When the Spirit of the Place Becomes a Symbol

Subercaseaux, María Inés (2008) When the Spirit of the Place Becomes a Symbol. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

Canada is home to a myriad of cultural expressions of spirit of the place. From Haida totems to northern Inuksuit, native forms can be appreciated for their meaning in time, in space, and in their relation to the land. Even when removed from their context, these forms continue to express that spirit. While used to inspire artists, these forms are observed in different ways by others. Can this ‘spirit’ be transferred from one culture to another? Is it universal? The author will discuss the dual ideas of permanenttemporary, self-identity, and how the intangible embodies the recognition by others, ultimately to create a sense of belonging. The presentation will conclude discussion of how these forms have become symbols of Canadian identity and part of its collective memory. The author will present examples from within Canada, and those abroad, ending with Québec and Ottawa to observe various ‘migrated forms’ in vernacular contexts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subercaseaux, María Inés
Languages: English
Keywords: spirit of place; intangible heritage; identity; aboriginal cultures; aboriginal sites; totems; World Heritage List
Subjects: M.WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 03. World Heritage List
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 04. Social practices, rituals and festive events
Name of monument, town, site, museum: SGang Gwaay, Canada
UNESCO WHC Number: 157
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2010 08:27
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 16:22
References: Aurore Boreal- Google Image Search, 2007: Images

The Canadian Encyclopedia, Inuksuk, Native People: Artic, Inuit, Inuit Myth and Legend

Civilizations.ca Haida, Haida villages, Haida Gwaii villages

Civilizations.ca Northwest Coast Native settings, Skedans and Ninstints

Graburn, Nelson, 2004, Inuksuk: Icon of the Inuit of Nunavut

Inuksuk/Inunnguaq; inuksuit: Signposts of the North

Kishigami, Nobuhiro, 2000, Identities of Inuit in Canada: Being a Real Inuk and Being one of the Inuit

MacDonald, George F. 1983 Ninstints: Haida World Heritage Site

UNESCO, Intangible Heritage, The Power of Culture

Wikipedia, Spirit of Place
URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/114

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