Missouri Folklore Studies


Welcome to what we hope will grow into a substantial archive of papers on Missouri folklore, folklife and related topics. The object of this collection is to provide electronic access for projects of interest to those who study traditions – and those of Missouri and its residents in particular. We are primarily interested in documenting little-known or endangered lore. The standards are not those of a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, but posting will be at the sole discretion of the editor, who reserves the right to edit for content, style and format.  Contributions should be sent as email attachments in MS Word format (.doc) or as ASCII files (.txt). Please include a very brief abstract describing your paper to be used on the index page.


Educators are particularly encouraged to alert students to this opportunity.


Authors retain all rights to the work which appears on the site.


For students: here’s an example of the proper form of documentation in MLA format for articles appearing on this page:


Pentlin, Susan.  "The Folklore of Uncle Will’s Satchel.”  Missouri Folklore Studies 22 Feb. 2005  <http://missourifolkloresociety.truman.edu/Missouri%20Folklore%20Studies/Missouri%20Folklore%20Studies.htm>.

Of course, for “22 Feb. 2005, you insert the date on which you accessed the site. Below, authors’ names are given in normal rather than bibliographic order, to facilitate digital searching.


Articles, essays, papers and studies: 

Maple Adkins-Threats. "Tales at Tapawingo." Studies the lore handed down along several generations of girl scouts attending the same Illinois camp. Posted 5-11-15


Madeline Barrow. "Please Stop Feeding: Folklore and Language Used in League of Legends and Other Online Games."  Posted 4-21-15


Kent Bone dit Bone shares the Old Mines tradition of Franco-African tales of  Compère Bouki pi Compère Lapin posted 5-4-15

Kent Bone dit Bone shares memories of the devastating 1917 cyclone that tore through the Old Mines area. posted 5-4-15

Chris Buerke. "Yo Mama So X-that-Y." Truman State student applies linguistic analysis to an established folk-genre of transgressive humor. Posted 1-23-14

Amy Burbee. "A linguistic analysis of the structure and application of knock knock jokes." posted 1-23-14

Judy Prozillo Byers. Ruth Ann Musick—The Show-Me Mountaineer: A Missourian Adopted by West Virginia

Adam Brooke Davis. Handmade Scraper found in Adair County, MO. Classroom demonstration of documentation (artifact, material culture). Posted 1-23-14

Adam Brooke Davis. Devil’s Night and Hallowe’en: The Linked fates of Two Folk Festivals. Posted 11-2-05

Adam Brooke Davis. The Amish of Missouri. Posted 2-4-05

Adam Brooke Davis. Cupstones of Adair County. Examines a common but little-studied type of Native American groundstone artifact. Posted 2-4-05

Adam Brooke Davis. A Few Words About Folk Medicine. Argues against uncritical use of folk medical practices outside the traditions in which they developed. Posted 2-4-05

Adam Brooke Davis. C.N. Wood: Notes on a NE Missouri folk-poet of the early twentieth century. Posted 2-4-05

Adam Brooke Davis. Colorful Speech of Missouri and Missourians. Warning: offensive content. Posted 2-4-05

Adam Brooke Davis. A History of Mary Immaculate Parish, Kirksville. Posted 2-4-05

Adam Brooke Davis. Images of Native American Artifacts of Missouri. Posted 2-4-05

Brandon Eyechaner. Memes and Humor: A Linguistic Analysis. Truman State grad applies Incongruity Resolution theory, among other tools, to account for the internet-specific folk-humor form of graphic memes. Posted 1-23-14.

Holly Fling. Folk History Down on the Farm in Shelby County Posted 4-26-11; Winner of the 2010 Dolf and Becky Schroeder Prize for student research

Goldy Hamilton. Zizzer. Fieldwork by the students of one of the Society’s founders (a pupil of HM Belden and a major contributor to his collection of Missouri folksong)

Wesley Harbison. An Oral History of the Aquadome. Truman Sttate University grad documents the local alternative arts-&-music venue in a unique way, yielding both a formal academic paper and a collaborative memorial artifact in 'zine format.

Scott Henson. The Lore of Drag Queens in the Midwest -- a study of a marginal community, its apprenticeship patterns, rituals and speechways. Posted 6-3-11

Phil Hoebing. The Churches of Brother Adrian. A review of the lifework of a 19thc. designer of churches throughout the Midwest. Posted 2-4-05

Phil Hoebing. The Turtleman. Fr. Phil interviews a Missouri entrepreneur who raises alligator snappers. Posted 2-4-05

Phil Hoebing. Chancellor Bismarck’s Loss and Missouri’s Gain. An overview of the history of the Franciscans in Missouri. Posted 3-21-05

Ruby Bragg Jenkins. A Study of Carneys (carnival employees) As a Folk Community. Posted 6-3-11

Morgan Jones. Cosmetic Use Among Truman Women (studies the acquisition of makeup knowhow as a folk behavior). Posted 12-11-15.

René Kröll. Fanchants. Native speaker studies fan's cheering practices during European and especially German football (i.e., soccer) matches. Posted 12-11-15


Donald Lance. “The Pronunciation of Missouri The late dean of dialectologists gives the definitive answer to the eternal question of how our state’s name is, and has been pronounced. For linguists. Posted 2-4-05

Kent Lineberry. Cadence Calls: Military Folklore in Motion. Posted 1-27-09

Hannah Litwiller. Cooper County Jail. Boonville resident and longtime guide gives expert tour of the historic jail, with photos. Posted 12-11-15.

MFA (Missouri Farmers' Association). 1925 Missouri Farm Women’s Cookbook. Reproduced by permission.

Howard Wight Marshall. Vernacular Architecture in Rural and Small Town Missouri. An Introduction. Copyright 1994.

K.E.L. Miller (Karen Elaine  Laura Miller Szygdis). The Unuttered Punchline: Pragmatic Incongruity and the Parsing of "What's the Difference" Jokes. posted 12-04-10

Susan L. Pentlin, Rebecca B. Schroeder. H.M. Belden, The English Club, and the Missouri Folk-Lore Society.

Chelsea Muzar. "Role Play Groups as Folkgroups." Truman State University student studies tabletop and online gamer-groups as communities with their own traditions, lingo and ceremonies. Posted 1-23-14

Susan Pentlin. “The Folklore of Uncle Will’s Satchel.” A personal reflection on, and demonstration of, the use of inherited artifacts in understanding the past. Posted 2-4-05

Dylan Pyles. Red Flame Records and Early Independent Rock Music. One of the untold stories of the early days of this American genre is the little local labels, like Red Flame in Kirksville, which flared briefly in the early 60s. A Truman State student provides an oral history.

Lida Pyles. It Happened in the Ozarks. Dylan Pyles, grandson of this Missouri folklorist, has generously agreed to make this rare book available online via the Missouri Folklore Society. Dylan has also provided a brief biography of his grandmother.

Alex Reiser. "In the Dugout: A Field-Study of the Lore of College Baseball Players" posted 5-20-15

Brett Rogers. Photodocumentation of Amish barnraising: Jacob Hershberger farm, Prairie Home, MO, October 22, 2011. 31 photos. Posted 1-23-14

Chantae Rudie. "Did  It Hurt When You Fell From Heaven?" A Study of Pick-Up Lines in LDS (Mormon) Culture. Posted 6-3-11.

Chantae Rudie. Sanctioned Rule-Breaking in Ritual (a comparatively empirical and quantitative study). Posted 6-3-11.

Irwin Rice. Traditional Games of Children. From hopscotch to hoop-rolling. posted 2-4-05

Rachel Spillars. Southern Magnolias in the Neighborhood: Folk Architecture in Jefferson City's Moreau Drive Area. posted 4-11-13.

Lauren Wessling. Sikeston and Sunset: a case-study of a now-past feature of Jim Crow in Missouri -- the "sundown" towns. Posted 4-26-11

Scott White. On Ghost Stories: A Collection and Discussion of Supernatural Scout Tales posted 12-04-10


HOME to the Missouri Folklore Society