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As is the Manner and the Custom: Identity and Folk Tradition in Cornwall.

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Submitted by Merv Davey to the University of Exeter as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in September 2011. This thesis is available for Library use on the understanding that it is copyright material and that no quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.
The complete thesis is available for download in pdf format on the University Web Site - handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10036/3377
Navigation:This web page provides an alternative way of navigating and browsing the thesis using direct links to individual chapters and appendices. It also includes links to midi and mp3 files of music and songs discused n detail in the thesis. Clicking on the chapter / appendix link opens the relevant pdf file in a new screen. Click on midi or mp3 link to play the audio clip. In case you get lost there is an html link to this web page on the pdf file but this opens a new screen and it is simpler and better to close or minimise the file and click on part of the contents page still visible.

Abstract:

The distinctiveness of folk music and dance traditions in Cornwall is at best ignored and at worst denied by the wider British folk movement. Within Cornwall itself, traditional music and dance is not widely recognised as a serious art form. This study challenges this position by arguing that failure to recognise Cornwall’s folk tradition as a distinctive and creative art form is due to hegemonic power relations not the intrinsic nature of Cornish material. It contributes to the debate about the distinctiveness of Cornwall’s historical and cultural identity and shows that folk tradition has an important place in contemporary Cornish studies.

This study examines the evolution of folk tradition in Cornwall from the early nineteenth century through to the present day, the meanings ascribed to it and the relationship with Cornish identity. The subject matter is at once arcane and commonplace, for some it is full of mystery and symbolism for others it is just “party time”.  It is about what people do and what they think about what they do in relation to the wide spectrum of activities associated with traditional music and dance.  These activities range from informal singing sessions and barn dances to ritual customs that mark the turning of the year. 

In order to establish a research methodology this study draws upon the paradigms of memory, oral history and discursivity. These paradigms provide a range of insights into, and alternative views of, both folk tradition and identity.  Action research provides a useful enquiry tool as it binds these elements together and offers a working ethos for this study. Using this model a complex and dynamic process is unveiled within folk tradition that offers a quite different perspective on its relationship with identity and brings into question popular stereotypes.

Page
 
Introduction
9
 
spc Identity and Folk Tradition in Cornwall    
Section one: Setting the scene    
  Chapter 1 Who are the folk? Constructions, de-constructions, Folk tradition and Cornish identity
15
 
  Chapter 2 Methodological framework, sourcing and managing data
51
 
Section two:Collectors and key players
 
 
77
 
 
 
 
131
 
 
167
 
Section Three: Contemporary locations of oral folk tradition In Cornwall
 
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287
 
Conclusion:
311
 
 
     
Appendix 1: Database Summary
 
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Appendix 2: Individual files for folk phenomenon directly referenced in text    
mp3 audio clip (Brenda Wooton+Ben Luxon-Lowender Peran Archive 1984)
347
 
midi file: Old's tune - Baring Gould's rough Copy manuscript
353
 
midi file: Old's tune - Baring Gould's Personal Copy manuscript
midi file: Old's tune - Hitchcocks Songs of the Westcountry
midi file: Old's tune - Session tune project 2007
midi file: Gilbert's tune -Baring Gould's Personal Copy manuscript
midi file: Hand's tune - Baring Gould's Personal Copy manuscript
mp3 audio clip (Singers session-The Upper Deck in Rock 1985-Bolitho Archive
359
 
mp3 audio clip (Pyba - Nadelik Project -St Clements Church Withiel, 2001)
372
 
 
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mp3 audio clip (Cry, English and Cornish- Withiel 2006)
390
 
  2.7 Furry Dances in North Cwll mp3 audio clip (North Cornwall Furry, 1980s, Lowender Peran Archive)    
    mp3 audio clip (Newquay Heva, 1980s, Lowender Peran Archive)    
mp3 audio clip (North Cornwall Ceili Band - Port Isaac 2009)
402
 
midi file: Tune published in Graves, Celtic Song book, 1928
406
 
    midi file: Tune published in Davey, Hengan, 1983    
mp3 audio clip (Singers Session, London Inn Padstow - Bolitho Archive)
412
 
    mp3 audio clip (Cornish - Phil Knight, Trev Lawrence, Lowender Peran Archive    
mp3 audio clip (Singers Session, Cobweb, Boscastle, Bolitho Archive 1991)
417
 
    mp3 audio clip (Cornish - John Bolitho, Withiel, 2010)    
mp3 audio clip ( Deep River Boys, HMV POP 263 1950)
423
 
    mp3 audio clip ( The Perraners, Lowender Peran Archive)    
  2.13 Cor Elow mp3 audio clip (Pyba,Withiel,An Daras project, 2003)    
 
 
Appendix 3: Summary of participatory action research
 
  3.1 List of projects and events
427
 
  3.2 Index of recorded interviews
429
 
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Appendix 4: participatory action research notes referred to in text    
437
 
    mp3 audio clip Mummers Procession, Padstow 2005    
451
 
    mp3 audio clip Snail Creep, Clay Country Customs Project 2008    
    mp3 audio clip Serpent Dance, Clay Country Customs Project 2008    
    mp3 audio clip Cock In Britches, Pyba, Saints Way Project, 1997    
459
 
 
Examples
mp3 audio clip Cadgewith Anthem, Bolitho Archive, 1984    
    mp3 audio clip Johnny Buggar, Bolitho Archive 1991    
    mp3 audio clip White Rose / Rosen Wyn, Bolitho Archive 1991    
    mp3 audio clip Lamorna, Lowender Peran Archive    
    mp3 audio clip Maggie May, Bolitho Archive 1991    
    mp3 audio clip Little Lise, Lowender Peran Archive    
463
 
    mp3 audio clip (May Whistles and Hal An Tow, Helston 2008)    
    mp3 audio clip (Hal An Tow Song, Howard Curnow, 2008)    
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    mp3 audio clip (Mock Mayors Procession 2006)    
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