A successful funding bid by Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek will enable communities to learn of their Cornish language heritage
Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek has received £28,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a new project, Taves an Tir (The Tongue of the Land), to be carried out in Lanivet, Heamoor and the Tolgus area of Redruth. Led by volunteers from the local community this project will focus on Cornish language heritage found in field and settlement names, and traditional family surnames.
The project starts in Lanivet with a ‘Kernow Kwiz’ pub quiz evening at The Lanivet Inn on Tuesday 19 August, starting at 7.30pm. This event will be led by quizmasters Pol Hodge and Cornish Oaf Luke Stevens, and pasties will be provided courtesy of The Lanivet Inn free of charge on a first come, first served basis. Everyone from the local community is invited to take part.
The project will move on to Heamoor in November and then to Redruth in April 2015, engaging local schools and communities during the three months spent in each location. By the finish of the project in May 2016, a booklet, CD and 3D maps will have been produced for each of the three areas, as well as educational resource packs for schools and other community groups. The project will conclude with an exhibition touring Cornish museums. Finally, the completed work will find a permanent home in the new Kresen Kernow archive building in Redruth.
Through schools’ events, schoolchildren can join in the fun, exploring the history of place names and family names; such as those beginning ‘Tre‘, meaning ‘homestead’ or ‘farm’, and ‘Goon’ meaning ‘downland’ or ‘Lann’ meaning a holy enclosure. Following formal training with the Cornwall Records Centre and the Historic Environment Service in Truro, including an exclusive tour of the record vaults, volunteers will work with Cornish language speakers to use their new skills alongside their expert local knowledge to help us chart changes to place names on the map and collect new information about Cornish language in the landscape. This project aims to enhance perceptions of belonging and community, support feelings of identity and sense of place, and will make stories of the past accessible to modern adults and children alike.
Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek is a registered charity, working with adults and children both within and outside Cornwall to advance the Cornish language through promoting, encouraging and fostering its use. Through community teamwork and the development of data interrogation skills, the Taves an Tir project will enable up to 50 adults to become directly involved, with many more – including children from local schools – joining in for the journey. Working with archaeologists and archivists from Cornwall Records Centre and the Historic Environment Service, Maga, Bards and other experts from the Cornish language community, participants will gain a deeper insight into the history of their local area and an enhanced understanding of Cornish language elements in their local landscape and in many Cornish surnames.
Commenting on the award, Loveday Jenkin, chair of the Kowethas said,
“We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for this project to explore the Cornish language around us. This award will enable local people to build upon the recent recognition of the Cornish as a unique and distinct people and help them rediscover their Cornish language heritage. This exciting project will be a journey of discovery for each community and will give them an even greater sense of pride in our land, ancient heritage and language.”
Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek is a Cornish registered charity (no:1065527) which promotes the Cornish language through a wide range of publications, classes and events including the Pennseythun Gernewek, the largest annual gathering of Cornish speakers.
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