Does anyone in Valley City remember the tale of the trucker who, when traveling east on I-94 through a snowstorm, gave a ride to the ghost of a dead girl who died in a blizzard?
Or can anyone in Fort Ransom recall the tale of â€śBeaver the Hermit,â€ť who was framed for a murder he did not commit but managed to elude the Sheriff and his posse by hiding out in the Sheyenne River Valley?
These are just two tales in the award-winning book â€śSundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains.â€ť An exhibit based on the book will begin showing at the Barnes County Museum today.
â€śThe book is an interesting synopsis of North Dakota Culture,â€ť said museum curator Wes Anderson. â€śThe exhibit is arranged somewhat as it is here (in the book).â€ť
The book, a 352 page compilation that took 30 years to complete, was published by the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) last year and has won the North Dakota Library Associationâ€™s 2011 Notable Document Award.
The bookâ€™s 10 chapters focus on ghost stories and strange tales; old and new legends; blizzard stories; weather lore; proverbs, folk expressions and folk speech; folk beliefs; folk medicine; holiday celebrations and other observances; hunting fishing and trapping traditions; and miscellaneous folk lore. The majority of the 1,000-plus entries in the book are from North Dakota, with a scattered handful of entries from surrounding states and provinces. Every North Dakota county is represented.
The 32-panel exhibit features items from all 10 chapters and the exhibit is sponsored by the NDCA. Admission is free, and the exhibit runs from Sept. 1 to Sept. 16.