Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Nichols, my father -- E. He is buried in Aspen, Nova Scotia in the family cemetery. Mary's" beautifully describe what life was like in the early s backwoods country of Eastern Canada. Product details File Size: Nichols Publications February 5, Publication Date: February 5, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review.
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Nova Scotia Memories: Folklore of the St. Mary's - E. E. Nichols - Google Книги
This is a mesmerizing read about life in Nova Scotia along the St. Mary's River area in the early s. The characters, although their names have been altered, were real people and their lives are captured on these pages, if only now in memory. They might well have died along with the real characters, but fortunately the stories were recently resurrected from their moldy storage boxes and brought to life in print.
So beautifully written, the chapters introduce characters such as Gammy, the ancient matriarch who struggles to keep her shattered family together; Jim P, the quack doctor who preaches the efficacy of pioneer and Indian remedies until he faces the Spanish Influenza epidemic; Old Screech, the mail driver who is a devout believer in ghosts; Gussie, the crippled girl ignored by boys, who dreams of marrying and becoming a mother; Danny Fiddler, the hunchback born with music in his fingers; Peter Keeper, the backwoods sheep tender who runs away to escape military conscription into World War I; and several more.
The plots are fictional but the characters, though renamed and sometimes composite person-alities, are real. Women who could not skate rode their bikes on ice by having McCready ice picks attached to their bicycle tires. They rode while their man skated beside them. Different costumes were worn. Women wore ankle-length skirts with petticoats at first. Then leg of mutton sleeves, hourglass waists, and enveloping skirts were worn. Years later divided skirts with tunic tops were worn.
They started wearing knickerbockers.
Most park riders were women wearing leg of mutton sleeves, hourglass waists and enveloping skirts. Their bicycles were multicolored: Some were even painted the same color as the ladies dresses, and some male riders had their machines painted in their regimental colors. Although for a literacy learner this could represent a strategy designed to reduce the total number of ideas that the writer has to put in her own words, the repetition could also signify something else.
Sarah seemed fascinated with the idea that people learned to ride in buildings so that others would not see their unpracticed techniques. In his analysis of English folk poetry, Renwick argues that commonplaces, the repetitive phrases and imagery found in local poetry and song, cannot be understood simply as devices to compensate for poor memory or lack of imagination. Rather, he suggests that commonplaces appear in performed texts as collective signifiers that have many levels of symbolic meaning beyond the things they actually refer to.
Since the very nature of literacy is always contextual and often collective Fagan Therefore, perhaps names of the fashions women wore while riding provided Sarah with a kind of commonplace upon which she could firmly base and centre her learning.
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Similarly, for Maureen, who was quite artistic and a good photographer, the central organizing concept seems to have been the pervasive evidence of excess throughout Victorian design. For Jennifer, I think the commonplaces were somewhat paradoxically double-sided. Her central themes focused on gingerbread as a consumer item subject to design and selection by the individual, and the process of construction.
From her writing, it is apparent that the steps involved in making of gingerbread trim seemed at odds with the expectation that the customer would be encouraged to specify a design at all, since using the large steam powered machines to turn out unique pieces was so time- and labour-intensive. As Jennifer wrote in her report:. Machines in the nineteenth century were steamed powered and the machines we used today to make trim are electric powered.
The machines at the Sutherland Steam Mill were large and not movable, you would move the wood through the machines to cut out your designs, but today the tools are smaller and more compact so you can move the tools around the wood to cut out your piece.
I wondered if she enjoyed, or would enjoy, cycling, and whether that is what attracted her to the topic in the first place. I was somewhat surprised to find out that Sarah did not like cycling at all, at least not as a leisure activity. She tried to learn when she was younger, but fell and then abandoned any further attempts.
Upon reflection, I was reminded of other ethnographic moments where I encountered individuals who did not necessarily like all — or any — aspects of the traditional culture they performed or understood as tradition bearers. As Smith observes, desire or value function on personal as well as social levels, and desirable, compelling, or significant traditions, experiences or other stimuli need not be pleasant For Sarah, cycling was not pleasant, but studying how Victorian women mastered the new sport clearly was.
The clothing that women cyclists wore made something that was slightly dangerous and extremely unladylike not only possible, but also popular. It is possible that, even though Sarah did not enjoy cycling herself, she found pleasure in these Victorian expressions of female resistance.
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I sensed that this could be difficult to study in the context of Shand House, because other than a box of glass ornaments in the attic, there was little material or written evidence of how Christmas at Shand House was celebrated. To compensate for this, Lori was very interested in looking at any books on the subject, and she was also quite adept at Internet searches. Lori described herself as an avid genealogist.
She mentioned that one of her hobbies was the identification and collection of Victorian dolls, and she enjoyed almost every aspect of material culture and decoration from the Victorian era. At our second meeting, we went to the West Hants Historical Society Museum, and Lori was able to identify and date many of the dolls in that collection, and detail some of their defining features. From the beginning, Lori appeared enthusiastic and cheerful, and she attended every Friday, despite having to deal frequently with illness and significant family stresses.
Nova Scotia Memories - Folklore of the St. Mary's (Paperback)
I find it interesting that her topic took her outside the house altogether on her research journey. People work memories and objects together in their lives in ways that allow them to actively create traditions, respond to change by weaving narratives around objects and endowing them with new meanings, and by using things to give new substance to events and moments of loss in their lives. It became clear that the main challenge for Lori was learning how to narrow topics and focus her efforts around a particular set of research questions.
Nicholas, the first Christmas tree, and so on. She alluded to this challenge to her learning in the questionnaire. When asked what she expected to find out about her topic, she wrote:. We were shown a quilt that was lying over a rocking chair. His love letters had been used as foundation padding. Fragments of his writings were visible where the stitching was worn. Looking back, that quilt was a kind of metaphor for Lori, her learning style, and her participation in the group.
She liked to get into the middle of something, see how it was put together, and try to tell the story of why it was like that — as she saw it. And, like the quilt, I perceived that her life was made of many pieces, some fraying where they touched, the overall pattern hiding from immediate view a complex story exposed in fragments, but one that I suspect few will ever fully read. In Ways with Words, Heath describes the ethnographic learning process within the communities she studied as bi-directional knowledge translation and transfer between familiar and unfamiliar domains For the children Heath studied, part of their motivation would likely have come from the novel conditions her presence introduced into the class routine — a point she does not appear to discuss in detail.
Their motivation to learn would also have been reinforced by the realization that their science unit would eventually translate into the familiar marker of a grade.
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For the women in our study, the choice to participate in the pilot project held no such externally marked value. They would not receive a grade, and although we did discuss certificates and a graduation, that observance could only be a group event imbued with whatever significance they personally attached to it. We would not be helping them get a job, become better mothers, or improve relationships with their caseworkers by enrolling them in a provincially recognized course of upgrading. The decision to join the program and commit to our Friday meetings — and make whatever adjustments to their lives such attendance entailed — had to have some independent intrinsic value for them.
In their ethnographic study of literacy in Lancaster, Barton and Hamilton describe literacy as patterned by such factors as gender, history, social institutions, and the various larger cultural practices in which they are situated. Furthermore, literacy reflects a dynamic set of practices that is subject to change in value and currency as individuals are continually influenced by shifting contexts of interaction, and ongoing informal learning Barton and Hamilton Clearly, the parameters or emphases of formal education do not limit the scope of literacy.
For example, Barton and Hamilton discuss learners who taught themselves about such things as betting practices, and then shared their knowledge as mentors with other interested family members, through self-directed research Furthermore, it is important to examine what people value in their lives. Maureen, who graduated more than a year ago, put her situation in these terms: However, there are few jobs where she lives, and relocating with a young family is difficult. Additionally, she would need to make at least ten dollars an hour in order to pay a sitter in the rural community where she now resides.
If she moves to the city, her living expenses will be higher, so she will have to earn even more. A report by the National Anti-Poverty Organization establishes its opening arguments with the following assertion:. Moreover, because of systemic inequality, the acquisition of literacy skills alone does not automatically lead to a better standard of living. Teaching people to read and write will not create jobs that do not exist, make it easier to survive on the minimum wage or get rid of discrimination against disadvantaged groups in our society. She cites the mutual interactions of a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that impact negatively on the learning context.
Understandably, irregular attendance poses a significant challenge to program design and, in many instances, continued and stable funding. Perhaps the pilot project was the only aspect of her life to which she could say: Class issues require some further explication at this point. Certainly, they explored the house enthusiastically, and were all struck by the different formal and informal conversations and stories that were expressed in the domestic environment as a whole, and that spilled out into the placement and styles of trim on the outside.
Likewise, they noticed that the exuberant flourishes of gingerbread that announced themselves so forcefully to visitors at the front of the house softened to a whisper at the sides, and fell silent around the back. They decided that the lack of trim around the back of the house suggested that a much smaller and more familiar audience would use the rear of the house, and therefore an elaborate external presentation was not necessary.
Perhaps because this project was an extra to the extent that it was not linked to any other officially sponsored course or program, the women felt free to move beyond the House as the frame and historical family setting that constituted both their focus and their classroom. They seemed drawn to pose and explore questions that were not addressed immediately by what they saw. The fact that they were women researchers regularly accessing the domestic spaces of other women who could not tell their own stories may also have influenced them — consciously or unconsciously — to set parameters around the kinds of questions they felt were appropriate to ask.
However, I would like to take a moment to reflect on changes I have implemented in the project sites that form the focus of my postdoctoral research. Of the participants in the pilot, I would say that Maureen and Jennifer gained the most from the experience because they worked together, and their friendship was a source of mutual support, something that Sarah lacked. Working together on a collaborative project, they also had to keep each other focused, which was a problem for Lori.
The pilot project, though modest, yielded many valuable insights and suggested possibilities for future application. After commencing my postdoctoral research in October , I coordinated two field sites from January-March , one in Sydney, Cape Breton and the other in Bridgewater on the South Shore. I developed a series of initial participant information sessions with activities that are linked to learning outcomes in the recently revised provincial curriculum, such as the demonstration of active listening skills, the ability to ask questions and present information to a group, and interviewing.
The two site projects took place over six to eight weeks, for one half day per class group per week. In the first session, students were introduced to the study of objects through the analysis of a common cultural object, such as disposable coffee cup. In the second session, students learned about the analysis of photographs. In this session, they were provided with single-use cameras and instructed to take photographs of favorite places, people, and objects. Also, they were shown archival photographs within the museum collection and given a series of questions to ask about the photographs.
They were also encouraged to generate new questions about the photographs they were given, or about others from the collection.
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