Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University is Proud to Introduce its First Annual Volume
The Friend in Need: An Annotated Translation of an Early Pennsylvania Folk-Healing Manual by Patrick J. Donmoyer
Nearly 200 years ago, the legendary Berks County author Johann Georg Hohman published The Friend in Need in 1813, which is the precursor to America’s most popular work of powwow, folk healing, and magic, The Long Lost Friend, that was compiled in 1819. Because of controversy surrounding the powwow tradition, Hohman’s earlier works have not received serious scholarly consideration and have remained unknown until now. This obscure piece of Berks County history, The Friend in Need, is now available for the first time in the English language, allowing readers the opportunity to explore some of the rarest prayers, benedictions, and charms used in early America for healing and protection among the Pennsylvania Dutch.
The annotated Friend in Need offers a facing-page translation, with a facsimile of the original German text on the left, and the English translation on the right. On each page of the English translation, a column of annotations and sources appears next to the English text for ease of exploration. Additional material is featured as a series of appendices, including selections and images of original sources found in the collection of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, consisting of contemporaneous manuscript and printed folk-healing manuals (see above right), as well as facsimiles of related early 19th century protective broadsides such as the “Gypsy Fire-Charm” (see above left). With a comprehensive introduction explaining the history of The Friend in Need and the context of folk-healing, this ground-breaking work is a wealth of information concerning the origins and history of the folk tradition of powwowing in Pennsylvania, and it is available just in time for its bicentennial release at the Kutztown Folk Festival!
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Friend in Need: An Annotated Translation of an Early Pennsylvania Folk-Healing
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