On Fri, 8 Feb 2008 21:28:57 +0000, Bernard Morgan
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
the detail you've provided re. dna is very interesting - just what I was
after - gives me an idea where to start when looking into this - thanks
>... English history exhibits a different non-tribal social order that we
are more common with today.
modern england is very different to pre-industrial england; before that,
kinship links predominated, as elsewhere
>So unlike an English ancestry which would have meant a non-tribal origin; I
can share in my ancestor worship and my tribal roots. (Not sure going tribal
is a good thing or not !! )
on the contrary, the English (constructed in the 8th century from the
various tribes such as Angles and Saxons), had equivalent tribal structure
to the Britons, Irish, etc (see Chris Wickham's Framing the Early Middle
Ages; and a good article by Alex Woolf in 'Cultural Identity in the Roman
Empire', ed. by Laurence and Berry). The cultures were strongly comparable -
which is why many of the Britons were able to accomodate ethnic and cultural
'Tribal' is good, depending on what you mean by it! unity and kindredship -
good, exclusion of others (as well as cattle raiding!) - bad!
Ancestor worship has certainly been practiced throughout English history. An
interesting example is the site on which I've been working (for over 10
years now) - a barrow received offerings until recent times. The practice of
ancestor worship evident at such barrows was a big thing in early English
society (I can give you details of articles if you're interested).
I think its a symptom of post-colonial guilt (we acknowledge what happened
was wrong, and we should learn from it), combined with modern fears of
beeing seen as nationalistic (we know the latter is not a good thing), that
'English' identity is avoided by many who seek to identify with 'their'
culture or ethnicity. To be English does not mean that we accept oppression
- in fact if you look at our laws, there's a message to the contrary: that's
something to be proud of, as is the multiculturalism that's always been a
part of 'being english'. So it shouldn't automatically be dismiss as
inherently modern or devoid of the traditions that might otherwise be
allocated to 'tribal' society: lovely myths! ; - )
Saying that, I've spent much time (on behalf of my late grandmother)
demonstrating her 'Celtic' roots (I still feel compelled to emphasise my
scottish, irish and welsh ancestry)! The sensitive amongst us (inherent with
feelings of guilt) perhaps aren't ready to accept 'being english', as
opposed to British - we've still got a long way to go. But, going to
storytelling festivals and listening to 'our' myths (which any British
citizen inherits, regardless of other ethnicities - multiple ethnicities are
common; any anyone may listen to them and enjoy them) perhaps makes the
transition of accepting this identity easier. Trying to establish what
'celtic' cultural attributes were restricted and used to distinguish
difference is my line - there lot's that the 'english' and the britons had
in common: often communities interacted.
all the best,
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