The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is a land of living traditions. The rich cultural mosaic of the Blue Ridge mountains and foothills of North Carolina has its origins in three separate continents—North America, Europe, and Africa. The cultural traditions of the Cherokee, Scots-Irish, and Africans have blended into a culture unique to the Southern Appalachian mountains. The mountains themselves have helped to protect and nurture this cultural mosaic by providing a degree of relative isolation from the rest of the state and nation.
Three major strands of this rich tapestry of cultural heritage are: