“Kentucky,” from the Shawnee Indian word that may have meant “at the head of the river,” was also often called the dark and bloody ground. The land gained a bloody reputation amongst the many tribes who battled and also hunted there. Cherokee Chief Dragging Canoe, arguing against a land treaty with the white settlers, said that the land had a dark cloud hanging over it.
And still today, Kentucky is a fascinating place of contrasts and traditions–with a heady mixture of religion and superstition–contrasts like homemade moonshine and a billion dollar whiskey industry; contrasts like rural Appalachian life in the rugged mountains of the east and the gritty urban neighborhoods of Louisville. Kentucky is a land of music, history, and people with an independent spirit like the Shakers.
The Shakers were a religious sect that thrived in bucolic South Union, Kentucky from 1807 – 1922. They became known for their incredible craftsmanship and influential design from pottery and furniture to innovations like the flat straw broom. Ultimately they faded into history thanks largely to their strict adherence to complete celibacy.