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'Vanishing Appalachia' At ETSU's Reece Museum Depicts Forgotten Lives Of Mountain Dwellers

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VANISHING APPALACHIA
Foggy sunrise in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. | Getty Images

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State University's Reece Museum is presenting "Vanishing Appalachia," a traveling exhibit from the East Tennessee Historical Society.

The exhibit is based on years of research among moonshiners, serpent-handlers, Mennonite farmers, cockfighters and others who still engage in traditional mountain practices.

It combines the photographs of Don Dudenbostel with the field recordings of Tom Jester.

Dudenbostel says he did not set out to preserve disappearing mountain culture. He started photographing things he found interesting. As he noticed traditions fading away, he began to document mountain life more aggressively.

Jester's recordings accompany the photos and give the subjects a voice.

The exhibit runs from Tuesday through June 30.

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