A Tale of Two Hamlets: Emergence of the Carnivalesque at the Keady Market

Phil Henderson


The Keady Farmer’s Market is an uneasy hybridity of flea market, livestock sale, and farmers’
market. A weekly occasion in the small Ontario hamlet, the Market is also a site of ethnography; offering up a rich field of study, with windows into the realities of collectivity, capitalism, and race relations. This paper, not so much a critique as an attempt at critical understanding of the event, seeks uncover what aspects of self, culture, and society can be understood through a critical assessment of the Keady Market. Interpreted through a marrying of the academic literature on Bakhtin's carnivalesque and the literature of farmers’ markets, vignettes of the author’s personal experiences of the Market serve as points of entry into a discussion of the politics at play in this festive occasion.

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