Posted on September 24, 2010
Lowcountry Time and Tide: The Fall of the South Carolina Rice Kingdom
Thursday September 30, 2010
Avery Research Center, 125 Bull Street
James H. Tuten, a lowcountry native and College of Charleston graduate, opens this study with an overview of the history of rice culture in South Carolina through the Reconstruction era and then focuses on the industry’s manifestations and decline from 1877 to 1930. Tuten offers a close study of changes in agricultural techniques and tools during the period and demonstrates how adaptive and progressive rice planters became despite their conservative reputations. He also explores the cultural history of rice both as a foodway and a symbol of wealth in the lowcountry, used on currency and bedposts. Tuten concludes with a thorough treatment of the lasting legacy of rice culture, especially in terms of the environment, the continuation of rice foodways and iconography, and the role of rice and rice plantations in the modern tourism industry.