Dakota Mullins

Dakota Mullins, Age 18, Does Odd Jobs and Attends Music Festivals; Hurricane Mountain, Wise County Virginia:

“I grew up in Camp Jacob, close to a place called South of The Mountain in Virginia. It spills right over into Kentucky. Then I lived near Coeburn, Virginia and now Wise, Virginia.

I love Appalachian food, good fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings, beans and cornbread. 

Music is my roots and that of most folks I know. Traditional Appalachian music has been a part of us for hundreds of years. It is a way to connect with your elders. That interests me. I play a little guitar but I (mainly) play the drums. I play classic and southern rock with an Appalachian twist. You just throw it in there. You gotta know how to do it to have that (Appalachian) feel to it.

I love hunting and fishing. Living in the mountains is free, get out into the woods and be by yourself. 

Outsiders believe we are pretty wild people, uncivilized but this place is in our blood and we have to protect what we have. We are not what they think we are. I love it here and I’ll stay here until I die.

I’m proud to be a hillbilly. You can’t criminalize the word. It’s not about a person but a people. It’s about where we are from, the hills. We live more off the grid. We rely on fewer resources than others do (outside the area). I’ve had so many fun times growing up here. I love to fish, Bass mainly and Catfish. And camping out, I love it too. Just go where you want to, set up and be one with nature. It’s who we are. We aren’t from (City) buildings; we are from nature, the wild.

We are people of the hills. 

We are hillbillies.”