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Title: Ritual dialogue in marriage custom, with special reference to Scotland
Author: Martin, Neill C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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The study examines the form and function of ritual dialogue in marriage customs. Particular attention is paid to Scotland, and more precisely the betrothal ceremony or reiteach in Gaelic tradition. Analogues from Brittany and Wales are also examined in detail. The examples from the Celtic tradition are prefaced by a general survey of comparable models from Indo- and non Indo-European tradition. Various elements of the dialogues, and the ritual dramas of which many form a part, are shown to be linked to concepts of the evil eye and to the motif of the 'false' or 'former' bride familiar to European folklorists. Their connection with 'life-cycle' dramas is also explored. Using the concept of one and two-way thresholds, the dialogues are also shown to be related in structure to other dialogic threshold rituals in Celtic society including seasonal and territorial rites and those connected to the bardic order. The role of the mediating figure of the matchmaker/bard is examined, as is the recurring motif of the mock abduction of the bride.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available