Photos, Prints, Drawings Joe Williams digging a ginseng root with his "seng" hoe. The root must be dug carefully so that the complete root is in tact when lifted from the ground.

Format Photos, Prints, Drawings
Contributors Eiler, Lyntha Scott
Williams, Ronnie J. "Joe
Dates 1995
Location Boone County
West Virginia
Language English
Subjects Commercial Gatherings
Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolia)
Harvesting of Fruits and Vegetables
Tom's Hollow
Joe Williams digging a ginseng root with his "seng" hoe. The root must be dug carefully so that the complete root is in tact when lifted from the ground.
Contributor Names
Williams, Ronnie J. "Joe" (Depicted)
Eiler, Lyntha Scott (Photographer)
Created / Published
September 27, 1995
Subject Headings
-  Fall
-  September
-  Commercial gatherings
-  Ginseng (Panax quinquefolia)
-  Harvesting of fruits and vegetables
-  Tom's Hollow
-  Ethnography
-  Photographs
-  West Virginia -- Boone County -- Whitesville
-  Event: Ginseng Hunting.
-  Ginseng is protected under the Fish and Wildlife Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). According to the law, state ginseng programs set seasons for ginseng digging, penalties for violations, and advise diggers on propagation techniques. Wild ginseng requires rich soil in deep shade, and has not been addressed in reclamation planning. On Coal River, where "seng hoes" are standard household equipment, such techniques as replanting the "kernel" and dispersing the seeds have long been practiced by seng hunters. During ginseng season, one often sees ginseng hanging in windows, drying in the back windows of automobiles, or arranged around heat sources in homes.
35 mm Color Slide
Call Number
AFC 1999/008: CRF-LE-C012-13
Source Collection
Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

Copy photographs of numerous historical still photographs owned by Woody Boggs and Rick Bradford were made and are reproduced here with permission of the owners.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.

Credit line

Coal River Folklife Project collection (AFC 1999/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.