This chapter is an overview of the Midwestern communities of Ste. Genevieve and Prairie du Rocher through a brief description of their heritage, location, and cultural expressions, particularly La Guiannée, the focus of the study. La Guiannée symbolizes the link between the past and the present, the continuity of the French identity, and community affirmation. Theories, such as performance, liminal, and cultural identity, analyze this celebration in order to show influence on memory and how memories connect individuals, communities, and culture. French and American societies are defined according to the relationship and development of capitalism and religion. The introduction concludes with the notion that identity can persist despite language loss.
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