Assumptions of Irishness in the fairylore of Newfoundland

Knopp, Magdalyn A. (2022) Assumptions of Irishness in the fairylore of Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Fairies are one of the most significant traditions of supernatural belief on the island of Newfoundland: not the sparkly Disney characters, but mischievous and dangerous creatures that exist on the borders between known and unknown landscapes (Narváez 1991). An equally interesting tradition is the stereotype of Irishness in Newfoundland. Although initially colonized by immigrants from the British Isles, the island is now home to numerous ethnicities, and yet Irishness continues to shape much of the conceptualization of identity in Newfoundland. In this thesis, my goal is to explore the relationship between fairylore and Irishness. I find that, while negative associations between Irishness and “superstitiousness” can and do limit conceptions of fairylore, contemporary conceptualizations of fairylore are much more complex, and provide many benefits to Newfoundland tradition-bearers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15651
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 163-174)
Keywords: fairies ethnicity, Newfoundland and Labrador, folklore, Ireland
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: October 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fairies--Newfoundland and Labrador; Fairies--Ireland; Supernatural; Newfoundland--Folklore; Ireland--Folklore

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