Bread, Berries, and Fish: Food and Fairy Encounters in Newfoundland pp. 83-98

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Karin Murray-Bergquist


This article investigates fairy lore in Newfoundland through the identity marker of food. I consider perceptions of the environment as rigorous or bountiful in stories of fairy encounters, particularly in regard to scarcity and staple foods. Taking particular note of geographical variations in the narratives surrounding fairies and food, the article will explore contrasting environments and investigate the concepts of locality, scarcity, and abundance that may influence the way fairy stories are told. From supernatural solutions, to dangerous illusions, this article will view the ambiguities present in fairy lore through the lens of Newfoundland foodways. I will compare the folklore of other regions, particularly the British Isles, with the traditions of Newfoundland, and examine which influences are particularly evident, and how they have been changed to fit the local beliefs, culinary culture, and geography.

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