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The Folklore of the Pennsylvania Germans

The Folklore of the Pennsylvania Germans Cover

The Folklore of the Pennsylvania Germans

A Paper Read Before the Pennsylvania-German Society at the Annual Meeting, York, Pennsylvania, October 14th,

By John Baer Stoudt

Metalmark Books, Paperback, 9780271034591, 155pp.

Publication Date: February 3, 2009


Published in 1916 and based on a paper presented at the Pennsylvania German Society's annual meeting in 1910, The Folklore of the Pennsylvania Germans constitutes one of the first collections of Pennsylvania German stories, rhymes, and ballads (most in their native dialect). John Baer Stoudt's compilation includes numerous examples of Pennsylvania German folklore, gathered over fifteen years through numerous interviews with Pennsylvanians who had a similar collective memory of these oral and literary traditions.

This volume focuses particularly on childhood lore, with chapters devoted to prayers, lullabies, riddles, counting-out rhymes, nursery rhymes, ballads, and many other traditions. Each section contains an English introduction or explanation about its subject, with examples documented in Pennsylvania German. The chapter Riddles and Catches also includes an English translation of each example. Stoudt provides background on the history and evolution of particular traditions, such as New Year's Wunsching, and explains how historically adult traditions, such as Powwowing charms, made their way into childhood lore.

About the Author
Reverend John Baer Stoudt (1878 1944) spent much of his adult life as a popular pastor in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. He was also a historian and folklorist, and the author of several volumes on the history, culture, and religion of the Pennsylvania Germans."