Feature Article

Echoes of a New England Past: The Hopkinton Town Green

The village green is a public common that is found in many northern New York towns and is reflective of the influence of settlement by former New Englanders. The influence of New England migration is also evidenced in place names, foodways, dialect choices, and vernacular architecture. Hopkinton, New York is an example of such cultural migration.

A Grove of Folk Art on Staten Island: Documenting the Carvings of W. Dixon

The author introduces the concenpt of dendroglyphs and the 1930’s work of W.Dixon who carved on five separate beech trees on Staten Island, NY. Dendroglyphs, or tree carvings, are an ephemeral art form that has been documented to be practiced by Haudenosaunee tribes in the 17th century and by Europeans arriving in North America.

“Kumbaya” and Dramatizations of an Etiological Legend

“Kumbaya” evolved from the African American spiritual “Come by Here.” A transcription by John Bocher, Jr., published in 1955, became the standard version. Howecer, it was widely believed to have been brought from Africa by a missionary. This article traces the origins of the most common origin legends, then looks at those that influenced behavior. It concludes with comments on the persisting belief in an African genesis.

Refrain: Notes on Crafting Music

The third of three parts in Eric Ball’s essay trilogy, “Homemade Music A Family Tree.” Using the trope of music, the author reflects on his grandfather and his craft.