In light of “Release Your Wild’s” 12-day, district-by-district countdown to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — which launched yesterday — let’s revisit the Hunger Games district that gave us the movie’s central character, Katniss Everdeen.
1. Now, where is District 12 again?
Well, first off, let’s remember that Hunger Games District 12 is one of 12 districts in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. All of its citizens are controlled by the Capitol. (I’m not sure if this makes them “subjects” or just plain-old citizens, but I’m sure it makes them screwed from birth.)
The Capitol is in the Rocky Mountains, while impoverished District 12 is tucked away in the Appalachians.
Here’s a Panem map charting the 12 Hunger Games districts:
2. District 12 mines coal.
Katniss Everdeen’s father was a coalminer, as are most men in District 12. The district has two distinct social classes: those who mine its coal and live in a slum called “The Seam,” and those who belong to the mercantile class and live in town. Yes, the townies are better off than those in the slums, but everyone in the district teeters on starvation and many hunt wild game to survive.
3. In Appalachia — home to District 12 — bows make music too.
What if Katniss used her bow to make sweet music for Peeta in “Catching Fire,” maybe while she nurses him back to health from an inevitable wound? District 12 is set in the Appalachians, and these mountains are known not for arrow-propelling bows, but for the music-making mouth bow.
This musical instrument, which looks much like a bow used to shoot arrows, was one of the first musical instruments in Appalachia and commonly used by the region’s Native Americans.
Mouth bows have also been seen in Africa, New Guinea, Borneo, Finland, Canada and Greenwich Village .
Basically, bow players plucks the bowstring while using his mouth as resonating chamber.
4. Katniss is a coalminer’s daughter and so is Loretta Lynn. But what you didn’t know is that both enjoy squirrel for supper.
Country music legend and author Loretta Lynn reveals her love for squirrel meat in her cookbook, You’re Cookin’ It Country: My Favorite Recipes and Memories. The following is an excerpt:
Possum meat has a real good taste. Squirrels, too. That was a real treat — squirrel meat with gravy and biscuits. Nowadays you don’t hardly see a squirrel in the Appalachian Mountains.
Probably because they’ve all been sold to Peeta’s dad at the bakery.
5. The Appalachian Mountains cut right through Kentucky and that makes District 12 and Kentucky bonded together in “Hunger Games” folklore … forever and ever.
Second of all, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson (a.k.a Peeta) are both Kentucky natives. (Little-known fact: The first Twitter handle Hutcherson followed after opening his own account? @UKCoachCalipari.)
Kentucky has coal and coalminers, so there’s that too.
Then, finally, if your school has a two-week archery program in its physical education curriculum and you absolutely love those two weeks, you have Kentucky to thank for it.
As the “Release Your Wild” archery movement counts down the days to “Catching Fire,” we’ll post refreshers on other districts featured in the blockbuster movie franchise.
Post your own District 12 quick facts in the comments section below.