How a community understands its past: oral history, archaeology and identity in Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador

Carroll, Patrick (2008) How a community understands its past: oral history, archaeology and identity in Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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For the majority of the residents interviewed for this research, their personal history involved the experience of being from someplace other than the original Placentia. Their main attachment to Placentia and its history is through the authorized heritage myth of the town as the "ancient French capital" epitomized by the archaeological excavations that were being conducted at the time of my fieldwork. For the majority of people I spoke with the town's history is most important for its role in the development of economic opportunities to be derived from heritage tourism. Two reasons for this are that a lack of personal experience with Placentia's Past makes it easier for the community to adopt well-constructed narratives of the French and British occupations and, at the time of this research, economic viability was the most important item on the town's agenda. The story of the "ancient French capital" was the epitome of economic opportunities provided by the archaeological excavations and the potential for future income resulting from the development of heritage tourism products. The myth of the ancient French capital provides a means for individuals to attach themselves to a place where they have limited personal experience. It is an accepted narrative that provides a foundation for belonging at the community level.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8752
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 201-208)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Archaeology--Newfoundland and Labrador--Placentia; Oral history--Newfoundland and Labrador--Placentia

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