-->''Country road, take me home, to the place I belong''
-->''West Virginia, Mountain Mama take me home.''
-->John Denver

This is the ''Old'' WildWest, the West that existed before the West we usually think of. It is the place of FeudingFamilies, {{Hillbilly Moonshiner}}s, ballads, and Country music.

The Appalachian mountains are a low mountain range that covers what used to be the frontier of early Northern America. It was first settled by Scotch-Irish (aka Ulster Scots in UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish) who were descended from the border clans that had lived in the no-mans-land between England and Scotland. Forced by poverty and by the fact that the monarchy ''very much'' wanted them somewhere other thean Britain, the Scotch-Irish first settled in the protestant portion of Ireland (hence the name), and then in America, just west of other settlements which was quite convenient to colonists who were pleased to see someone between them and the Indians. The Scotch-Irish were a genuine ProudWarriorRace and the same qualities that helped them survive on the Anglo-Scottish border helped them survive jammed right next to the French and the Iroquois Confederacy. This was a bloody area, known for violence and atrocities on all sides with petty lawlessness even at normal times, adding to the fact that a major war was fought about every generation up to the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar, and this area tended to be the nastiest part, where TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar were unknown. At the same time, not all was enmity; there was cultural mixture, trade, and there was even interbreeding across the frontier which caused many Indians to adopt white culture and vice-versa wholly or in part. Such that you often could not tell which a person accounted himself as without asking.

The Scotch-Irish were a clannish folk, almost as tribalistic as the Indians. Their code of honor was rather dark with a stern demand for revenge and a high tolerance for violence. At the same time they were survivors, and they were as tough as their country. Much of the Country and FolkMusic tradition of America stems from this region; it is known for its haunting ballads, many of them derived from the Literature/ChildBallads of Britain. For many a generation they retained an old fashioned belief in magic and luck; their were charms for such things as healing, passing school tests, and what not. Another element is the many folk sayings, some fairly mundane("he who fights another day, lives to fight another day.") some bordering on the shamanistic (like recipes for folk medicine).

Mountain Folklore passed into the west with pioneers, evolving into one of the biggest influences on American tales. Many of the traditional tropes of TheWestern can be traced to the Appalachian Mountains.

!Tropes include:

* AbductionIsLove: Ritual abduction used to be a regular part of weddings. The real kind wasn't unheard of, though mostly obsolete by the eighteenth century.
* ARealManIsAKiller: Mountain boys were raised to be assertive with the assumption that they would likely be soldiers.
* ColdSniper / FriendlySniper: Mountain folk were famous for this from Daniel Morgan in UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution to Alvin York in WorldWarI. Naturally it would enter into tales.
* CoolGun : The Pennsylvania Long Rifle, sometimes erroneously called the "Kentucky Rifle."
* CoolOldLady : Mountain {{Apron Matron}}s were held in high respect and were the keepers of the traditions of TheClan.
* TheClan: Extended families would crowd around each other for protection.
* DavyCrockett: The RealLife one lived here.
* DeterminedHomesteader: And all determined variations thereof.
* DrinkOrder: They ''loved'' whiskey here.
* FeudingFamilies: most famously the Hatfields and McCoys.
* HonorBeforeReason: One man was brought before the judge for moonshining. He begged leave for permission to settle his affairs. Whereupon he went home, settled his affairs and came back. After all [[IGaveMyWord he gave his word]].
* ManlyMenCanHunt: At least, they hunted if they wanted their families to have food on the table.
* MountainMan
* MurderBallad: And any other kind of ballad. The area is well known for ballads.
* NeverMessWithGranny: According to a story a group of escaped German [=POW=]s came to the house of a tough old ApronMatron whereupon she said "Get!". When they wouldn't "Get". She shot them. When the sheriff arrived he mentioned that they were German's whereupon she burst into tears. Exasperated the sheriff asked the problem. She replied, "I thought they was Yankees...".
* ProudWarriorRace
* {{Revenge}}: A prominent theme of folk tales and songs.
* VigilanteMan: As frontier justice was often nonexistent, it fell to the friends and relatives of the wronged party to exact recompense on the wrongdoer through whatever means necessary. "A life for a life" was a common punishment.
* ViolentGlaswegian: What many mountain folk once were.