in our dry summer, after
growing all the winter. They're well known at the same latitude in
coastal France, for the same reasons, and the English know them by many
names. But the main forms of agriculture practiced in the immediate
area are limited to grazing and hay cutting (nearly always grass that's
already there), and little planting of seed crops happens here at all.
Yet, if a person here in Sunset Zone #5 were seriously into survival
gardening, this would be the crop for him. There's just no better deal
Usually we prefer to eat _dry_ favas Egyptian-style, cooked, peeled and
mashed like hummus, with lemon, olive oil and lots of garlic. A bed of
_green_ favas, harvested much earlier, yields almost no caloric value as
a staple, by comparison. Cooked dry favas just taste exactly like the
>>But if you go to an average neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY or El Cajon,
>> CA, the typical person there is also ignorant, indolent, biased, and
>> bigotted, in addition to uncultured, unrefined, and unenlightened.
>I can't believe, Bill, that you said that. Those are strong, offensive,
Sorry, I've never found it to be otherwise. I regret that you cling to
the illusion that minds instructed only by television (the vast majority
of people you meet in suburbia, or virtually anywhere, I suppose, these
days) are just as clear as those that access other forms of information
abundantly. You're perfectly entitled to a different outlook.
S. Oregon coast
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