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The Bretons
Bretons
(Breton: Bretoned, Breton pronunciation: [breˈtɔ̃nɛt]) are an ethnic group located in the region of Brittany
Brittany
in France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brittonic speakers who immigrated from southwestern Great Britain, particularly Cornwall
Cornwall
and Devon, to expand their territory onto the continent. They also descend in some parts from Vikings. They migrated in waves from the 3rd to 9th century (most heavily from 450–600) into Armorica, which was subsequently named Brittany
Brittany
after them.[7] The main traditional language of Brittany
Brittany
is Breton (Brezhoneg), spoken in Lower Brittany
Brittany
(i.e. the western part of the peninsula). Breton is spoken by around 206,000 people as of 2013.[8] The other principal minority language of Brittany
Brittany
is Gallo; Gallo is spoken only in Upper Brittany, where Breton is less dominant. As one of the Brittonic languages, Breton is related closely to Cornish and more distantly to Welsh, while the Gallo language
Gallo language
is one of the Romance langues d'oïl. Currently, most Bretons' native language is standard French. Brittany
Brittany
and its people are counted as one of the six Celtic nations. Ethnically, along with the Cornish and Welsh, the Bretons
Bretons
are Celtic Britons. The actual number of ethnic Bretons
Bretons
in Brittany
Brittany
and France
France
as a whole is difficult to assess as the government of France
France
does not collect statistics on ethnicity. The population of Brittany, based on a January 2007 estimate, was 4,365,500.[9] It is said that, in 1914, over 1 million people spoke Breton west of the boundary between Breton and Gallo-speaking regions – roughly 90% of the population of the western half of Brittany. In 1945, it was about 75%, and today, in all of Brittany, the most optimistic estimate would be that 20% of Bretons can speak Breton. Brittany
Brittany
has a population of roughly four million, including the department of Loire-Atlantique, which the Vichy government separated from historical Brittany
Brittany
in 1941. 75% of the estimated 200,000 to 250,000 Breton speakers using Breton as an everyday language today are over the age of 65. A strong historical emigration has created a Breton diaspora within the French borders and in the overseas departments and territories of France; it is mainly established in the Paris
Paris
area, where more than one million people claim Breton heritage. Many Breton families have also emigrated to the Americas, predominantly to Canada
Canada
(mostly Quebec and Atlantic Canada) and the United States. People from the region of Brittany
Brittany
were among the first white settlers to permanently settle the French West Indies, i.e. Dominica, Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
and Martinique, where remnants of their culture can still be seen to this day.[citation needed] The only places outside Brittany
Brittany
that still retain significant Breton customs are in Île-de- France
France
(mainly Le Quartier du Montparnasse
Montparnasse
in Paris), Le Havre
Le Havre
and in Îles des Saintes, where a group of Breton families settled in the mid-17th century.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Historical origins of the Bretons 1.2 Modern Breton identity 1.3 Breton diaspora

2 Culture

2.1 Religion 2.2 Pardons 2.3 Tro Breizh 2.4 Folklore
Folklore
and traditional belief 2.5 Language

2.5.1 Breton-language media

3 Music

3.1 Fest-noz 3.2 Traditional dance 3.3 Traditional Breton music 3.4 Modern Breton music

4 Breton cuisine 5 Symbols of Brittany 6 See also 7 Images of Brittany 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of Brittany Historical origins of the Bretons[edit]

The Brittonic-speaking community around the sixth century. The sea was a communication medium rather than a barrier.

In the late 4th century, large numbers of British auxiliary troops in the Roman army may have been stationed in Armorica. The 9th-century Historia Brittonum states that the emperor Magnus Maximus, who withdrew Roman forces from Britain, settled his troops in the province. Nennius and Gildas
Gildas
mention a second wave of Britons settling in Armorica
Armorica
in the following century to escape the invading Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
and Scoti. Modern archaeology also supports a two-wave migration.[10] It is generally accepted that the Brittonic speakers who arrived gave the region its current name as well as the Breton language, Brezhoneg, a sister language to Welsh and Cornish. There are numerous records of Celtic Christian missionaries migrating from Britain during the second wave of Breton colonisation, especially the legendary seven founder-saints of Brittany
Brittany
as well as Gildas. As in Cornwall, many Breton towns are named after these early saints. The Irish saint Columbanus
Columbanus
was also active in Brittany
Brittany
and is commemorated accordingly at Saint-Columban in Carnac. In the Early Middle Ages, Brittany
Brittany
was divided into three kingdoms — Domnonée, Cornouaille
Cornouaille
(Kernev), and Bro Waroc'h (Broërec) — which eventually were incorporated into the Duchy of Brittany. The first two kingdoms seem to derive their names from the homelands of the migrating tribes in Britain, Cornwall
Cornwall
(Kernow) and Devon
Devon
(Dumnonia). Bro Waroc'h ("land of Waroch", now Bro Gwened) derives from the name of one of the first known Breton rulers, who dominated the region of Vannes
Vannes
(Gwened). The rulers of Domnonée, such as Conomor, sought to expand their territory, claiming overlordship over all Bretons, though there was constant tension between local lords.[citation needed] Bretons
Bretons
were the most prominent of the non-Norman forces in the Norman conquest of England. A number of Breton families were of the highest rank in the new society and were tied to the Normans by marriage.[11] The Scottish Clan Stewart
Clan Stewart
and the royal House of Stuart
House of Stuart
have Breton origins. Alan Rufus, also known as Alan the Red, was both a cousin and knight in the retinue of William the Conqueror. Following his service at Hastings, he was rewarded with large estates in Yorkshire. At the time of his death, he was by far the richest noble in England. His manorial holding at Richmond ensured a Breton presence in northern England. The Earldom of Richmond later became an appanage of the Dukes of Brittany. Modern Breton identity[edit]

The modern flag of Brittany: Gwenn-ha-du (White-and-black)

Many people throughout France
France
claim Breton ethnicity, including a few French celebrities such as Marion Cotillard,[12] Malik Zidi,[13] Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, Yoann Gourcuff, Nolwenn Leroy
Nolwenn Leroy
and Yann Tiersen.[14] After 15 years of disputes in the French courts, the European Court of Justice recognized Breton Nationality for the six children of Jean-Jacques and Mireille Manrot-Le Goarnig; they are "European Citizens of Breton Nationality".[15] In 2015, Jonathan Le Bris started a legal battle against the French administration to claim this status. Breton diaspora[edit] The Breton diaspora includes Breton immigrants in some cities of France
France
like Paris, Le Havre
Le Havre
and Toulon, Breton Canadians and Breton Americans, along with other French immigrants in other parts of the Americas. Some of the more notable examples include Jack Kerouac, Celine Dion, Augusto Pinochet, Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey
and Sylvester Stallone.[16] Culture[edit] Religion[edit] The Breton people are predominantly members of the Catholic Church, with minorities in the Reformed Church of France
France
and non-religious people. Brittany
Brittany
was one of the most staunchly Catholic regions in all of France. Attendance at Sunday mass dropped during the 1970s and the 1980s, but other religious practices such as pilgrimages have experienced a revival. This includes the Tro Breizh, which takes place in the shrines of the seven founding saints of Breton Christianity. The Christian tradition is widely respected by both believers and nonbelievers, who see it as a symbol of Breton heritage and culture.

Sculpted calvaries can be found in many villages.

Breton religious tradition places great emphasis on the "Seven Founder Saints":

Paul Aurelian, at Saint-Pol-de-Léon
Saint-Pol-de-Léon
(Breton: Kastell-Paol), Tudwal
Tudwal
(Sant Tudwal), at Tréguier
Tréguier
(Breton: Landreger), Brioc, at Saint-Brieuc
Saint-Brieuc
(Breton: Sant-Brieg, Gallo: Saent-Berioec), Malo, at Saint-Malo
Saint-Malo
(Breton: Sant-Maloù, Gallo: Saent-Malô), Samson of Dol, at Dol-de-Bretagne
Dol-de-Bretagne
(Breton: Dol, Gallo: Dóu), Padarn, at Vannes
Vannes
(Breton: Gwened), Corentin (Sant Kaourintin), at Quimper
Quimper
(Breton: Kemper).

Pardons[edit] A Pardon is the patron saint's feast day of the parish. It often begins with a procession followed by mass in honour of the saint. Pardons are often accompanied by small village fairs. The three most famous pardons are:

Sainte-Anne d'Auray/Santez-Anna-Wened Tréguier/Landreger, in honour of St Yves Locronan/Lokorn, in honour of St Ronan, with a troménie (a procession, 12 km long) and numerous people in traditional costumes

Tro Breizh[edit] There is an ancient pilgrimage called the Tro Breizh (tour of Brittany) which involves pilgrims walking around Brittany
Brittany
from the grave of one of the Seven Founder Saints to another. Nowadays pilgrims complete the circuit over the course of several years. In 2002, the Tro Breizh included a special pilgrimage to Wales, symbolically making the reverse journey of the Welshmen Paul Aurelian, Brioc, and Samson. According to Breton religious tradition, whoever does not make the pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime will be condemned to make it after his death, advancing only by the length of his coffin each seven years.[17] Folklore
Folklore
and traditional belief[edit] Some pagan customs from the old pre-Christian tradition remain the folklore of Brittany. The most powerful folk figure is the Ankou
Ankou
or the "Reaper of Death".[citation needed] Language[edit]

Regional statistics of Breton speakers, in 2004

Main article: Breton language The Breton language
Breton language
is a very important part of Breton identity. Breton itself is one of the Brittonic languages
Brittonic languages
and is closely related to Cornish and more distantly to Welsh.[18] Breton is thus an Insular Celtic language and is more distantly related to the long-extinct Continental Celtic languages
Continental Celtic languages
such as Gaulish that were formerly spoken on the European mainland, including the areas colonised by the ancestors of the Bretons. In eastern Brittany, a regional langue d'oïl, Gallo, developed; it shares certain areal features such as points of vocabulary, idiom, and pronunciation with Breton but is a Romance language). Neither language has official status under French law; however, some still use Breton as an everyday language (particularly the older generation) and bilingual road signs are common in the west of Brittany. From 1880 to the mid-20th century, Breton was banned from the French school system and children were punished for speaking it in a similar way to the application of the Welsh Not in Wales
Wales
during the 19th and 20th centuries. The situation changed in 1951 with the Deixonne Law allowing Breton language
Breton language
and culture to be taught 1–3 hours a week in the public school system on the proviso that a teacher was both able and prepared to do so. In modern times, a number of schools and colleges have emerged with the aim of providing Breton-medium education or bilingual Breton/French education.[19] There are four main Breton dialects: Gwenedeg (Vannes), Kerneveg (Cornouaille), Leoneg (Leon) and Tregerieg (Trégor), which have varying degrees of mutual intelligibility. In 1908, a standard orthography was devised. The fourth dialect, Gwenedeg, was not included in this reform, but was included in the later orthographic reform of 1941.[19] Breton-language media[edit] Newspapers, magazines and online journals available in Breton include Al Lanv,[20] based in Quimper, Al Liamm,[21] Louarnig-Rouzig, and Bremañ. There are a number of radio stations with broadcasts in the Breton language, namely Arvorig FM, France
France
Bleu Armorique, France
France
Bleu Breizh-Izel, Radio Bro Gwened, Radio Kerne, and Radio Kreiz Breizh. Television programmes in Breton are also available on France
France
3 Breizh, France
France
3 Iroise, TV Breizh
TV Breizh
and TV Rennes. There are also a number of Breton language
Breton language
weekly and monthly magazines.[19] Music[edit]

A fest-noz in the Pays Gallo in September 2007 as part of the Mill Góll festival

Fest-noz[edit] A fest-noz is a traditional festival (essentially a dance) in Brittany. Many festoù-noz are held outside Brittany, taking regional Breton culture outside Brittany. Although the traditional dances of the fest-noz are old, some dating back to the Middle Ages, the fest-noz tradition is itself more recent, dating back to the 1950s. Fest-Noz was officially registered on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 by UNESCO
UNESCO
on the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity." Traditional dance[edit] There are many traditional Breton dances, the most well-known being gavottes, an dro, the hanter dro, and the plinn. During the fest-noz, most dances are practised in a chain or in a circle (holding a finger), however there are also dances in pairs and choreographed dances with sequences and figures. Traditional Breton music[edit] Two main types of Breton music are a choral a cappella tradition called kan ha diskan, and music involving instruments, including purely instrumental music. Traditional instruments include the bombard (similar to an oboe) and two types of bagpipes (veuze and binioù kozh). Other instruments often found are the diatonic accordion, the clarinet, and occasionally violin as well as the hurdy-gurdy. After World War II, the Great Highland Bagpipe
Great Highland Bagpipe
(and binioù bras) became commonplace in Brittany
Brittany
through the bagadoù (Breton pipe bands) and thus often replaced the binioù-kozh. The basic clarinet (treujenn-gaol) had all but disappeared but has regained popularity over the past few years. Modern Breton music[edit] Nowadays groups with many different styles of music may be found, ranging from rock to jazz such as Red Cardell, ethno-rock, Diwall and Skeduz as well as punk. Some modern fest-noz groups also use electronic keyboards and synthesisers, for example Strobinell, Sonerien Du, Les Baragouineurs, and Plantec. Breton cuisine[edit]

Chouchenn

Breton cuisine contains many elements from the wider French culinary tradition. Local specialities include:

Crêpe
Crêpe
– froment (sweet) Galette
Galette
– buckwheat (salty) Chouchenn
Chouchenn
– a type of Breton mead Fars forn (far breton) – a kind of sweet suet pudding with prunes Kouign-amann
Kouign-amann
– butter pastry Krampouezh (crêpes or galettes) – thin pancakes made either from wheat or buckwheat flour; usually eaten as a main course Lambig – apple eau de vie Sistr – cider

Symbols of Brittany[edit] Traditional Breton symbols and/or symbols of Brittany
Brittany
include the national anthem Bro Gozh ma Zadoù based on the Welsh Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. The traditional motto of the former Dukes of Brittany
Brittany
is Kentoc'h mervel eget bezañ saotret in Breton, or Potius mori quam fœdari in Latin. The "national day" is observed on 1 August,[22] the Feast of Saint Erwann (Saint Yves). The ermine is an important symbol of Brittany
Brittany
reflected in the ancient blazons of the Duchy of Brittany and also in the chivalric order, L’Ordre de l’Hermine (The Order of the Ermine). See also[edit]

Brittany
Brittany
portal

Celtic Britons Armorica Breton nationalism Brittany British migration to France Brythons Celtic nations Cornish language Cornwall History of Brittany List of Breton authors List of Breton poets List of Breton saints in Breton

Images of Brittany[edit]

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Breton Brother and Sister

Paul Gauguin, Breton Girl

Émile Bernard, Breton Women at a Wall

Vannes
Vannes
Cathedral

City hall of Rennes

Castle of the Dukes of Brittany

Huelgoat
Huelgoat
is the ancestral home of the Kerouac
Kerouac
family

City of Quimper

City of Saint-Malo

The bagad of Lann-Bihoué of the French Navy

Breton pipe player

Notes[edit]

^ Legal population of the administrative region of Brittany
Brittany
in 2007 ^ Legal population of Loire-Atlantique
Loire-Atlantique
in 2007

References[edit]

^ "Populations légales 2013 - Insee". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ "Insee − Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - Insee". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ Rolland, Michel. "La Bretagne à Paris". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ "Ils sont 70 000 ! Notre dossier sur les Bretons
Bretons
du Havre". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ 2011 National Household Survey; includes 4,770 people of single and 9,525 of mixed Breton origin. ^ Ed. Wade Davis and K. David Harrison (2007). Book of Peoples of the World. National Geographic Society. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-4262-0238-4.  ^ Koch, John (2005). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABL-CIO. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-85109-440-0. Retrieved September 29, 2012.  ^ "Breton". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-06-09.  ^ "Breton Language". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ Léon Fleuriot, Les origines de la Bretagne: l’émigration, Paris, Payot, 1980. ^ Keats-Rohan 1991, The Bretons
Bretons
and Normans of England 1066-1154 ^ "Marion Cotillard: 'Before my family, everything was dedicated to the character'". The Guardian. August 2, 2014.  ^ ifrance.com Archived August 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Yann Tiersen: ∞ (Infinity) & the Origin of Its Language". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ "Goarnig Kozh a livré son dernier combat". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ "Cinéma. Stallone est de Brest « même » !" (in French), Le Télégramme de Brest, October 6, 2009 ^ Bretagne: poems (in French), by Amand Guérin, published by P. Masgana, 1842: page 238. ^ "Breton language". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ a b c "Breton language, alphabet and pronunciation". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ Allanv.microopen.org Archived May 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ " Al Liamm - Degemer". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ Pierre Le Baud, Cronicques & Ystoires des Bretons.

Léon Fleuriot, Les origines de la Bretagne, Bibliothèque historique Payot, 1980, Paris, (ISBN 2-228-12711-6) Christian Y. M. Kerboul, Les royaumes brittoniques au Très Haut Moyen Âge, Éditions du Pontig/Coop Breizh, Sautron – Spézet, 1997, (ISBN 2-84346-030-1) Morvan Lebesque, Comment peut-on être Breton ? Essai sur la démocratie française, Éditions du Seuil, coll. « Points », Paris, 1983, (ISBN 2-02-006697-1) Myles Dillon, Nora Kershaw Chadwick, Christian-J. Guyonvarc'h and Françoise Le Roux, Les Royaumes celtiques, Éditions Armeline, Crozon, 2001, (ISBN 2-910878-13-9).

External links[edit] Breizh.net – a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of Brittany
Brittany
and the Breton language
Breton language
on the Internet Breizh.net

Bretagnenet.com Gwalarn.org Kervarker.org Skolober.com Francenet.fr Person.wanadoo.fr Preder.net Dicts.info Wordgumbo.com Online Breton radio

Antourtan.org Ramsisle.com

Bremañ – Breton language
Breton language
magazine Ofis ar Brezhoneg (l'Office de la langue bretonne)

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