Synopses & Reviews
In this book, Ervin Beck brings to greater awareness some traditional materials and behaviors among American Mennonites that (1) have been learned by word of mouth or customary example, (2) have been transmitted to succeeding generations of Mennonites, (3) illustrate both long-established material and creative variants of them, and (4) express important things about the individuals who pass them on in informal places and about the community that unselfconsciously sponsors them. Offered here are abundant examples of Mennonite jokes, origin stories, trickster tales, and the Reggie Jackson urban legend, along with analysis of them in the context of Mennonite and Amish history, culture, and beliefs. Also studies Mennonite and Amish paintings on glass, family records, and the concept of Mennonite relief sales as folk festivals. This is the first book to analyze such a wide range of expressive forms in Mennonite and Amish folk culture.