Nebraska Folklore


Nebraska Folklore

Second Edition

Louise Pound
Introduction by Roger Welsch

244 pages


July 2006


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

A distinguished scholar and writer who, in the words of H. L. Mencken, “put the study of American English on its legs,” Louise Pound (1872–1958) was always intensely interested in the folklore of her home state. Nebraska Folklore, first published in 1959, collects her best work in that rich vein.

Included are cave legends, snake superstitions, weather lore, tales of strong men who rival Paul Bunyan, stories of Indian lovers' leaps, hoaxes of a petrified man and a land-locked sea monster, and the legends of Weeping Water and Lincoln Salt Basin. A section on old Nebraska folk customs provides a wealth of information about holiday observances, literary and debating societies, political rallies, spelling contests, and various social traditions. Going beyond Nebraska, the book ends with studies of the origins of American cowboy and folk songs and of the use of dialect in folklore. Its wit and honesty will appeal to readers everywhere. Roger Welsch provides an introduction to this new Bison Books edition.

Author Bio

Louise Pound (1872-1958) was a distinguished literary scholar, folklorist, and professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for more than fifty years. Roger Welsch is a well-known folklorist and essayist. He is the author of nearly thirty books, including It's Not the End of the Earth, but You Can See It from Here and the coauthor of Cather's Kitchens: Foodways in Literature and Life, both available in Bison Books editions.


“Those of us not from Nebraska may be unfamiliar with Louise Pound, an oversight well remedied by this volume. Issued numerous times since its introduction in 1947 . . . it is now a classic.”—Bloomsbury Review

“Few people are successful in becoming authorities on the folklore of a region, fewer still on the folklore of a state. Louise Pound was recognized by folklorists for her mastery of both areas. Therefore, as one should expect, Nebraska Folklore is an important book.”—Nebraska History

“This new edition of Pound’s essays is valuable because it testifies to her lasting significance as a pioneer in folklore studies and a trailblazing woman and academic worthy of continued admiration. . . . This book has historical value for the folklorist as a celebration of Louise Pound’s life and accomplishments, and entertainment value for all readers, who will enjoy not only the old Nebraskan legends, personalities, customs, and amusing anecdotes preserved in its pages but also Pound’s straightforward and logical prose.”—Journal of Folklore Research

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