Title: Authenticating belief and identity: the visitor and Celtic Christianity in Cornwall

Authors: Graham Busby; Patrick Laviolette

Addresses: School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA, UK. ' Department of Anthropology, Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University, Uus Sadama 5, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia

Abstract: For many visitors, the south western peninsula of mainland Britain is 'different'. Diverse sources of evidence suggest that the Duchy of Cornwall continues to possess traits from a Celtic legacy. This paper outlines perceptions of 'otherness' which are synonymous with 'Cornishness', thus fitting into the newly developing framework concerned with the authenticity of belief systems and symbolism in the realm of heritage tourism. Hence we review the nexus of relationships between religion and the past regarding the evidence for a Celtic Christian identity over time. To this effect we consider historical sources, such as guidebooks and postcards, before turning to contemporary research, drawing on visitors' book comments and the findings from a substantial on-site survey. Moreover, this study fits into wider sociological and ethnographic settings concerned with various issues surrounding Cornish identity.

Keywords: belief systems; symbolism; Celtic Christianity; intangible cultural heritage; heritage tourism; religious tourism; sacred sites; Cornish identity; Cornwall; UK; United Kingdom.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2012.048994

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2012 Vol.2 No.2, pp.164 - 183

Available online: 08 Sep 2012 *

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