The Annual Hog Butchering in Pocahontas, Arkansas
Traditionally, hog butchering was done in cold weather so the meat wouldn’t spoil. That’s why the Eddie Mae Herron Center in Pocahontas, Arkansas, holds its annual hog-butchering event in February, when this film was made.
Through the years, communities and families butchered hogs to get through the long winter. The chill is quite a contrast to the July heat of Washington, D.C., when the Smithsonian welcomed the film’s main participants, Pat Johnson and Josh Jansen to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to present the tradition and methods of hog butchering to the public. Their friendship reveals that communities are only made stronger when people talk to one another and when everyone takes a part.