Traditions and neighbourhoods : the folklife of a Newfoundland fishing outport

Casey, George J. (1971) Traditions and neighbourhoods : the folklife of a Newfoundland fishing outport. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study attempts a description and analysis of the traditional folk life of Conche, a small, Irish, Catholic, fishing community (population 500), on the eastern side of the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, as seen through its older residents' eyes. Field interviews, from July to September 1968, with the descendants of the original settlers of the area, were supplemented by some later interviews and research in the Provincial Archives. -- After a discussion of some of the problems of doing field work in one's home community, and of the methodology and scope of the study, the geographical study area is defined. The role of the French fishermen in the early history of the community is reconstructed from the reminiscences of the older people and the available historical documents. -- The field worker discovered that older Conche residents associated specific categories of folk traditions, for example, songs, ghost stories, treasure legends, with specific neighbourhoods. The three interrelated factors affecting the growth of such neighbourhoods: social structure, changes in fishing technology, and land inheritance and use, are then examined, comprising in effect a brief social and economic history of the community, with emphasis on oral tradition. -- The historical and functional aspects of religion, health and education are then discussed: religion as it affects calendrical celebrations; health both as formal medical service and as folk medicine; education both as formal and informal or traditional processes. -- How songs function in the social context is next examined; the songs collected are annotated. A model of the "talk session patterns" is then developed and utilized in examining the role and function in the society of six narrative genres. Like songs most of these narrative forms are neighbourhood oriented. -- Finally, there is an ethnographic presentation of the customs and practices connected with death and burial, and the annual garden party. Since these customs are not neighbourhood oriented but instead dominated by the Church, participation in these activities helps to integrate the community.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7673
Item ID: 7673
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 321-333.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1971
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Great Northern Peninsula--Conche
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador--Conche; Conche (N.L.)--Folklore

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