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Moonshining and Herb-Doctoring

In the popular imagination, the fierce, furtive moonshiner and the wise, gentle herb gatherer are part of the pantheon of southern mountain folklife. But illicit manufacture of alcoholic beverages and the preparation of medicinal herbal teas and infusions are ancient and widespread traditional practices by no means unique to Tennessee. While moonshining and herb-doctoring still persist in isolated, peripheral communities, neither should be considered typical of cultural life in the complex and rapidly changing Tennessee of today. Indeed, if these practices share anything in common, it is that both are largely confined to marginal sub-...

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