The African Art Of Face Jugs, Inside Appalachia

The African Art Of Face Jugs, Inside Appalachia
Fecha de publicación: 
22 May 2023
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This week, a North Carolina potter is reviving an art form brought to America by enslaved Africans.

We return to the town of Hindman, Kentucky, which endured catastrophic flooding last July, and get an update on the town’s recovery.

We also talk with West Virginia poet Doug Van Gundy about disasters, and their relationship to art.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.


The Twisted Path That Brought African Face Jugs to Appalachia

You’ve probably seen pottery with a face on it – maybe a decorative teapot or an odd-looking milk bottle with a toothy grin. 

Examples of this type of art turn up everywhere, but some of them are connected to African Face Jugs, an art enslaved people brought with them to America.

Folkways Reporter Zack Harold traced the story of Face Jugs, which began in a basement pottery studio in West Virginia.

Flying On The Wings Of The Cicada

Many of us who live in the eastern half of the U.S. can instantly identify the distinctive droning of the cicada. We don’t get them every year. Cicadas have a very long life cycle with different broods emerge from underground every 13 to 17 years. 

In the spring of 2016, a massive brood of cicadas emerged in northern West Virginia. Their appearance inspired a West Virginia University professor to take a closer look at their wings.

This led to a discovery that may be helpful to humans.

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