This carefully researched survey reconstructs the multicontinental roots of antebellum Southern cornshucking rituals:
(Roger Abrahams, 1993)
From the book’s blurb:
A controversial and radical interpretation of the most celebrated event on the Southern plantation: the corn-shucking ceremony. Relying on written accounts and oral histories of former slaves, Abrahams reconstructs this event and shows how the interaction of whites and blacks was adapted and imitated by whites in minstrel and vaudeville shows.
Abrahams’ delineation of the cornshucking ceremony includes numerous lyrics & intriguing stories about the central position of music in the West African organizational models found on southern plantations.
ALSO: Mark Morris’s review at ScholarWorks.IU.edu >>: “An intelligent, readable essay well attuned to the folklore community.”