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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article covers the traditional practices of groups who trace their heritage to Europe. It includes a historical overview of immigration from Europe to the United States, as well as consideration of how European national, regional, and local traditions were reproduced, adapted, or recreated in different parts of the United States. It gives an overview of contemporary ethnic traditions as they have been studied across the country. Consideration is given to groups such as Italian, Irish, Polish, and German Americans, who have typically been studied as part of the core of European ethnic cultures in the United States. But at the same time, the essay poses questions of how European folk traditions were maintained and adapted by groups not often placed as “European American” ethnics. These include Latinx peoples, British Americans, and African Americans. In doing so, this article will underline the fluidity of ethnic boundaries, a fluidity that is mirrored in the traditions of folklore and folklife.

Keywords: ethnicity, folklore, folklife, German Americans, immigration, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Polish Americans, race, whiteness

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