Cattle were introduced into the present day United States when Juan Ponce de León brought Spanish cattle to Florida in 1521. Bob Stone's multi-media presentation explores and celebrates the history and culture of the nation's oldest cattle ranching state from the colonial period to the 21st century. You will see and hear all aspects of Florida cattle ranching traditions including material culture such as Cracker cow-whips and unique ranch gate designs, swamp cabbage and other foodways, cowboy church and Cracker cowboy funerals, Seminole ranching past and present, occupational skills such as roping and branding, our vibrant rodeo culture, side-splitting cowboy poetry, feisty cow-dogs, and much more.
Presented by Bob Stone. Bob Stone has been a practicing folklorist since 1990. An engineer by training, he has worked with HistoryMiami, the Augusta Heritage Workshops, and the Florida Folklife Program. Now a self-employed folklorist, Stone began documenting Florida's traditional culture as a member of the Bureau of Florida Folklife in White Springs. Specializing in documentary photography and media production, he has contributed to numerous projects that have enhanced our understanding of the state's diverse folklife, including Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition, On My Way to Heaven, and the Voices of Florida radio series. As a researcher skilled in documenting musical traditions, he has assisted with dozens of compilations from varied cultural communities, including multiple Sacred Steel Guitar albums and Music From the Sunshine State, as well as contributing segments to National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Additionally, he has penned essays for anthologies and other publications featuring notable Floridia musicians and artists. In 2010, his extensive research on the sacred steel guitar tradition culminated in the publication of Sacred Steel: Inside an African American Steel Guitar Tradition. Stone has worked tirelessly for two decades as a passionate advocate and proponent of the folk arts in Florida, assisting numerous artists and musicians from all over the Sunshine State.
Funded project of the Florida Humanities Council. The Florida Humanities Council is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.