The bear at the boundary : carnival and community in Prats de Mollo

by Jennifer Campbell

Institution: McGill University
Department: Department of Anthropology.
Degree: MA
Year: 2008
Keywords: Carnivals  – France  – Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste.; Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste (France)
Record ID: 1821833
Full text PDF: http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/thesisfile116008.pdf


This thesis explores the symbolic and sensory dimensions of local carnival celebrations in the southern French village of Prats de Mollo. During carnival an ideal, locally-rooted Prateen community is articulated and experienced by participants through repeated acts of commensality and physical displays of friendship that are intensified by carnival's sensual indulgences and ritual interactions in public space. The aesthetic dimensions of carnival festivities in Prats de Mollo thus reflect an enduring desire for experiences of belonging that are deeply implicated in and informed by an affective relationship between self, community, and place, but that are at the same time in dialogue with a number of wider social processes currently shaping daily life in Prats de Mollo. These include the continued urbanization of rural areas in the Pyrenees, contemporary negotiations of French and Catalan identities in France, and increasing tourism in the region.