Thursday, 30 September 2010

Honouring the Dead - Officially and Unofficially

At the Folklore Society AGM and Conference in March, my eye was caught by some trees in the staff car park at Leeds Trinity and All Saints University College. They were decorated with ribbons and flowers - the usual markers of vernacular commemorations of the dead. On closer investigation, it emerged that all of the trees also bore an official, manufactured, plaque. These were an official dedication to a deceased member of staff from the College itself. I do not know which came first, the official or the unofficial celebration, but it was a striking example of vernacular custom and practice being recognised and adopted officially.

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