Symbols of the French presence in Newfoundland: Breton crosses and calvaries - 1680 to today

Burns, Melissa (2008) Symbols of the French presence in Newfoundland: Breton crosses and calvaries - 1680 to today. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Crosses and calvaries are strong cultural landmarks on the Petit Nord. Those distinctive features are not, however unique to Breton fishing rooms in Newfoundland; few have been recorded elsewhere in the province. They appeared in the landscape of the Petit Nord as early as 1680. Over time, at least thirty crosses and calvaries were built by the fishermen in that region. Two monumental crosses and a calvary are still standing in Cap Rouge Harbour, although these particular monuments were rebuilt by the French Navy in the 1930s - years after the end of the French fishery in Newfoundland. -- The cognitive processes that led the Breton fishermen to build crosses and calvaries in the Petit Nord landscape are deeply rooted in the Breton Catholic traditions. Social and political contexts in Newfoundland from the seventeenth to the twentieth century also explain the presence of such cultural identity markers in the Petit Nord. In this thesis I document the symbolic meanings as well as the functions of these monuments to answer my main research question: Why over centuries did the Breton fishermen build crosses and calvaries in the Petit Nord region?

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9352
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 170-189)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Great Northern Peninusla
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bretons--Newfoundland and Labrador--Great Northern Peninsula; Crosses--Newfoundland and Labrador--Great Northern Peninsula; Great Northern Peninsula (N.L.)--Antiquities

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