Entries - Entry Category: Folklore and Folklife - Starting with T

Tamales

Tamales are found on restaurant menus and at roadside stands throughout Arkansas and have been a vibrant foodways tradition in the state for generations. This ancient food with roots in Latin America has had a presence in Arkansas and other parts of the American South since at least the early twentieth century. The familiar ingredients (meat and meal) made tamales popular, as did the practicality of being able to take a warm and filling lunch into a cotton field. There are a handful of hypotheses to help explain how and when tamales crossed the southern border into the United States to become a popular food in the South. Some think there might be a Native American connection. Others opine that …

Taylor, Samuel Shinkle

Writer and educator Samuel Shinkle Taylor was one of only two African-American interviewers for the Arkansas Federal Writers’ Project 1936–1938 collection of oral history narratives from ex-slaves. He also wrote and compiled Survey of Negroes in Little Rock and North Little Rock, served as a minister and professor, and was an associate editor for the Arkansas State Press from 1949 to 1956. Samuel Taylor was born on November 21, 1886, to the Reverend Marshall W. Taylor and Catherine Hester Taylor in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father was the first black editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate and author of A Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies. Taylor’s father died in 1887, and his mother moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where Taylor …

Tompkins, Rosie Lee

aka: Effie Mae Martin Howard
Rosie Lee Tompkins was the assumed name of Effie Mae Howard, a widely acclaimed African-American quiltmaker whose prodigious talents catapulted her to the forefront of contemporary art. As New York Times critic Roberta Smith put it, “Tompkins’s textile art [works]…demolish the category.” Effie Mae Martin (Effie Mae Howard was her married name) was born in Arkansas on September 6, 1936, to Sadie Bell and MacCurey Martin. The oldest of fifteen half-siblings, she grew up picking cotton and helping her mother piece quilts in rural Gould (Lincoln County), where poverty forced the family to use every available scrap of cloth. Howard never completed high school. She moved to Richmond, California, in 1958 and took courses in nursing at various local institutions, …