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Society for Comparative Studies in Society and History

The Sense of Time, the Social Construction of Reality, and the Foundations of Nationhood in Dominica and the Faroe Islands Author(s): Jonathan Wylie Source: Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul., 1982), pp. 438-466 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/178510 . Accessed: 17/04/2014 06:19
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The Sense of Time, the Social Construction of Reality, and the Foundations of Nationhood in Dominica and the Faroe Islands
JONATHAN
I

WYLIE

Dominica is the northernmost of the WindwardIslandsin the Lesser Antilles. Its capital is Roseau. The official language is English, but for most of the island's predominantlyNegro population of about 80,000 the language of everyday life is a French-basedcreole called patois. Dominica was granted full independencefrom Britainon 3 November 1978. From November 1977 to December 1978, I lived there in a fishing village called Casse. Casse has about 800 inhabitants. The Faroe Islands are an archipelagoof seventeen inhabitedislands in the North Atlantic, roughly half way between Iceland and Norway. Their capital is T6rshavn. The total populationof about 40,000 is of predominantly Norse stock. The first language is Faroese, a West-Scandinaviantongue, but until recentlythe official languagewas Danish. Since 1948 the Faroeshave been an internallyself-governing dependencyof Denmark. From June 1971 to April 1972, and duringseveral briefer stays since then, I lived in a fishing village called Alvab0ur (pronouncedAWL-va-bo-vur).Its populationwas 536. In some ways Alvab0ur and Casse are alike. Both are fishing villages huddled between hills and the sea. In both you find men gathered to chat where they can keep an eye on the watersfrom which they draw a living. But
The field work in the Faroe Islands on which this essay is based was supportedin part by the International of Social Relations, Harvard Comparative Program,Department University. Further research on Scandinavia in 1976-77 was supported by a Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Fellowship at the SosialantropologiskInstitutt,Universiteteti Bergen. Field work in Dominica was carriedout underthe aegis of the Island Resources Foundation,St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. I am grateful to the Bergen social anthropologistsfor hearingout some preliminary generalizationsabout Scandinavia, and to the Center for InternationalStudies at Cornell University for sponsoringa lecture based on a draft of this essay. ' Patois-the Dominican brandof Lesser Antillean French Creole-has no standardwritten form. I renderit here accordingto the phonemicsystem proposedby Douglas Taylor, Languages of the WestIndies (Baltimore and London, 1977), 198-204. 0010-4175/82/3501-0199 $2.50 ? 1982 Society for ComparativeStudy of Society and History

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the better you know them, the more these villages seem as different as their seas themselves:the cold, cod-richreachesof the North Atlanticand the warm Caribbean,from which the day's small catch includes a bewilderingvarietyof fish, alike only in possessing assortmentsof exquisitely evolved teeth, scales, spines, scutes, and even wings with which to harryand escape each other. In Alvab0urthe weatheris the first topic of conversation,and so the first conversations I felt at home with in Faroese concerned winds and tides, sunshine, rain, and degrees of drizzle. Tryingto push beyond this topic, I quickly found thatAlvabingarwould tell me next to nothingaboutthe politicalfactionalismI had hoped to study. They go out of their way to get along with one another, and any dissension which occurs is discussed privately in scandalizedundertones. Instead of party strife, I heard dozens of times about how the village had been founded in 1833-34, and found myself collecting genealogies of astonishing depth and accuracy. After this experience, Casse was a shock. The people of Casse regard each other with suspicion. They often quarrel noisily. They seldom talk about the weatherexcept as a matterof immediate practicalconcern, and no one seemed to know or care aboutthe historyof the village. I was able, with great difficulty, to collect only a few genealogies. This essay concerns the sense of time and the social constructionof reality in Casse and in Alvab0ur. They could hardlybe more different. Casse's past is shallow and unimportant; Alvab0ur'sis deep and a topic of generalinterest. In Casse reality is shiftingly construed,often throughargument,as a matterof received opinion, or else it is founded distantly in the antitheticalworld of white men's ways and God's word. In Alvab0urthe social order is construed in terms of such portionsof reality as historicaltruthsand the orderof nature. I also want to suggest a corollary of these differences, with the broader intention of comparing Afro-Caribbean and Scandinaviansociety. What the Dominican press called "the move to independence"was profoundlyahistorical and culturally threatening;in the Faroes, gradual separationfrom Denmark has seemed an almost naturalfulfillment of culturaldevelopment.
II

Casse, 22 May 1978 Baptiste and I were sitting in a bit of shade by the shore. He was mending a net, cutting out weak spots and patchingnew netting in. I was squattingon a rock I'd pulled up by way of a chair. Fromtime to time we would look out at the tepid expanse of the Caribbean, here formed into a bay by a low spit reaching out to a headlandcalled Labatwi. There are a few ruins on Labatwi-a crumblingparapet, and a stonework tankfor storingrainwater.Labatwibelongs to the Queen, Baptiste said. There used to be forts there: look, you can still see the ruins "where the soldiers were." There are a couple of old cannon lying at the base of the headland,

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half buriedin the sand, and sometimes he has found glass bottles "as thick as my hand." Baptiste said it was the French who built the fort. Dominica lies between Guadeloupe and Martinique, he went on, and if the English had held Dominica it would have kept ships from passing between the Frenchislands. But during the First World War "1914, you know"-the British captured the fort from the French. And so they won the war. This is why Dominicans speak French, or anyway what is called the "broken French" of patois, although Dominica is English. "It's a story." Nodding sagely, I thoughtto myself that it is very nearly the sort of story we call myth, in which the doings of the gods are recountedto chart out the state of the world as people know it today. Baptiste's story explains why there are ruins on Labatwi, why Dominicans are "English" but speak "broken French," and, by extension, one reason why Dominica's full independencewhich was then being planned, almost in secrecy, by the British and Dominican governments-was widely feared:the Frenchmight take the island back. But Baptiste serves up this story as a factual accountof events-as history. It is impossible history, of course. No large battle, let alone the decisive engagement of the First World War, could possibly have been fought on Labatwi, and in any event the British and French were allies in 1914. Exasperated, one wonders what actual events Baptiste's account might echo. Left largely to the Carib Indians until the early eighteenth century, Dominica was nominally neutral when the Seven Years' War broke out in 1756. However, it was by thattime a Frenchcolony for all practicalpurposes, and so in 1761 the British seized the island. To defend it they erected a series of strongpoints,including that on Labatwi, at strategicspots along the coast. In 1778 France allied herself with the United States, and tried to recoup her losses. One of the first French actions was against Dominica.2 Early in the morning of
2 The quotations below are from Bryan Edwards, History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, 4th ed., 3 vols. (London, 1807), I, 435-36. The clearest picture of the attack is given by a map, a photocopy of which (from the original in the Bibliotheque Nationale) is in the Map Room at the New York Public Library,entitled "Plan de la Conquetede L'Isle de la Dominique par le MI le Mis de Bouille En 1778." Edwards's account, like most in English and some in French, relies on that of Thomas Atwood, The History of the Island of Dominica [etc.] (London, 1791; facsim. ed. London, 1971), 108ff. Most French accounts rely on documentarysources, and on the Marquis de Bouille's correspondenceand memoirs. See, e.g., Memoiresdu Marquis de Bouille, M. Fs. Barriere,ed. (Paris, 1859), 46ff; G. Lacour-Gayet,La Marine militaire de la France sous le regne de Louis XVI (Paris, 1905), en 1779 vue a travers de Terrea la Martinique 181-83; and E. Lerville, "Rivalte Marine-Arm6e les documentschiffr6s," RevueHistoriquede 1' Armee, 28:3 (3rd trimester, 1972), 33-52. For a quasi-officialBritishmilitaryview, see R. Beatson, Naval and MilitaryMemoirsof GreatBritain from 1727 to 1783, 6 vols. (London, 1804), IV, 384ff. The attackis illustrated,in some respects no doubt rather fancifully, by F. Godefroy, Recueil d'estampes represantant des differents

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in thatyear, a Frencharmament, Monday,the 7th of September, consistingof a forty-gun ship, threefrigates,and aboutthirtysail of armedsloopsand schooners, of volunteers, havingon boardtwo thousand regular troops,and a lawlessbanditti halfthatnumber, about off theisland,under thecommand of theMarquis of appeared of Martinico, andgeneral of theFrench Windward andWestIndian Bouille,governor Islands. Having landed at the mouthof a ravine several hundredyardseast of Labatwi, about eighty members of this force took it by storm. According to English sources, "strangeas it may seem, the case afterwardsappearedto have been, that some of the French inhabitantshad insinuatedthemselves into the fort a few nights before, and having intoxicated with liquor the few soldiers that were there on duty, had contrivedto spike up the cannon!" The main French force then descended on Roseau, where the British capitulated after some sharpskirmishingon its outskirts. Franceruled Dominica until 1783, when it was restored to Britain by treaty. It remained a British colony until it was grantedthe semi-independentstatus of Associated Statehood in 1967. This cannot be the full history of the storm of Labatwi. One would like to know who lived in the two estate-houses by the bay, and why the "inhabitants" had such easy access to the fort. Why was the fort apparentlyundermanned, and why did its garrison fail to notice that their cannon had been spiked "a few nights before" the attack?We might answer such questions by consulting French, English, and Dominican archives. But this would lead us away from Baptiste and his story, and relieve us too quickly of our initial exasperation. Really, how is it possible to "confuse" 1914 with 1778? We cannotdismiss Baptistehimself. He is a trustworthy and intelligentman who has seen something of the world. Unlike many villagers, he knows his birthdate, 1919, though he must pause to work out how old that makes him now. He recalls working in Curacaoas a young man and, for "jig wages" of five shillings a day, for the American Army in Antigua during the Second WorldWar. In 1955 he went to England,where he stayed until 1961, working for London Transport. He is quiet spoken and methodical; it is easy to with the same picturehim tending the high-tensionlines of LondonTransport meticulous patience he exercises here on his batterednets, and with the same self-possessed air he carries about the village and into his "gardens" in the jungled hills above it, avoiding on his way home throughthe city the dread gangs of Teddy Boys who used to harass West Indians in London. In short, Baptiste is a reliable informant;and faced again and again with
evenemensde la Guerre qui a procure l'Independanceaux Etats unis de l'Amerique(Paris, n.d. [1783?]). The British often named strongpoints after officers. Scotts Head, for example, at the southerntip of the island, is named for LieutenantColonel George Scott, who was the lieutenant governor of Dominica during 1765-68.

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such obviously trustworthy people telling such obviously untrustworthy stories, our exasperationbecomes general-a token of our reaction to the cultureof this village. All too easily we suspect that "these people," or "the natives," or "the West Indian," just cannot get anything right. They will muddle up everything-get dates wrong, wars wrong, armies wrong, speak and insouciantlydebased, and put on languagesby turnscrazily grandiloquent shows of knowledge wonderful only for the ignorance they betray. But our suspicion seems racist. We suppressit. And in its own way this is as dishonest as retreatinginto the archives. It shies clear of realizingthat we must come to terms with two entwined cultures: our own, and a local one in which the moorings of our own scheme of things have been cut adrift to mark a very different sense of the world. Although "1914" means something peculiar (from our point of view) to Baptiste, it is not meaningless. Moreover, the cultureand this Afro-Americanone is difference between our Euro-American partlya matterof race, at least in local eyes. If the "confusion" of Baptiste's it historyis a matterof differencesbetween his cultureand ours, to understand we must first appreciate how the people of Casse understandcultural differences. In the Dominican view, there are two main races, White and Black, and, for our present understanding,the most importantthing about them is that White people are better than Black people.3 Black people-one's fellow villagers and Dominicans-are generallyjealous, grasping, suspicious, ignorant, untrustworthy,and superstitious.White people are honest, knowledgeable, generous, trustworthy,and competent. Black people are always quarreling and trying to hold one anotherback. White people get along well with each other, and help out White and Black alike. Though it is often said, particularlyby the young, that White and Black people just have different color skins (but underneath we all have the same red blood), the antithesisof Black and White remains fundamentalto local thought. It is much better, a man a bit older than Baptistetold me one day, to work for a White man than a Black one. The White man knows he is superior, so he will help you. The Black man will try to hold you back, so you don't become as good as he is. I began to protest,but my friendsaid no, don't object-he had worked for both Black and White, and he knew. It is often said, similarly, that the islands ruled by White people-Martinique, Guadeloupe,St. Thomas-are betteroff than those ruled by Blacks-Jamaica, Trinidad,Grenada.Dominicans feared independence for this reason as well as for the French threat: freed from
3 There are in addition several minor races, including Caribs, Portuguese, and East Indians. Black people themselves range in color from what they call "black" to "red-skin" to "clearskin." the patois term was is nearly synonymous with "family" (famiy) in the latter's sense of people related by blood. I hope it will be clear that the following ideas about racial characteristicsare in no way my own.

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British, White restraint, the Black government would try to hold the people back. Since the villagers feel that White people and White ways are superior to Black ones, they express their aspirations to respectability by imitating or mimicking them.4 People who have only a few, mostly abusive or peremptory words of English often try to "speak English" with their children rather than use patois.5 On Sundays, one man wears to Mass a zoot suit he picked up in London twenty-five years ago-only the footgear that went with it has long since worn out, so he now sports platform shoes. To the White people in whose honor, as it were, such manners are adopted, they must seem ludicrous and self-defeating. White reactions thus complete the circle of identifying culture and race, and ranking one race (and culture) above the other. Today one speaks slightingly of "the West Indian," but few nineteenthcentury travelogues, more honest in their way, would be complete without accounts of "Quashie's" or "Sambo's" highfalutin names and Sunday dress: Outwards, most religious are these good people, and very edifying it is to see, on Sunday mornings, the roads leading to the towns lined with devout church-goers. Julius Hannibal,who owns a half acre patchof cocoa, may then be seen mountedon a fiery, twelve-hands-highpony; his long legs, with extremities clad in numberthirteens, danglingalmost to the ground;his upperman arrayedin shiny felt hat andgreasy black coat, as he caracoles on his way to devotions. Half a mile behind him comes Mrs. Hannibal, his faithful spouse, trudgingalong with her boots in her hands, and clad in a cool white frock, with a smarthandkerchief aroundher neck. On her head she is most likely wearinga man's soft, black felt hat, with a stone laid on the top to keep it from being blown away by the wind.6 More recently Alec Waugh has recalled that his manservant on Martinique possessed a pairof buttonlessbuttonboots which can have served no otherpurpose, so perforatedwere they, than the warmingof his ankles. One day he would wear the right boot. On the next the left. Every fourthor fifth day he would wear neither. Only once
4 Here and throughout,I use the terms respectabilityand reputationin the senses proposedby P. J. Wilson, Crab Antics: The Social Anthropologyof English-Speaking Negro Societies of the Caribbean(New Havenand London, 1973), 2ff., to mean dialecticallyrelatedprinciplesof social based respectively on nonlocal and local values and pursuits.Wilson arguespersuastratification sively that this dialectic is fundamentalin West Indiancultures. In a less extreme form (because not aligned with alleged racial characteristics)it is probablycommon to all provincialcultures. I suggest at the end of this essay that there is a thirdkind of elite, formed of what might be called people of substance, whose membersratherprecariouslymediaterespectabilityand reputation.A preacheris respectable,for example, a good fishermanis reputable,and a well-to-do landowneris a man of substance. 5 In Casse, where everyone's first language is patois, competence in English varies immensely. At presentmost people's English is probablybest describedas a nascent English creole influenced by patois as well as by standard English and by existing West IndianEnglish creoles; cf. J. Amastae, "Dominican English Creole Phonology: An Initial Sketch", Anthropological Linguistics, 21 (April 1979), 182-204. In Casse, patois is not believed to be a "real language." 6 H. J. Bell, Obeah (London, 1893), 414-15.

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didI see himwearing both.Thatwason New Year'sDay.... Hewasgoingto Fortde to wish the proprietor New Year.7 he explained, of the housea happy France, And in Casse one day I noticed a nattyyoung man sportingtwo wristwatches. It's okay, he said when I asked him about it: one doesn't work. We both laughed. Several points must be made about such observationsand the actions that promptthem. First, they reflect the rankingof White and Black, and Black emulation of White ways. Second, this emulation is expressed in piecemeal borrowings.The whole of Whitecultureis not takenover, only bits and pieces of it. Mrs. Hannibalwears a man's hat, and somehow the rock on top doesn't count at all. The question does not arise as to whetherplatformshoes go with a zoot suit. A phrase in bad English is better than a full sentence in good patois. Two shoes or two watches are twice as elegant as one. Third, White elements have been takenout of context, and fitted to a Black scheme of things in which, for example, sartorial splendor is an additive matter.We may make fun of the result, but such graftingsare a common form of cross-cultural borrowing.An Americanmight fancy he looks quite Parisian a suit and a beret, but a Frenchmanwould find him about as Cardin wearing as Julius Hannibal. In America a beret betokens Frenchness, and dashing thereforegoes with a Frenchsuit. In Francea beret is headgearfor a countryman or laborer,or somethinga businessmanmight wear on vacation, with his old clothes. But there is this difference. The orderingprinciplesof Frenchor American culture are fairly explicit, and are not seriously at odds with the more unexaminednormsof everydayroutines. They are woven into the fabric of daily life, forming a patternin it. The orderingprinciplesof Casse's Black culturemay be as antitheticalto White ones as the races themselves are said to be-but the coherenceof Black cultureis inadmissable.Pretensionsto respectability must thereforebe expressed in White terms. Elements of White culture are attachedlike labels to the fabric of everyday life, lending it a borrowed dignity even as they obscure its native weave. White elements become badges of respectability, meaningful rather as badges than for whatever is written on them. Thus 1778 may be labeled "1914." Let us take up Baptiste's story again. Its historical pretension and its graftings from White culture suggest despite themselves how radically, if inadmissibly, Baptiste's sense of time differs from our own. The story's main borrowingis the First World War-" 1914, you know." Shorn of its Europeanmeaning, this event becomes a badge of Whiteness, lending the story a respectable frame and its teller a respectable air, and signaling its distancefrom everydaylocal life. The careful datethus paradoxically lends the story the timelessness of "once upon a time." It also subverts
7 A. Waugh, Hot Countries (New York, 1930), 89.

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White world historyto a local Black myth expressinga centrallocal concernthe relationship between English and French. To this end, too, an English attackon a Frenchfort (in "1914") has been substitutedfor a French attack on an English fort (in 1778).8 Anotherquasi-mythicaspect of the story is its distance from village life. Its charactersare the Queen and the French and English armies. No villagersnot even any Dominicans - help build the fort, defend it or storm it. The "inhabitants" who plied the defenders with liquor and spiked their cannon have been forgotten. This reflects the powerlessness felt by the people of Casse today. After all, what do they have to do with the decision to grant Dominica independence? If the French invade Dominica, a villager announced one day, we'll ask the English for help. No, he was told by an educated type who had come up from Roseau to buy fish, independence means we can't ask the English for help any more. Scandalized, the first man went off to proclaimround the village how perfidiouswere the government's plans for independence. No one paid much attention. What could they do aboutit? Besides, maybe the man fromRoseau was kidding. Since they do not feel they have control over their fate, the foreseeable future does not stretch very far ahead for the people of Casse. Events are not so much planned-and then in secrecy, lest a jealous neighbor spoil them-as anticipated, so that they have the mysterious inevitability of fashions. Independence, Carnival, Saint Peter's Day, the season for dolphin-fish-a feeling builds up that they are "going to happenany time,"' announcedover the radioor by the priest, or in spreadingrumorsand dreams. Dreams are said to be messages from God, and the future is in God's hands. We may find Casse's foreshortenedpast even more remarkablethan its unforeseen future. How could Baptiste possibly date the French expulsion from Dominica to only five years before his birth?In fact, this dating is not so remarkableas his speaking at all of events that took place "before I know myself." "'BeforeI know myself" is the time before a personis abouteight or nine years old. Not themselves rememberingthem, people tend to dismiss or as accountsof events "before I know myself" as old people's maunderings lies: "Some people just saying what they want." As a rule, the most distant time." Although period aboutwhich people will speak is their "grandparents' a few people can trace genealogies to an allegedly White great-grandparent, one's "grandparent's time" is the periodto which clearly fantasticaltales are dated, and in which slavery, actually abolished here in 1834, is said to have existed. It is to all intents and purposes the beginning of time.
8 Only Baptiste told me the story of the siege of Labatwi. It is evidently not commonly known in the village, but most people are probablyaware that Dominica used to be French. The enmity between French and English is sometimes attributed to the latter's having executed Joan of Arc for working obeah. The story of Joan of Arc was probablypopularizedby French priests in the late nineteenthcentury, and has been perpetuated by several movies that have touredthe island.

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How then to people pass knowledge along?9 Didn't someone a bit older thanBaptisteever let on thatin his or her day Dominica had been English too? But Casse has no personages or institutionsto store and pass on such lore. People talk mostly to people their own age, and from their own experience. Nor can they trustaccountsof events they did not themselves witness, since so often people "just saying what they want." Personalhistories are unreliable, while history in the sense of a collectively maintaineddescriptionof the past scarcely exists. One resultis the continualreinventionof the past, almost from scratch.One day a smart and engaging young man called Kodak told me something he'd just learnedfrom some friendsof his, somethinghe thoughtmight interestme: Winston Churchillhad once lived in the village, in a house which had been convertedinto a school shortly "before I know myself." He was an important man, Kodaksaid, a white man from England. Had I ever heardof him? Yes, I said, he was a famous man: what did he do? He won the war, Kodak said. Which war was that, I asked. A flicker of doubt crept into Kodak's eyes (questions like this disturbhim; at school you are beaten for wrong answers) but he persevered:the Vietnam War. Several months later I discovered the basis of his story. The house had been owned by Mr. Winston, a well-to-do black merchantfrom town. Kodak's tale, like Baptiste's, is a kind of myth without a mythology, a It is not embeddedin a system of knowledgeor historywithouthistoriography. confirmed (or confirmable)by specialists. Indeed, it seems that any form of systematicknowledge aboutlocal affairsis dangerous:sava, in patois, means not only knowledgeable, clever, but also secretive, sly, evasive. The indigenous, essentially religious expertise of "old niggers" (vye neg) versed in obeah, or of the sukuyd (night-flying sorceresses, able to change their skins and shapes, spoiling people's luck and sucking their blood), is obviously dangerous, not only because its adepts may harm their fellow villagers, but also, one suspects, because the very fact that it is organizedknowledge lends its possessors untoward power. The few villagers-schoolteachers, fundamentalist preachers, scatteredindividuals-who do profess systematic ideas about the way the world works boast knowledge founded safely in the alien worlds of the English language, foreign textbooks, White people, or God's word. History of this book-learnedsort is an occult science like witchcraft, but safe and respectablebecause it has so little to do with everyday life. Baptiste's story suggests a furtherdifferencebetween his cultureandours:a sense of reality not only very differentfrom our own, but subversiveof it. For us, in principleif not always in practice,presentreality and historicaltruthare
9 I am speaking here of knowledge with no obvious practicalimportance.Practicalknowledge is learnedmostly by rote and imitation, and quickly fades if its applicationsdisappear.Thus the few constellations people once knew were forgotten when night smuggling trips ceased.

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impersonal, existing independentlyof what any individual thinks or knows about them. The orderof things is "out there," theoreticallydiscoverableby any rational investigator. From contemporaryrecords an historian should be able to piece together a reasonable account of what happenedon Labatwi in 1778; an anthropologistwho mastershis personal frustrationsshould be able to describe the culture of this village in abstractterms and with telling concrete examples. Moreover, we like to organize and institutionalizeour knowledge, entrustingit to specialists whom we may call upon if need be. In Casse, however, in principleif not always in practice,reality and historical truthhave no existence independentof what people say about them-and often "people just saying what they want." Moreover, since organized knowledge is dangerous,its explicit formulationis best left safely distantfrom local life, in White handsor in God's. Otherwise, the truthis establishedfrom moment to moment as a matter of received opinion. Thus discussions of trivial facts often become complicatedexercises in social relations. apparently Whose reputationis greater?Who controlsthe place where people arediscussing something? Which is larger, Dominica or Guadeloupe?This was the question under considerationone morningby a groupof fishermen.The majorityopinion and that of Franklin,one of the best fishermenin the village, by whose boats we were lounging about, favored Dominica. The minorityopinion and that of his younger brotherBateson, who has spent a good deal of time in Guadeloupe, was undecidedor tendedto favor Guadeloupe.I was particularly friendlywith but in different we both on Franklin's Bateson, ways depended patronage.At Bateson asked I didn't have a that book could tell length my opinion-and me? I said I thoughtGuadeloupewas bigger, but if they wantedI could get the book. Yes. I fetched my paperbackalmanac, and read that Guadeloupewas nearly twice as big. But this was not to be. For one thing, the book said that Dominica's area was 305 square miles, whereas everyone had learned in school that it was 306 square miles. Where had the extra mile gone? Rotelearned White facts and my own low reputationtold against me. "Beke," Franklinconcluded with a friendly but ratherpitying smile, "liv-u pa bo," White man, your book is no good. By midafternoonBateson had reached a compromiseposition. He told me privately that he thought Guadeloupeitself was smaller than Dominica, but was larger when its outlying islands were taken into account. He was still wrong, according to the book, but I didn't bother to tell him so. Our friendship dictated a compromisefact, just as Franklin'sreputationdictatedone we must all accept so long as we were hanging out by his boats. Guadeloupe's size is as immaterialas the First World War. These were friendlydiscussions. When someone's reputationis seriously at stake, however, discussions grow loud and angry. At any given moment an argument is likely to be raging in the village streets, as claims and coun-

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terclaims are argued, the support of "friends" is sought, derogations of "enemies" denied. Reality has little fixity in Casse: it is social, shifting, fragmentary,a matterof immediate coalitions of convenience. One result is that, embroiledin the continualre-creationof theirhome world, the people of Casse remain alienatedfrom the White world to which they aspire. Yet what both White with exasperated condescension and Black with aspiring selfdenigrationmay call these villagers' ignorance (or worse) actually measures the inadmissible strength of Black culture. It still gains its subversive triumphs.Dependingon whom you ask, the BritishcapturedLabatwiin 1914, Winston Churchilllived in Casse, and Dominica is larger than Guadeloupe. As Franklinsaid, the White man's book is no good.
III

AlvabOur,29 February 1972 Spring had not yet come, but the sun was returningto Alvab0ur. During the winterit does not rise above the bluff southof the village. A few days earlierI had met OlavurHansen "down on the roost," a bit of road between the post office and Alvab0ur'sdiminutivemovie theater.In good weatherold men like to lean againsta railingthere-like chickenson a roost, the village wags saygossiping, spinning yarns, and keeping an eye on the tides as they look out over the harborand the wide fjord to the long ridges and rearingsea cliffs of the next islands. According to his own account and that of the carefully kept village register, Olavur was born on 29 June 1912. He calls himself a fisherman, but he doesn't get to sea much any more. I had asked Olavur if I might come visit him sometime, to ask about his family history. He was surprised.In the Faroes one calls on people without invitation, without even knocking at the door. You walk in, take off your shoes in the hallway, come into the kitchen, and sit down by the stove. The woman of the house makes tea, and in the slow way of Faroeseconversations, punctuatedby the many equivalents of "yep" and "I reckon so," the talk gradually works its way througha discussion of the weather-fair, or more often stormy-to the affairs of the day and whatever business you have in mind. But yes, Olavur said, I could visit him. Now we sat in the parlorwhile his wife listened to us throughthe door as she set out little cookies and the good china on the kitchen table. I was being treatedratherformally. First we discussed the weather. It had been warm in the morning, but turnedcold when a southerly wind came up. Olavur turnedout not to be a particularlygood genealogist. He could go back only to his great-grandparents' generation,and even then he made some mistakes. I don't know how far back my best informantscould have gone. I concluded a genealogy when it stretchedbeyond Alvab0ur, or past arbitrarily

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its founding in 1833-34. However, Olavur did tell me about the founding of the village. I had alreadyheardthis story many times, and I was to hear it many times more. I had gotten into the habit of politely hearingit out with a smile I hope was not too fixed, noting to myself only small additionsor variationsof detail, and any unusualconclusions. The story invariablybegins, "Yes, Alvab0uris a young village." It is the stock response to such questions as "What kind of place is Alvab0ur?" I heard it most often when people asked me what I was doing. "Studying the folk-life," I would say. "Ja, ja. Yes, Alvab0ur is a young village...." Alvabingarclearly feel that the characterof their village is neatly contained in this phrase and the story that follows it. According to Olavur, the first man to settle in Alvab0urwas MikkjalJoensenfrom Strandarvik. Olavur concluded that the village Young People's Club of which he had been a member, broke up because "some people" denied this fact. I found Olavur's conclusion interesting.The "some people" were clearly the descendantsof J6han HendrikDavidsen, the other (and usual) candidate for Alvab0ur's "first inhabitant." And I had not heard much about the Young People's Club, let alone its breakup.Alvabingarrightlyinsist thatthey are cooperativeand egalitarian;dissension is scandalous. Now Olavur's story suggested that some Alvabingarwere more equal than the rest, and that there might be latent divisions amongst them along family lines. Now, rather than come down on the side of Mikkjal Joensen (and his supporters)or J6han Hendrik Davidsen (and his), let me attempt a neutral version of Alvab0ur's founding, though in some respects a fuller one than those I was hearing.10 According to an old ballad, a man called Alvur lived here in Viking times." Archeological evidence confirms that a Viking Age homestead stood on the legendary site of Alvur's house, and suggests as well that the site may have been inhabited off and on until the early seventeenth century. Thereafterno one lived in Alvab0ur, though a boat was kept there. It and the pasturageround aboutbelonged to people in Strandarvik, the nearest village, but therewere no sheltersor boathouses. When travellerscame ashore they had to make the trek-a dangerousone in bad weather-across the hills
10 Alvab0ur's settlement supportsa small literature.The fullest treatment,relying mostly on documentarysources, is by E. A. Bj0rk, "Elsta s0ga Skopunar," Urval, 3:1 (1968), 3-37. The discussion by Edward Hjalt, Sands sOga (T6rshavn, 1953), 95ff., relies more heavily on oral traditionin Strandarvik; his dating appearsto be off by at least a year. I am grateful to Niklas Jacobsenfor letting me copy his file of newspaperclippings, upon which the following accountis also based. I It appears,however, thatthis ballad was takenover from an Icelandicsaga about an incident in Norway, the plot being appliedto this island in the Faroesbecause of a chance congruenceof names. The name Alvab0uritself more likely means "elves' infield" than "Alvur's infield." See J. H. Poulsen. "Um Finnbogarimufaereysku," Skirnir [Reykjavik],'37 (1963), 46-58.

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to Strandarvik. Alvab0urwas a shore with heavy surf. Despite this, however, it was the most convenient landing place on this side of the island. Thus in 1815 Emilius L0bner, the Danish commanderof the small T6rshavngarrison, proposed that a few families be settled in Alvab0urto ferry travellersacross the fjord and shelter them in foul weather. Nothing came of L0bner's proposal, or of a similar one by his successor. Finally it was resubmittedby GovernorFrederik Tillisch, and approvedby the Danish governmentin 1832. Tillisch planned a settlementlarge enough to man an eight-manboat. The people would live primarilyby fishing. He did not want to settle poor or landless folk in Alvab0ur, since they might find it easier to steal the Strandarfeared this, too. Besides, they vikingar's sheep than to fish. Strandarvikingar did not want to come live here themselves, or to give up their land to others. Eventually Tillisch pressuredMikkjal Joensen, the young Strandarvikingur who was heir to the leasehold whose lands included the site of the proposed settlement,to settle in Alvab0ur.Tillisch foundonly one othersuitablesettler, Johan Hendrik Davidsen from the island of Hestur. Tillisch met with both men in Alvab0urin the springof 1833. They began buildingtheirhouses there that summer. Mikkjal and J6han Hendrik themselves apparentlygot along well together;presumablythey followed the Faroese custom of helping one another to build. Tillisch provided state funds for materials and additional labor. Unfortunately,documentarysources do not allow us to resolve the issue about which Alvabingardisagree today: who built the first house? According to one historian, "in the summerof 1833 were built ... for each of the settlers a kitchen, a parlor, and a drying shed, and in addition they received in common a boathouse and a byre.... Possibly both households took up residence in Alvab0urbefore Christmas, 1833. "12 But this descriptionis apparently taken from a report of Tillisch's that was not written until 26 May 1834,13by which time the original houses may have been partiallyor wholly rebuilt. Oral sources are sometimes more precise. One of J6han Hendrik's told me that his first son, J6hanPauli, had been born on great-granddaughters Hesturon 19 August 1833, "the same day that the roof-treeof the first house in Alvab0ur was raised."'14 This first house, she said, was J6han Hendrik's. She heardthe story from J6hanPauli, who in turnheardit from his father. My own guess is that Mikkjal's house was not finished in the fall of 1833; or if it was he did not yet live there all the time. In February1834, J6han Hendrik'shouse was badly damaged in a storm. According to several informants, he, his wife, and their infant son spent a
Bj0rk, "Elsta s0ga Skopunar," 12-13. P. Nols0e, "Ta Skopun var6 endurbygd:Hvat skjolini siga fra nybdsetingini," interviewin 14 September [T6rshavn],2 October 1950. 14 Literally, "... that the first house in Alvab0urwas raised" (reist). Completionof a house is customarilydated to the erection of the roof-tree.
13

12

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dangerous night in the boathouse. The next day they made their way to where her sister and brotherlived. Tillisch could persuadeJ6han Strandarvik, Hendrikto returnonly by offering to defray the costs of rebuilding. In the summerof 1834 Mikkjaland J6hanHendrikprobablybuilt what a few people claim was the first house in Alvab0ur. (You can still see some rubblefrom its walls beneaththe movie theater.) This one was built for strengthas a kind of duplex, with half for Johan Hendrikand half for Mikkjal. Mikkjal evidently lived in Alvab0urduringmost of thatsummer,'5but some people insist thathe did not begin living there regularly until the following year.'6 In any case, when a census was takenin the Faroesin August 1834, Alvab0ur'sinhabitants were listed as MikkjalJoensen ("unmarried,who lives there"), a hired hand of his, and J6han HendrikDavidsen, his wife, and their small son.17 Soon the village grew. J6han Hendrik'ssecond son was born in 1835, and before 1840 at least two more families had arrived.But Mikkjaldied in 1846 in an accident on the bird-cliffs, and his widow went back to Strandarvik. Then, in returnfor agreeing to move to Alvab0ur, his brother-in-lawPeter Wintherwas grantedrights over most of Mikkjal'slands there. By a series of arrangements beginning during 1849-51, J6han Hendrikand his heirs were granted ownership of the rest. Peter Winther and his heirs remained smalltime farmers;their lands were not extensive, and the farmerhas always fished as much as he farmed. Alvab0ur thus developed willy-nilly into pretty much what Tillisch had envisaged: a port of entry for the island, whose inhabitantslived more by fishing than from the produce of their small infield. Since the holdings Alvabingar gradually accumulatedby marriage, inheritance,purchase, and imwere never large, the tenorof village life has been migrationfrom Strandarvik set by the spiritof cooperativeenterprisethatfishing requires.Similarly, since there was never much land to build them on, Alvab0ur's houses are crowded together. Strandarvikingar say the place is too crowded-they say Alvabingar can (and do) look in each others' windows all the time. But Alvabingarclaim they get along well. Certainlymy wife and I found that our neighbors'knowledge of each other's and our affairswas as discreetas it was extensive. As one man told me, "Alvab0ur was built from the sea, so we have always had to help each other out-you see, Alvab0ur is a young village." What elements of this history do Alvabingarknow? How do their versions differ? What does it mean to them? The ballad is not recalled in the story beginning "Alvab0ur is a young village," thoughone man showed me a fire-blackenedstone he had picked up at the archeological dig on the legendary site of Alvur's house, and told me
15 Bj0rk, "Elsta s0ga Skopunar," 18. 16 Cf. J. M. Poulsen, "Hvor bygdi Skopun?" letterto the editor, 14 September,24 July 1950. 17 J. Ossurson, "Meira um Skopun," letter to the editor, 14 September, 21 August 1950.

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how the ballad recounts its destructionby fire. The late-medieval homestead is not known at all. But everyone knows of the events of 1833-34. Sometimes they give the date. They always identify the main characters,J6han Hendrik and Mikkjal, by name, by village of origin, and often by kinship to themselves or to other living Alvabingar: "So-and-so is his great-grandson,you know...." The storm and the duplex house are well remembered,as are a reluctanceto see numberof details about land tenure, the Strandarvikingar's Alvab0ur settled, and their fear that Alvabingarmight be sheep-thieves. The Danish authorities are mentioned rarely if at all, but Alvab0ur's bad surf almost always is. The way all this is put togethervaries slightly. Olavurand one otherperson told me the most radical variation. They claimed that Mikkjal came to Alvabpur and built a house, but it blew down in a storm and he returnedto with his wife. He came back the next year. Then he and Johan Strandarvik Hendrikbuilt a house together. Olavur, who is proudto be a Wintheron his mother's side, also gave me a genealogy making the present farmera direct descendant of Mikkjal. This is simply wrong. Moreover, documentary sources leave no doubt that Mikkjal was unmarriedin 1834 or that it was J6han Hendrik's house that blew down. In short, it seems that Olavur-or whoever told him the story-has simply substitutedMikkjalfor J6hanHendrik in the usual, "Davidsen" version, i.e., Johan Hendrikcame here first, but his house blew down, and so forth. In a sense, however, these variationsmatterless than the persistenceof the tale and its inevitable opening, "Yes, Alvab0uris a young village." At first account It is a matter-of-fact hearing,any versionis clearlya kind of history.18 of events happeningin a specific place at a specific time. The actors are all events have nothing inherentlyimprobahuman, and even the undocumented ble about them. There is no reason to doubt that J6han Pauli Davidsen was born on Hestur "on the same day that the roof-tree of the first house in Alvab0ur was raised," or that the date was 19 August 1833. Still, this is history served up like myth. It explains why Alvab0ur is the way it is, doing so in conventional phrases and in episodes which, as in Olavur's version, remainconstanteven while theircharacters exchange roles. The story explains, usually at the end, why Alvab0ur's houses are so tightly clustered, why this is a fishing village, and why there is still a certaintension It explains that Alvabingar are between Alvabingar and Strandarvikingar. neighborly and egalitarianand progressive. In a way, "Alvab0ur is a young
18 It might be called legendaryhistory, and indeed its details of kinship, dwelling-place, and featuresof Faroeselegends (sagnir). So is the tendencyto edit out named landtenureare standard foreign figures (in this case the Danish authorities),which lends it the sense-culturally telling but historically no more accurate than the lack of local figures in Baptiste's story-that only Faroese took partin the events described. I am at presentpreparinga book on Faroese history in which the style and importanceof legendaryrecollections are discussed at some length.

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village" is the community's constitution, its charter of basic values. Not surprisingly,therefore, times of tension and transitionin Alvab0urhave been markedby disagreementabout who settled the village first. Olavur's conclusion is a case in point. When he was young, Olavursaid, there was a Young People's Club in Alvab0ur. Among other things, the club sponsoreddances. One time-I didn't ask when, but this must have been around 1930, probably shortly before Alvab0ur's centenary in 1933-the club decided to erect a monumentcommemoratingAlvab0ur's settlement. A bit of land and a stone were bought. The stone was to bear the first settler's name. "Some people" insisted that 'Old J6hanHendrik"shouldhave his name on the stone. Others, Olavur presumablyincluded, held out for Mikkjal Joensen. A compromise, that both names be put on the stone, proved unacceptable. The club foundered. The monumentwas never put up.19 This conclusion of Olavur's suggests that the Davidsens' prominence in and that disaffection Alvab0ur's egalitariansociety was ratherprecarious20, with the way things were going in the village apparentlytook the form of a challenge to their position as its first citizens. Old J6han Hendrikand his descendantshave not monopolized Alvab0ur's small officialdom, but they have held a disproportionate numberof the positions which mediate the village's contact with the outside world. Old J6han Hendrik,for example, was Alvab0ur'sfirst merchantand postmaster,and was in charge of collecting the tithe and assigning men to compulsoryferry duty. Many years later, when Olavurwas young, Alvab0ur'sschoolteacherwas Old J6han Hendrik's grandson, after whom he was named. The schoolteacher representedthe district in the Faroese parliament(L0gting) in T6rshavnfrom 1916 until 1932, when he retired from politics. He was a member of the Self-Rule Party (Sjalvstyrisflokkur), which advocated self-help and selfdevelopment, and greaterindependencefrom Denmark. Thankspartly to his efforts and to a political and matrimonial alliance of Davidsens, Winthers,and the sheriff in Strandarvik, Alvab0ur was a remarkablylively and progressive place in the early and mid-1920s. In 1922 a combination dance hall and playhouse was built. I believe this was the first propertheaterin the Faroes. Locally written skits as well as publishedplays were producedthere. During
19 The stone was eventually turnedinto a memorialfor men lost at sea and on the bird-cliffs. Ironically, therefore, it bears Mikkjal's name but not J6han Hendrik's. 20 Like other Alvab0urfamilies, the Davidsens do not form a clan or a class, but ratherwhat Faroese call an ett: essentially a patrilineage,generally exogamous within three or four degrees of kinship. The looser and more colloquial termf6lk, sometimes used synonymously, may also mean family, people, folk, race, etcetera. For a discussion of the Faroesekinship system, see J. Wylie, "I'm a StrangerToo" (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1974). The Davidsens were slow to be drawn into the complicated web of Alvab0urkinship. None of Old J6han Hendrik'sthree boys marriedvillage girls, and his daughtermarriedaway. Only two of his eighteen village-born grandchildrentook Alvab0ur spouses: four died young, two never married, four marriedelsewhere, and six took spouses from elsewhere.

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were built by cooperativelabor with the 1922-26 the Alvab0urharborworks of a from the and at aboutthe same time the first real road in state, grant help the Faroes was built in the same way, between Alvab0ur and Strandarvik. But the late 1920s and early 1930s were troubled, transitionaltimes both nationallyand in the village-though given Alvabingar'sreluctanceto discuss such things it is hard to be sure in detail about troubles in the village. The underlyingcause was economic. A depression had set in in the Faroes after the First World War, and was now deepening as fish prices continuedto fall. severe in Alvab0ur:not only was this The depressionwas perhapsparticularly a fishing village, but therewere few public-works jobs because the projectson were finished. In national politics a the harborand the road to Strandarvik two-party system was giving way to a three- and then four-partysystem as economic issues overtookseparatistones. In Alvab0urthe Self-Rule Partylost its near monopoly of the vote. Until 1924 it had capturedabout 90 percentof Alvab0ur's vote, but this figure fell to 77 percent in 1928 and 76 percent in 1932, the year the schoolteacherretired.In 1936 the Self-Rule Partyreceived just 59 percent, having lost votes to the newly formed, far less separatist Social Democratic Party (Javna6arflokkur).21 The evidence is rather sketchy, but it seems likely that the shift in Alvab0ur's voting patterns was closely related to the demise of the Young People's Club. Both involved failuresof ideological unanimity,and both took the form of a reaction against Davidsen's leadership. However, neither dethat Alvabingarfind intolervelopmententailedthe sort of open confrontation to become a forum threatened when it dissolved able. The club apparently just for debate, while differences of political opinion were expressed in the privacy of the voting booth or throughdelegates in T6rshavn. The years around 1950 were an even more troubledtime. Again the cause was partly economic. Here as elsewhere in the Faroes, the fishing industry had emerged from the Second World War scarcely competitive and desperately in need of modernization.Political alignmentswere shifting again with the growthof nationalistsentiment.In Alvab0urthe Self-Rule Partyenjoyed a brief resurgence,but was rapidlyeclipsed by the new, nationalistRepublican Party (Tj66veldisflokkur). Village life was most seriously disrupted, however, by religious factionalism. Until 1948 all Alvabingar belonged to the established Lutheran church. (The village has a churchbuilding, but no ministerof its own, being In thatyear missionariesof an evangelserved by the ministerin Strandarvik.)
21 A furtherindication of Alvab0ur's somewhat peculiar situation is the fact that the Social Democrats took votes away from the Self-Rule Party. Elsewhere in the Faroes, the Self-Rule Partydrew only about 35-40 percent of the total vote in 1920-36, and in general it was their which lost votes to the Social Democrats. conservativerival, the Union Party(Sambandsflokkur) AnotherDavidsen was a memberof the L0gting in 1932-36. For detailed voting statistics, see E. Waag, Val og valtol 1906-1966 (Klaksvik, 1967).

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ical sect, the Assembly of God, arrived in Alvab0ur. They condemned as sinful not only such currentfashions as the curlingof women's hair, but also a number of traditionalcustoms: infant baptism, drinking, and dancing. The sect collected about thirty adherents,mostly people who were economically and socially rathermarginal. ProminentAlvabingar-particularly the Davidsens-opposed it openly, but their outspoken antidisestablishmentarianism was not wholly popular either. For a time, lest they offend neighbors who belonged to the sect or sympathized with it, many Alvabingar quietly eschewed "sinful" behavior. This informalsort of neighborlysolidaritywas of course well in keeping with the Alvabingar's disinclination to disagree openly. But it also hastenedthe demise of such traditionalmeans of promoting community unity as village dances, and at least tacitly acknowledgedthat a pseudohistoricalcharterof values drawn from the Bible was as valid as the "constitution" embodied in the story of Alvab0ur's founding. As well as the sanctity of its source, the evangelical ideology enjoyed the advantages of being explicitly formulated and textually based. How could services swelled, but the minister anyone refute it? Attendanceat the Lutheran his that the best tactic was to say nothing disappointed parishoners by deciding about the Assembly of God. The Home Mission (Danish Indre Mission), the evangelical arm of the Lutheranchurch, sent a missionary to Alvab0ur, but although he was personally popularhe did little more than polarize opinion further.Meanwhile, as if to make local history more explicit and to give it a textual basis of its own, Alvab0ur's founding was evidently much discussed. In the summer of 1950 the discussion even reached a national audience as professionalhistoriansand local laymen debatedpoints of detail in letters-tothe-editorcolumns of the newspapers.Whatdid the documentssay? Whatdid someone's grandfather remember? Alvabingarfound to theirdismay thateven in Torshavnthey had acquireda reputationfor contentiousness.How unfair, I was told twenty years later: after all, this is a young village. The religious furor died down within a few years. The fishing industry revived and the rest of the economy grew, and few people were economically predisposed to declare that Jesus would solve their problems. Alvabingar found thatgetting along togetherinvolved more thanseeming to live sinlessly. But theirmemoriesare long and the sect still has a handfullof adherents,and I found Alvabingarreluctantto discuss religion (or politics). An importantpart of getting along in Alvab0ur is agreeing about the past. We may claim, of course, that when the Young People's Club broke up fifty years ago, Alvab0ur'sfoundingwas not the real point at issue-that Alvabingar were actually worried about the depression, the Self-Rule and Social Democratic Parties, and the schoolteacher's prominence in village society. But it is also truethatthen, as in the years around 1950 and as in 1971 when I was repeatedlytold that "Alvab0uris a young village," Alvabingarknow their place in the world by knowing about their past. Like the discussions of the

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weather that inevitably precede getting down to other business, agreement about Alvab0ur's founding confirms a reality apart from Alvabingar's immediate interpersonalrelations, and gives them a way to understandtheir society. Mild disagreementgives them a way to express divergent understandings without opposing one another directly. Serious disagreement is avoided. Thus, while from one point of view realityis a social construct,from another point of view (which corresponds to the Alvabingar's), society is construedin terms of such realities as historicaltruthand the orderof nature. Using the past to make sense of the presentrequiresthe constantreaffirmation of historicalknowledge. Repeatingthat "Alvab0uris a young village" is an informallocal ritualto this end. Traditionallyin Alvab0ur, as elsewhere in the Faroes, people have engaged in more formal ritualsof collective recollection. Indeed, the story of Alvab0ur's founding has a very modest place in Faroeseoral historiography, which is embodiedin a numberof genres ranging from anecdotes about the day's fishing and the yams men spin down on the roost, to legends (sagnir) recallingevents of centuriespast. The older legends sometimes take on semisupernatural overtones, but unlike the true folktales (cevint)r) of Faroese oral traditionthey abound in plausible circumstantial details which can be checked in contemporyrecords. Their accuracy is often remarkable.So is their depth of time. Most legends date from after the late sixteenth century, but opening at random the great collection made by the Faroese philologist and folklorist JakobJakobsenin the 1890s, I find a little tale beginning, "Before the Black Plague came and devastated the
Faroes...."22 The bubonic plague swept the Faroes in about 1350. Even

earlier times are recalled in the heroic ballads (kvoe5ir). The ballads mostly concern medieval Norse heroes, but some tell of Charlemagne,for example. Others are closer to myth or romanticepic, and have little historical pretension. Until the late nineteenth century, legends and other oral literaturewere recitedat evening gatheringscalled kvoldseturwhen families and hiredhands, spendingthe long winter evenings in the kitchens carding, spinning, knitting, and doing other indoor tasks, took turns entertaining each other as they worked. Ballads too were sometimes sung in kvoldsetur, but mostly they were (and still are) sung and danced at festival times, at wedding parties or after a whale-slaughter,for instance, and each Sunday night from Christmas to Lent. One man sings the verses of a ballad, while everyone joins in the refrain. When one ballad is finished, someone starts another. The circle of of men and women, young and old, rich and dancers, formed indiscriminately
22 J. Jakobsen, Foeroskefolkesagn og ceventyr,3 vols. (Copenhagen, 1898-1901; rpt. T6rshavn, 1964-1972), I, 46. For a history of the Faroesas seen throughthe legends, see Jakobsen's Fcersk sagnhistorie (Copenhagen, 1904).

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poor, "treadsthe measureunderfoot" as it twists aboutthe room. There is no instrumentalaccompaniment. These dances were-and to some extent still are-universally engaging at the householdlevel, and during celebrationsof the past. So were kvOldsetur the long centuries when the Faroes were a half-forgotten, officially Danish, province, "it is scarcely an exaggerationto say that Faroese popularculture and spirituallife (almues kulturog andelige liv) were chiefly conditionedand borne up by these gatherings on winter evenings."23 Moder times have forms, but have not threatenedthe broughtnew literaryand historiographical value of history itself. Quite the contrary, for, as the traditionalculture has faded since the late nineteenth century, Faroese have defined their moder cultureand furtheredthe cause of separationfrom Denmarkby collecting and publishing ballads and legends, and writing schoolbooks and scholarly histories. For historianslike J6annesPaturssonand his son Erlendur-founders, respectively, of the Self-Rule and Republicanparties-as well for Alvabingar reviewing how their village was founded, the past helps to define the present and charterthe future. On the other hand, with the demise of the kvoldsetur and the decline of ballad-dancing,the fixing of legends and ballads in written form, and the advent of schoolbooks and scholarship, Faroese have to some extent lost immediateritual access to their past.
IV

A radically different sense of time is the most striking difference between Olavur's and Baptiste's stories. If Alvab0ur'smemorywere as shallow as that of Casse, men now middle aged would scarcely know that their own fathers built the harborworks and the road to Strandarvik"before I know myself." If the Dominican memory were as deep as the Faroese, the people of Casse would recall emancipationas well as Alvabingarrecall the founding of their village in the same year;the heroes of the last MaroonWar (1812-15) as well as Faroeserecall the loss at sea of theirhero Nolsoyar Pall (1808); the Middle Passage and the establishmentof the West Indianplantationeconomy as well as Faroeserecall the bitter, hungryyears when they were ruled by the Danish courtierChristoffervon Gabel and his son Frederik(1662-1708); the affairs of African states as well as Faroeserecall the deathof the Viking warlordOlaf Trygvasson and the coming of Christianityto the Faroes (ca. 1000); and beyond that perhapsa southernbranchof the Moorish expansion which to the north, as Faroeseballadstell, doomed Roland at Roncevauxin 778-exactly a thousand years before a more fortunateFrench force stormed Labatwi. Or
23 Jakobsen, Faerske folkesagn og ceventyr, I, xxxiv. Jakobsen dates the beginning of the demise of the kvOldseta to 1856, when, with the advent of free trade, people began gatheringin the shops that sproutedup in each village.

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WYLIE

Dominicans might have picked up French or English history, assuming a Europeanor Euro-Americanpast in the same way that a Polish American, say, might appropriate Valley Forge and the Pilgrim Fathers. Reasons for this difference come readily to mind. Even though the Faroese have at times been sorely oppressed, they experiencednothing like the slave trade or slavery. Their society was small, settled, and coherent in origin. Lands and leaseholds passed regularly from one generation to the next, families were stable institutions, and genealogies and the old Norse patronymic naming system remainedan appropriate way to describe the home world. Moreover, although many Faroese institutions were controlled from abroad-from Denmark-the distinction between Faroese and Danish was never as antitheticalas that between Black and White. Maintaininga distinctive local brand of Scandinavianpeasant culture, Faroese also partook of Europeancivilization throughtheir Danish connection. In Dominica, as elsewhere in the Caribbean,the local representativesof Europeancivilization were less enlightened than the Copenhagenintelligentsia, especially where Negroes were concerned. The Negro population was estrangednot only from full membershipin Europeanculture, but also from its multiplicitousAfrican heritage. In the New World, African religious and genealogical expertise was illegal or irrelevantor both. Slave families were too unstable to give a genealogical scaffolding to the past, and field hands could have had little interestin the inheritanceof landholdings.An exception proves the rule of the resulting shallowness of time. People in Casse do sometimes give detailed accounts of how substantiallandholdingshave been inheritedover several generations;but this does not betoken a generally coherenthistoricalconsciousness. Baptistecan tell you in detail how he acquired his land in the hills, but he is baffled if you ask what his fatherwas doing in "1914." But we do not wish simply to explain-or explain away-the Faroese and Dominican senses of time. Let us consider a related and more consequential matter:how have Faroese and Dominicans envisaged future social orders, especially when they look forwardto attainingnationhood?
* * *

In Alvab0ur and, we may suggest, throughoutScandinavia, people take their bearings for collective identity from things which, while local, stand outside the passing social scene. Society is understoodin terms of, for example, the past and the orderof nature.I have suggested thatAlvabingarritually establish a common ground in weather-talkpreceding any serious conversation; George Park has noted that in a region of dispersed farms in western Norway "the farmers who share a valley feel that their deepest common

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TIME AND REALITY IN DOMINICAAND THE FAROES 459

concern is the weather."24 Indeed, whole nations define their unity and their place among other nations in ecological terms. Thus Iceland pioneered the fifty-mile fishing limit-"an issue," the Prime Minister told the Nordic Council, "on which the whole nation is united"-so that she might "assume her role in the internationaldivision of labor, which has been allotted to Iceland by nature."25It was on similar grounds that Norway, though less unanimously, rejected membershipin the Common Marketin 1972, and that in 1974 the Faroese began negotations for a special accomodationwith Denmark and the EuropeanEconomic Community. History similarly provides a model for society. What book about Iceland, what tourist brochure, would be complete without an account of the Viking settlement and the sagas? The coherence of modernlife depends upon them. Gylfi P. Gislason, while noting that technological change and increasing contact with other nations are as desirable as they are inevitable, maintains that "this does not mean that Iceland may or should relax her efforts to preserve and promote her distinctive culture. Icelandic culture has always been and always will be the main argumentin supportof the nation's right to independence."26Gislason's comment suggests something else about how Scandinaviansarticulatecollective identitiesfrom the village level to national and even international levels. The distinctivenessof a village or a nationmust be established in formal demonstrationsof culturalworthiness. As Gislason goes on, "the closer Iceland approachesother nations, the greaterwill be her duty to stand loyal guard over her culture, both for her own sake and that of the world." As nationhoodis construedculturallyand cultureis in large partconstrued historically, it is not surprisingto find that the Faroese movement for greater autonomy from Denmark has at each stage involved demonstratingthat the Faroese are respectable partners in the Scandinavian cultural heritage.27 Faroese separatismbegan with appreciationsof the ancient roots of Faroese folkways. Both at home and among the Copenhagen intelligentsia, a first focus of attention in the early nineteenth century was "folkish" (Danish folkelig) ways and local survivals of once widespreadliteraryforms, chiefly the "medieval" ballads. People were also interestedin the Faroes' language,
24 G. K. Park, "Regional Versions of NorwegianCulture:A Trial Formulation," Ethnology, 11:1 (January1972), 3-24, at 9. Parksays this betokens "a positive resistanceto community." I shouldarguethatit exhibitsexactly the sort of agreementon which a sense of communityis based. 25 Quotedin The Government of Iceland, Icelandand theLaw of the Sea (Reykjavik, 1972), 7. 26 G. P. Gislason, The Problem of Being an Icelander: Past, Present and Future, P. K. Karlsson, trans. (Reykjavik, 1973), 91. 27 Space permits only a cursory discussion of Faroese cultural development since the early nineteenthcentury. For a fuller account, see my forthcominghistory of the Faroes, and J. Wylie and D. Margolin, The Ring of Dancers: Images of Faroese Culture (Philadelphia, 1981), and J. West, Faroe: The Emergence of a Nation (London and New York, 1972).

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for liberal opinion in Denmarkhad adoptedthe view that language was "the primarydistinguishing feature of a people who, it was claimed, should be "28In a sense, the ideal langrantedthe right to political self-determination. guage was the medieval Icelandic of the sagas, which was sometimes confused with both modem Icelandic and the Common Scandinavianmother tongue. The first decisive step in the reformulationof Faroese culture was taken in 1846, when the Faroese theology student V. U. Hammershaimb that made clear the ennobling affinity publishedan etymological orthography of Faroese to Icelandic. By the end of the century the Faroese people thus found themselves able to demonstratetheir worthinessto Copenhagenand to themselves by writing their own histories and systematically collecting and publishingtheirown folklore. They went on to build up an impressivemodem literature,at first mostly lyric evocations of the Faroes' naturalbeauty followed by plays, novels, and so forth. Political separatismfollowed a pace of culturaldistinction.The behind, dependenton the successful demonstration first major institutionalexpression of Faroese political separatism was the Self-Rule Party, which was founded in 1906. In 1948-belatedly, almost all Faroese felt, and in too small measure, since something close to a majority now felt that the Faroes were entitled to complete independence-separatist goals were realized in the Home Rule Law by which the Danish government granted the Faroes internal self-government. It justified this action on, precisely, the cultural-political, historical, and naturalgrounds wherein Scandinavians recognize their distinctiveness, or, as the preamble to the Home Rule Law put it, "in recognition of the special position which the Faroe Islands occupy within the realm in national, historical and geographical respects." values are carriedthroughfrom We should note in all this how fundamental the most everyday to the most official levels of thought and action. The to the local past is reflected in the importance importanceAlvabingarattribute of national and pan-Scandinavianhistories. Egalitarianismis particularly highly valued. In Alvab0ur as elsewhere in Scandinavia, "the relationships that are most highly valued are... to be found in the shifting middle ground of social intercoursebetween approximate equals. "29 Moreover,people insist
28 S. Oakley, A ShortHistory of Denmark(New York and Washington, 1972), 172-73. Until 1846 there was no satisfactorysystem for writing Faroese, which was in any case rarelywritten and then usually quasi-phoneticallyin awkwardaccordancewith Danish conventions. The Hamand etymological. For an mershaimborthographymentioned below is at once morphophonemic account in English of the developmentand symbolic significance of this orthography,see Wylie and Margolin, Ring of Dancers, 82-94. 29 J. A. Barnes, "Class and Committees in a Norwegian Island Parish," HumanRelations, 7:1 (1954), 39-58, 54. One is remindedthatthe Icelandic "family sagas," the villain of the piece is often an 6jafna&rma6r-an "unequal-man," one who is "overbearing,self-willed, uncompromising, .. who is not fair-mindedand temperatein his dealings with his neighbors." T. M. Andersson, The Icelandic Family Saga (Cambridge,Mass., 1967), 7.

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TIME AND REALITY IN DOMINICAAND THE FAROES 461

that they get along well. This creates a dilemma, for political life inevitably involves inequality and disagreement. As the dissolution of the Alvab0ur Young People's Club suggests, "some people's" standing was precarious precisely because their descent from Old J6hanHendrikset them above other Alvabingar. In this case avoidance of dissension won out. But if institutions are to survive they must both be organizationsof equals and insurethe pacific egalitarianismof everyday life. In general this trick is carriedoff by creating neutralgrounds where potential adversariesmay meet as equals. Anciently, "neutralground" was notjust a metaphor.All of Scandinavia's courts or parliaments(Old Norse Ping), among them the Faroes' Lpgting and six district courts, traditionallymet at central but uninhabitedor sparsely inhabitedspots. Park notes that in Helgoland in Norway, "the principlethat major decisions for a community are made when its leaders congregateelsewherehas a long history ... andhas probablyplayed a formativerole in the intellectual cultureof ruralcommunities."30 Today some of the most important neutralgrounds are linguistic. Thus in ruralNorway the standardlanguage, Bokmal, "carriesconnotationsof differences in rankwhich are unacceptable in the realm of informallocal relations,"31 but it is used between speakersof differentdialects to demonstrate theirsharedidentityat a higherlevel. Written Faroese is similarly "neutral." It was developed not only to demonstratean affinity to the language of the sagas (and hence a station equal with the other Scandinavianlanguages), but also to avoid lending primacy to any of the Faroes' several phonetic dialects. In short, from the most everydayto the most official levels of Scandinavian society one moves through tiers of equals, while nature and the past are universally accessible moral resources. In Dominica, on the other hand, the past is unfixed and the orderof nature standsopposed to the humanorder.32 The presentderives meaning from three sources of power and prestige to which each individualaspires, and to which each attemptsto deny othersaccess: first, from such immediateconsiderations as whose boats you are lounging about by; second, from association with or imitationof White ways; and third, from the futureitself, particularly as it is divinely ordained. Politics, in a sense extending to maintainingcontrol over the contrivanceof reality itself, is thus a constantpreoccupation.Particularly at official levels of thoughtand action, it involves increasinglyovert adoption of Whiteways, the denigration of local culture,anda strongstreakof religiosity.
30 Park, "Regional Versions," 9; cf. M. Hollos, "Conflict and Social Change in a Norwegian MountainCommunity," AnthropologicalQuarterly, 49:4 (1976), 239-57. 31 J.-P. Blom and J. J. Gumperz, "Social Meaning in Linguistic Structure: Code-Switchingin Norway," Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnographyof Communication,J. J. Gumperz and D. Hymes, eds. (New York, 1972), 407-34, at 433. 32 Cf. G. Ringel and J. in Dominica" Wylie, "God's Work:Appreciationsof the Environment (CaribbeanConservationAssociation, forthcoming).

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Dominican independencewas not the result of a popularmovement, much less one seeking to glorify local culture. The British wantedto be rid of their West IndianAssociated States. Dominicanswanted more foreign aid than the British could provide, and the dignity and trappingsof nationhood.33 As independenceneared, the centralissue was starklypolitical:who would controlthe government?The oppositionFreedomPartyfavoredindependence in principlebut opposed it undera governmentas venal as that of the Labour Party under the then Premier, PatrickJohn. The Freedom Party advocated a referendum. Indeed, the Association Act of 1967 seemed to specify that a referendumwould be necessary before independencewas granted;but apparently acting in collusion with the Britishgovernment,the Labourgovernment contrived to avoid one. Finally, on 13 July 1978, "after some 14 hours of nonstopdebate, the Dominica House of Assembly adopteda resolutioncalling on the British Governmentto grant independenceto Dominica on November 3rd [of that] year.' 34The debate lasted so long partly because the independence resolutionhad to be approvedin a nominallydemocraticmannerso that Britaincould announceon schedule that it had acceded to Dominica's request for independence. During the debate the government defeated a motion to discuss the constitution clause by clause, and at 1:45 in the morning the Leaderof the Opposition, Mary Eugenia Charles, fainted from fatigue as she was speaking. It was said that she had not seen the constitution's final draft until the night before, and had been up since then studying it. The question of who should rule an independent Dominica remained a matterfor greatpopularconcern as well as for debate in the House of Assembly. In patois, edepdda indicates somethingprofoundlyambivalent:it means not only politically independent,but also, in a more basic sense, personally free to act as one wishes, hence wilful, irresponsible, "just doing what you want." To be edepada is individually desirable, but an edepada person is socially dangerous. So is an edepida government, at least a Black edepdad government.A man in Casse suggested the menacingpossibilities of Dominica's becoming edepadI when he went about drunkon independencemorning singing,
Edepadd, Edepada guvelmd,

Nu ka plewe

(Independent, independent government, we arecrying).


33 The British offered a parting gift of EC$53.4 million. Denying that this was a "golden handshake," PremierJohn declaredhe had demandedEC$200 million. Accordingto Dominican of controlover any transaction. economic norms, one must always retainat least the appearance 34 The New Chronicle [Roseau], 14 July 1978.

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TIME AND REALITY IN DOMINICAAND THE FAROES 463

On the other hand, independencemay seem highly desirablebecause it promises a radicallydifferent, almost White, way of life. Independencemay bring unity, progress, prosperity, godliness, a strong family life, and all the other things so notably absent from life as it is actuallylived from day to day. It is a profoundly ahistoricalmoment, an event of eschatological proportionswhen the unworthinessof local culture may be shuffled off. Guides to independence may best be sought in divine revelations. "IT'S HERE" was the New Chronicle's bannerheadline on 4 November 1978. Its
editorial, "A NATION
UNDER GOD,"

began with a pastiche of Jefferson

quoted from the preambleto the Dominican constitution: A newnation is born,theCommonwealth of Dominica, a nation under God.Weaffirm thatDominicais founded thatacknowledge the by our constitution uponprinciples of God,faithin fundamental human andfreedoms, of the theposition supremacy rights the dignityof thehuman familyin a societyof freemenandfreeinstitutions, person, andthe equalandalienable of the human [sic] rightswithwhichall members family are endowedby their Creator. Whatdoes this mean as we enternationhood and becomepolitically independent? It meansfirstof all, thatlove of Godshould at all timesbe ourprincipal concern and our guideto action.We mustnot allowthe affirmative [sic] to remain just another in theconstitution. It mustbecomeforus, a wayof life. Loveof Godmust expression meanlove of neighbor.... Ourneighbor mustbe all the peoplein Dominica. One finds similarexpectationsand exhortationselsewhere in the West Indies. FrankManningreportsthatthe BermudanProgressiveLabourParty, advocating independence from Britain in the elections of 1976, appropriatedthe language, meeting-style, and personnelof evangelical movements, and campaigned to strengthen "the type of family prescribed by the church-the nuclear, monogamous unit based on marriage" so strikingly different from "the [chronicallyunstable] black family." Thus Progressive Labour's campaign

was likenedto a crusade againstevil wagedby a peoplewhomGod has chosento remakeand inheritBermuda.PartyleaderLois Browne... struckthe theme rein the campaign: peatedly "God doesn'tmeanfor oppression to win. So ultimately we will win. Wemust rededicate ourselves to the task. "We havefaith, strength. Evenif we don'twin, we'regoing to go on. It's inevitable. Weknowwe'regoing up and the othersare comingdown.Wewill claimthe It is God'sworkto takeus there.... victoryin 1980, or 1984, or whenever. "Thepartywantsto buildup idealism andrestoreit to our livesandpolitics.Our
membersare qualitypeople. They are made in the image of God, and will represent
you" (italics in original).35
35 F. Manning, "Religion and Politics in Bermuda:Revivalist Politics and the Language of Power," Caribbean Review, 8:4 (Fall 1979), 18-22, 42-43, at 19. For a nominally secular of this sort of politics of revelation, soundingalmost like a parodyof the Frenchfaith counterpart in the rationalityof civilization, see L. Farrugia'scall to introduceinto Guadeloupe"the essential principles of rationality," in Autonomiepour la Guadeloupe (Pointe-a-Pitre[?], 1967).

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Similarly, at the Dominican Freedom Party's convention in 1978, a speaker was enthusiasticallyapplaudedfor comparing Miss Charles to Jesus. Miss Charles, a woman of the highest moral integrity who seemed almost grotesquely out of place amid the self-serving partisanshipof Dominican political life at the time, seemed embarrassedby this impromptuapotheosis. But its logic is impeccable:being black in pigmentationbut White in behavior, she embodies a nearly supernatural transcendanceof the antithesisof Black and
White.36
v

We are a long way from Baptiste's shady bit of shore, and fartherstill from Olavur's parlorand the glorious antiquityof Icelandic culture. I have arguedthatin Casse time is shallow; in Alvab0urit is deep. In Casse history scarcely exists; in Alvab0urit is a matterof popularconcern. In Casse reality is an immediatelysocial construction,while local society itself is seen in termsof White ways and God's word. In Alvab0urreality self-denigratingly is held to exist independentof the social order, while local society is constituted in naturaland historical terms. More generally, both Dominicans and Faroese replicateeveryday values in official action, but the values of the two peoples are crucially different. Dominicans (like other Afro-Caribbean peoples) insist upon ranked antithesis; Faroese (like other Scandinavians) insist upon equality at each level. Dominicans visualized nationhood as to godliness and dangerousin Black termsbut desirablein termsof aspirations White norms. Faroese have approachedit through demonstrationsof their native culture's worthiness. There is irony in this: Faroese have sought to deserve culturally an independence they have not achieved politically; Dominicans were granted politically an independence they did not seek to deserve in terms of local culture. But we must take a last look at Casse and Alvab0ur, and suggest a further contrastbetween them. Historical consciousness is fading in Alvab0ur. I heard the story of Alvab0ur's founding often enough, but the collective past has increasingly become a matterfor specialists outside the village and outside everyday life. "History" is something children learn in school, along with foreign languages and "Faroese," arithmeticand naturalhistory. "Folklore" is a subject at the university level, taught in Torshavn and abroad. KyOldseturdisappearedlong ago, and many legends areknown chiefly fromJakobsen'scollection. Nowadays few young people care to learn the ballads' endless verses.
36 Culturally,the increasingpopularityof the FreedomPartyaroundthe time of independence and its subsequentvictory at the polls representan internal recreationof the preindependence Black-White and Dominican-Britishdistinctions. They also followed, of course, from fragmentationand factionalismwithin the LabourPartyand increasingdisgust with PatrickJohn's corrupt and high-handedways.

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TIME AND REALITY IN DOMINICAAND THE FAROES 465

Another Young People's Club again holds dances, but the music is canned, the latest pop or country-and-western tunes. When I revisited Alvab0urin the summerof 1973 I found that a common coin of conversationwas sad agreement that "summerand winter are alike now." Ostensiblythis meantthat the weatherwas still blusteryand cold in June, but it also expressed concernover the growing impact of a wage-based cash economy. As several large statesupportedconstructionprojects were providing year-roundwork and wages, the traditionaldistinction between summertimework and the winter festival time from Christmasto Lent was disappearing.People welcome steady work and good wages, and chances for their childrento get "good jobs" in T6rshavn if they do well in school. But somehow "Alvabpuris not so living as it used to be." It is becoming a prosperousbackwater, less and less the selfsufficient center of its own world, its culturemore and more subsumedwithin the national culture. Casse is a poor backwater. It always has been, and so has Dominica as a whole. But there is poverty and poverty and, while it is impossible to be sure, scatteredevidence suggests that Casse's ingrown dissociation from the world to which it aspires may be a recent development.37Until the early or mid1950s village society was apparently fairly stable. It was weakenedfirstby ten or fifteen years of growing prosperity, and then since around 1970 by an economic collapse which has left the village culturally as well as economically poorer than before. Once upon a time, Casse evidently contained a small but critically important class of two or three families of substantial proprietors.Their lands, lime-presses, and fishing and smuggling operations mediated relations between the village and the outside world in obvious economic ways. To a considerableextent, the membersof this class also reconciled the White and Black branchesof local cultures. Thus, for example, prosperousmen's expertise as obeah-workers"on God's side," checked the worst abuses of "wickedness" inspired by jealousy. Younger members of these families were the first to seek work in Englandin the early 1950s, and were presentlyfollowed by the likes of Baptiste, and then by dozens of poorer folk. Remittancesand the savings of returningemigrants brought Casse a brief prosperity, which apparentlypeakedin the late 1960s. Everyonecould afford a galvanizedroof, and many could afford concrete-block houses. But relations between Casse and the outside world were less well mediated than before, and the local economic base was weaker than ever. By the 1960s smuggling and growing limes had already become unprofitable,and, perhapsmore important,retur37 The following attemptat a social historyof Casse since the Second WorldWar is necessarily tentative. It drawson snippets of informationI picked up, on personalcommunicationsfrom Jon Amastae and Jonathan and on J. "Witchcraft and in a Dominican Wouk, Wouk, Sorcery Fishing Village" (senior honors thesis, HarvardCollege, 1965).

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nees were investing their savings in prestigious but ultimately unprofitable fishing equipment.Thus for a time they made handsomeprofitswith the great seines they boughtto "surround"the immense schools of bonito, the skipjack tuna(Katsuwonis pelamis), thatshoal inshoreseveraltimes a season. But then, mysteriously, the bonito began coming in smaller numbersand only two or three times a year. Some people attributethis to God's will, others to witchcraft. In any case, a catch of bonito triggersan orgy of jubilantthievery and bitterrecrimination.One way or anothereveryone gets a share, but no one is satisfied with the distribution of the suddenbounty. Moreover, tighterrestrictions on emigrationto Britainhave made it difficult for people to seek work abroad, and as riches have become less easy to obtain either abroad or at has caused contention. Unable or unwilling to home, their unevendistribution take up arduous,poorly paid subsistencepursuitsor to find workelsewhere on the island, young people are trappedin Casse. In a sense everyone is trapped there, edepada, subvertingeach other's hopes. Different as they are, and different as are the countries to which they belong, Casse and Alvab0urthus share at least one importantfeature. In both villages modernizationhas destroyed much of a traditionalway of life. In Alvab0ur,however, the past is still accessible and the weatheris always there. Alvabingar have been able to integrate themselves into a viable national culture, citizens of what may someday be a Faroese nation-state.The people of Casse became citizens of the Commonwealthof Dominica on 3 November 1978. But culturallytheir future looks as dim and discordantas their past.

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