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Appalachian Heritage on Display at Heritage Day

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Fall Student Heritage Day offered several opportunities to sample the culture at the Museum of Appalachia this October.  Two resident mules took turns doing the heavy work of squeezing juice out of sorghum cane.  Then, Mark Guenther and his crew from Muddy Pond Sorghum (Monterey, Tennessee) showed how the cooking process turns the juice into thick, sweet sorghum syrup.

Visitors were invited to step inside a log cabin church to join in a shape note sing-along.

Shape notes corresponding with the eight notes on the musical scale were used in the 1800s and early 1900s.  Inside the log church were hymnals reminiscent of earlier times.  On this heritage day, music teacher and vocalist with the Do-Re-Mi Singers, Brenda Bolden, led students in a mini-music lesson.

Charlie Akin brought samples of his pottery work from his home in Franklin, Tennessee.  Akin says he often creates styles such as blue slip and sgraffito pottery.  Like all of the artists featured at the Museum, his work must reflect something of Appalachian heritage.

Akin turned clay outdoors on the manually powered potting wheel, so students could see how this work would have been done decades ago.  You can reach Akin at cwlakin@aol.com.

Hands were hard at work at another display, where strips of white oak were skillfully turned into all sizes of baskets.  Some would hold a few crisp fall apples, while others could handle the laundry.

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