January 18, 2011

Hollerin' Back Across Through Yonder

Mark your calendars--we'll, not quite yet--but make note that the 43rd Annual National Hollerin' Contest in Spivey's Corner, NC is just around the corner. 

The good folks at folkstreams.net have a short documentary on the art of hollerin' and some nice stage shots from the contest. Can't seem to add the video, but check their site for the film. Here's a blurb:

"Every year, on the third Saturday of June, in an otherwise sleepy borough of southeastern North Carolina known as Spivey's Corner (population 49), some 5,000-10,000 folks gather from far and wide to take part in the festivities and entertainment in the day-long extravaganza known as the National Hollerin' Contest.

Hollerin' is considered by some to be the earliest form of communication between humans. It is a traditional form of communication used in rural areas before the days of telecommunications to convey long-distance messages. Evidence of hollerin', or derivations thereof such as yodeling or hunting cries, exists worldwide among many early peoples and is still be practiced in certain societies of the modern world. In one form or another, the holler has been found to exist in Europe, Africa and Asia as well as the US.

Each culture used or uses hollers differently, although almost all cultures have specific hollers meant to convey warning or distress. Otherwise hollers exist for virtually any communicative purpose imaginable--greetings, general information, pleasure, work, etc. The hollers featured at the National Hollerin' Contest typically fall into one of four categories: distress, functional, communicative or pleasure."

Film by Kier Cline
Copyright: 1978, Kier Chine
17 minutes, Color
Original format: 16mm

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