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Title: Hebridean traditions of the eastern townships of Quebec : a study in cultural identity
Author: Bennett, Margaret
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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Despite the fact that French is the only official language of the Province of Quebec today, and that a relatively small percentage of the population claim Scottish ancestry, this thesis proposes that a cohesive minority group, such as the Hebridean Scots of the Eastern Townships, have, nevertheless, made a significant contribution to the shape of the landscape, and to current cultural and economic values. The vast majority of emigrants to this part of Canada were from the Isle of Lewis, entirely Gaelic-speaking, mostly crofting families, who suffered the severe effects of the potato famine of 1846-51. Emigration continued till the end of the nineteenth century, by which time relatively large tracts of land that had been granted by the British American Land Company had been cleared and farmed by the Gaelic community. By examining the historical background, traditional folk culture, society and values of the Gaels of the Outer Hebrides who settled in the Eastern Townships, this thesis identifies the influences of the Gaels on the area from its earliest beginnings to the present day. The study investigates the elements that constitute the identity of today's descendants who no longer speak the Gaelic language, but who, nevertheless, have distinctively different characteristics from their French neighbours. By explaining the significance of inherited patterns in Gaelic culture and of subsequent trends in acculturation, the work aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Eastern Townships and of Quebec.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available