Ethnography: the study and systematic recording of human cultures; also: a descriptive work produced from such research.

Anthropology and Sociology Department

Cherokee Studies

Hunter Library

Mountain Heritage Center


101 McKee Building
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.7268 tel
828.227.7061 fax


Ethnography Laboratory

Housed in Western's Department of Anthropology and Sociology, the Ethnography Laboratory is a research facility dedicated to the documentation of cultural life in the Southern Mountains.

Thomas Cole's depiction of Appalachian life, At Home in the Woods, 1847.
Thomas Cole's depiction of Appalachian life, At Home in the Woods, 1847 (right).


Gowri Ramanchandran's Sustainability in Society, about the Sylva Community Garden

Ethnographic Research Methods Audio Documentaries, 2009: Documenting Gardens and Culture in Western North Carolina

North Shore Road Environmental Impact Statement: Appendix G--The North Shore Cemetery Decoration Tradition

North Shore Decoration Tradtion Article

Activating Student Wellness at WCU: Audio documentaries from Fall, 2007


The laboratory is currently focused on oral history interviews with people living in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.


The laboratory's facilities include professional field recording and transcription equipment, along with computer support for digital editing of audio recordings.


A wide range of opportunities exist for students to become involved and learn the documentary techniques useful to a variety of careers.


The laboratory was initially funded as part of a cooperative agreement with the Southeastern Region of the National Park Service.



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