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Collection Occupational Folklife Project

Independent Professional Wrestlers in Central Appalachia

In 2019, folklorist Delainey Bowers received an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center to document the occupational folklore and work-related culture of independent professional wrestlers working the sports and entertainment circuit in the central Appalachian region. Bowers notes that “from chokeslams to powerbombs, face paint to feather boas, independent professional wrestling is teeming with occupational folklore that celebrates athleticism, technique, and personal triumph.” The 12 wrestlers interviewed for this collection discuss their work, their training, and their relationship with their competitors and their fans. The collection consists of audio interviews accompanied by documentary photographs.

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