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Visiting folklorist and photographer lectures on cemetery “decoration day” traditions

jabbour_decoration_t.jpgBOONE—Dr. Alan Jabbour and Karen Jabbour will visit Appalachian State University Monday, May 3, to share their knowledge of “decoration day” traditions at cemeteries in the mountain South. The lecture begins at 4 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Calloway Peak Room.  For more information, contact Dr. Katherine Ledford at the Center for Appalachian Studies at 262-4089.

A practice that combines religious services, family reunions and community meals, “decorations” are times for families to clean graves and decorate them with flowers, tell stories about those who have died and relate local history. Decorations occur throughout the summer months in the mountains.

This lecture emerges from the Jabbours’ newly published book “Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians” (UNC Press, 2010). Books will be available for sale and signings following the talk.

An ethnomusicologist and fiddle player, Alan Jabbour was head of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress 1969-74, director of the folk arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts 1974-76, and director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress 1976-99. Karen Jabbour is a photographer. Many of the images in the presentation and book are her work.

The lecture is sponsored by the Center for Appalachian Studies, a unit within Appalachian’s University College. University College consists of the university’s integrated general education curriculum, academic support services, residential learning communities, interdisciplinary degree programs and co-curricular programming—all designed to support the work of students both inside and outside of the classroom.