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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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Disguise and Mask

Disguise and Mask

(p.78) Chapter Six Disguise and Mask
"Franco-American Identity, Community, and La Guiannée"

Anna Servaes

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter analyses the colonial disguise and its significance for the communities. Disguise and masking are integral elements to begging quest celebrations. They provide a way for participants to dress up and become someone else. This role reversal supplants everyday life to create the colonial life and invert social order. The paillasse or cornhusk costume, an evolution of a medieval character, inverts the natural order of life and death; nature is revived through the disguised, dancing individual. Role reversal also brings carnival laughter as a result of the comical actions by the performer: a jester who plays the king. Since the guionneurs use colonial costumes, the role reversal inspires an authenticity, defined by the participants and based on obligations for other festivals like the Rendezvous. Finally, masking hides the identity of the individual, completing the transformation and reviving the ancestor.

Keywords:   Role Reversal, Paillasse, Carnival Laughter, Authenticity, Masking

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