Folk: North Dakota's Ethnic History
William C. Sherman and Playford V. Thorson, editors, Institute
for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND,
1986, 431 pages, hardcover.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to include
one of North Dakota's most noteable historical books, Plains
Folk: North Dakota's Ethnic History. Contributors include Warren
A. Henke, Timothy J. Kloberdanz, Theodore B. Pedeliski, and Robert
For special attention from pages 117 to 177, Prof. Timothy J. Kloberdanz,
Department of Anthropology/Sociology, NDSU, wrote the section for
"Volksdeutsche: The East European Germans." This includes:
Black Sea Germans in Russia; Black Sea Germans in North Dakota;
Mariupol German-Russians; Dobrudja Black Sea Germans; German-Russian
Mennonites; Hutterites; Caucasus Germans; Volga Germans; Volhynian
Germans; Galician Germans; Bohemian Germans (Sudetendeutsche); German
Hungarians (Donaschauben); and Burgenland Germans.
The book's cover includes the following text: "Plains Folk
was seven years in the making. The combined effort of scholars who
specialize in North Dakota matters: three historians, an anthropologist,
a political scientist and a sociologist. Over forty different national
groups are discussed: their origins, personalities, customs, successes
and failures, even their festivals and their foods."
"Is North Dakota a melting pot? A mosaic? A patchwork quilt?
Which group was the largest? The most patriotic? Prestigious? What
happened during the land boom years? World War I? The Dirty Thirties?
You'll find the answers in this volume. You'll find some surprises:
Gypsies, Blacks, Japanese, Bulgarians, Syrians! You'll get a good
look at the state's Jews, Poles, French, Ukrainians. Included are
new perspectives on the German Peoples who came from both the homeland
and eastern Europe; there are also new insights into the settlers
of Norwegian and British Isles backgrounds."
"It is a basic source book, with hundreds of illustrations,
dozens of maps and tables, census data and an extensive index."
villagers pause while mixing clay and straw for the making of
sun-dried clay bricks. Photograph courtesy of Marvin and Marion
pre-1900 wedding celebration in the German colony of Arzis,
Bessarabia. The newlyweds stand arm in arm. Photograph courtesy
of Marvin and Marion Hartmann.
Review by Edna Boardman
Plains Folk: North Dakota's Ethnic History
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to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael