The Mutability of Meaning: Contextualizing the Cumbrian Coin-Tree

  title={The Mutability of Meaning: Contextualizing the Cumbrian Coin-Tree},
  author={Ceri Houlbrook},
  pages={40 - 59}
This paper examines the mutability of the ‘meaning’ of folklore, as articulated by Lauri Honko. The paper aims to illustrate the amorphous and ambiguous nature of customs and traditions by considering the multiple ‘meanings’ ascribed to a contemporary British folkloric custom: the Cumbrian coin-tree. 

‘The Stone Axe from Way Back’: A Mutable Magical Object in Folklore and Fiction

Abstract Objects of ‘magic’ and folklore do not always begin their lives as such. Often, they are natural objects or mundane artefacts, crafted for utilitarian purposes, which become objects of magic

Sustaining and Substituting the Sacred: Coin Trees in Britain and Ireland

It is the character of a natural holy place to shift and alter. Sometimes the changes are the product of natural causes; other times, they are the result of human intervention. The mutable character

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This article examines the status of coins as contemporary deposits in the British Isles. With a focus on both historical and contemporary sites, from the Neolithic long barrow of Wayland’s Smithy,

Objects of Affection? Materialising Courtship, Love and Sex in Ireland, C.1800-1830

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Loss of context is a challenge, if not the bane, of the ritual archaeologist’s craft. Those who research ritual frequently encounter difficulties in the interpretation of its often tantalizingly

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This article is the product of a collaboration between a folklorist researching the global phenomenon of love-locks (padlocks attached to public structures in declaration of romantic commitment) and

The Other Shoe: Fragmentation in the Post-medieval home

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‘Because other people have done it’: Coin-trees and the aesthetics of imitation

This is the accepted manuscript version of the following article: Ceri Houlbrook, ““Because Other People Have Done It”: Coin-Trees and the Aesthetics of Imitation”, Journal of Contemporary

Small change: economics and coin-trees in Britain and Ireland

Abstract Throughout the c. 2,000-year period coins have been circulated in Britain, they have also been ritually employed, most notably as votive deposits. Focusing specifically on the understudied

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Abstract Concealed shoes are footwear purposely concealed within domestic buildings. The motivations behind their concealments are unknown to us, but the prominent theory suggests that shoes were



consensus and variation in the interpretation of religious symbolism: A Swedish example

In this study of religious symbolism among a group of Swedish Protestants, three church members are shown to attribute different meanings to certain of the group's key symbols. This raises the

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Part I. The Framework of Belief: 1. The intellectualist programme 2. The Durkheimian thesis 3. Variations on the symbolist theme 4. Symbol and theory Part II. Ritual Action: 5. 'Ritual' 6. Ceremony

Meaning and Moral Order: Explorations in Cultural Analysis

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Aspects of Oral Tradition and Belief in an Industrial Region

AbstractThose whose daily work lies in academic fields will almost certainly regard the word ‘aspects’ in this paper's title with misgivings, and perhaps even grave suspicion. It is a word that can

Differential Identity and the Social Base of Folklore

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Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition

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Miracles and pilgrims. Popular beliefs in medieval England

List of Illustrations and Maps - Introduction - PART 1: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND - Dark Age Christianity: Miracles in the Missionary Epoch -The Holy Dead and their Relics - Pilgrims' Progress and Wonder