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"Franco-American Identity, Community, and La Guiannée"$
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Anna Servaes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628462104

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628462104.001.0001

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Analytical Discussion of the Celebration

Analytical Discussion of the Celebration

(p.67) Chapter Five Analytical Discussion of the Celebration
"Franco-American Identity, Community, and La Guiannée"

Anna Servaes

University Press of Mississippi

La Guiannée is a public expression of cultural continuity. Memories seeing the performance or participating in it provide a basis for membership in the culture. By ritually and annually performing the Guiannée, the community members and performers develop a habit and collective memory by which they understand their past. The performance itself becomes a language, a performative language, which unfolds the language and culture of their ancestors. The cyclical performance becomes then a ritual through which the communities express their cultural identity. In addition to ritual celebration, the performers and spectators also participate in rites of passage to create a distinction between the inside and outside culture. When the Guiannée performs, the players and the spectators enter the liminal period where contemporary life is suspended to reveal ancestral history. In this liminal space, the communities become a communitas, a sacred community redefined according to its own criteria: French heritage.

Keywords:   Membership and Memory Recall, Habit and Collective Memory, Performative Language, Rites of Passage, Liminal Period and Communitas

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