Dutch Fork: Dining Hierarchy

At big dinners, which were common in the Fork, the menfolk would sit down to table first, while the women served and passed the food. After the men had finished, they would have the table to themselves. If space was a consideration, the children would be placed at a separate table, perhaps in another room. This hierarchical arrangement was still customary in the 1950s on my aunt's big back porch in Prosperity, and has always seemed to me a practical and natural way of getting everyone fed. The most common place for feasting on big occasions like weddings, logrollings, and the like, was in the yard on tables of long boards placed on supports. All Dutch Fork sources agree on this tradition. The tables were often forty feet long or more and could seat about one hundred.(Kibler, 1988)

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