This dissertation presents a collection of personal stories collected by the author from the lobster fishermen of Meteghan, Nova Scotia. This corpus is not a complete inventory, but it helps us to begin to understand the evolution of this Acadian village. The author wondered: Since fairy tales no longer exist in their current repertoire, why not give value to the life histories that exist? This research required an observational transformation in order to notice, preserve and present the treasure that is the oral tradition in this region.
The author presents the fishermen's stories based on the concept of the ethnotexte, generating the sense of a written discussion between all the participants. The author uses a minimal level of interpretation of her own, allowing the voices of the informants to shine. This allows the text to be more faithful to the experience, since without sound, there is already a deviation of a natural phenomenon, the performance. The protocol used for the transcripts balances between the fidelity of the recordings and the text's accessibility, while preserving the maritime vocabulary and archaic words.
The author presents eleven themes, ranging from old fishing techniques, to tricks and superstitions. Since fishing is the main industry in this francophone minority community, the author reveals the cultural importance found within the stories, like the testimonies of the old ways of living and fears for the future, which represent a poetic mix between tradition and modernity.
Having conducted extensive field work, the author concludes that Acadian folklore in the area is not threatened, but has instead evolved. The author has succeeded in letting these fishermen speak, which helps to illuminate the enigma of the modern Acadian identity. Although subject to the imposed imperatives of modernity, Acadians are pragmatic, and at the end of the day, they honor family and the stability of the village first.
This is a region rich in heritage. The importance of ethnology seeks not to find solutions but to preserve this information. With a sense of urgency to capture the oral histories, this kind of research enriches this community's culture.
|Advisor:||Ancelet, Barry Jean|
|Commitee:||Leroy, Fabrice, Wright, Monica|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Folklore, French Canadian Culture, Ethnic studies|
|Keywords:||Acadians, Ethnotexte, Folklore, Lobster fishermen, Nova Scotia, Oral history|
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