The Wabana iron ore miners of Bell Island, Conception Bay, Newfoundland : their occupational folklife and oral folk history

Weir, Gail (1986) The Wabana iron ore miners of Bell Island, Conception Bay, Newfoundland : their occupational folklife and oral folk history. 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

Iron ore was mined at Wabana, Conception Bay, Newfoundland for seventy-three years. The economic impact of this industry was felt as far away as Sydney, Nova Scotia, which became a major steel producer because of it, and the economies of both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia were enhanced generally due to it. The nearby communities in Conception Bay were most affected in Newfoundland for the majority of the miners were drawn from them. This thesis documents the occupational folklife and oral folk history of the miners and, in doing so, attempts to fill a void in Canadian folklore studies. -- The bulk of the data used in this work was collected in tape recorded interviews with seven former miners and four miners' wives, and is augmented by material from student papers in the Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive. -- This study focuses on three basic aspects of the miner's life: personal life history, occupational folklife, and occupational narrative. The life history is given of each of the seven primary informants; the objective being the emergence of characteristics of a typical miner's life. While each informant had certain factors which were unique to his life, the occupational folklife of the miners tended to be of a universal nature. Most miners followed the same route career-wise, experiencing the same work routines. Hours of work, method of payment, foodways, clothing and equipment were common to all. The occupational narratives presented are generally of two kinds: those that are personal and those that are told about other miners. The personal narratives are often illustrative of the dangers involved In mining, while the non-personal narratives tend to be of humorous incidents. -- The narratives presented in the conclusion concern the final years of the mining operation and take on the form of protest lore by focusing on problems prior to the close-down. A brief overview of life on the Island since DOSCO pulled out in 1966 and suggestions for further research are presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/877
Item ID: 877
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 193-205.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1986
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bell Island
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bell Island; Miners--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bell Island--Folklore; Iron mines and mining--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bell Island--History

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