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Arcadia, Orkadians, Acadia(ns)
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Hello all: Just had a look at the very many FAQ and have
some info on many of them. Here is the first one that
can be answered relatively quickly.
Although very similar, in sound they in fact
have very different meanings. We wouldn't confuse
the terms "him" and "hymn" because we are used to them.
"Orkadian" is the name we use for someone from Orkney.
"Acadia" is the name given by the French to that area of
Canada we now call Nova Scotia and parts of New Brunswick.
After the defeat of the French by the British at the Battle
of the Plains of Abraham 1759 and the Treaty of Paris,
Acadia returned to British rule (Yes returned as it had been
originally settled by Scots in the early 1600's and it was
then that it acquired the name Nova Scotia) and the nameNova
Scotia has been used ever since. The British were extra-
oridinarily humane in their treatment of the French
"habitants" in allowing them freedoms of custom and religion
in what is now Quebec, then Lower Canada. In Acadia, there
was a rather large exception. In order to make room for
new settlers of British extraction, many Acadians were
expelled and sent to other locales, some to the French West
Indies but many to Louisiana then still a French possession.
There they became known as Cajuns short for Acadians and
hence the name for one of the more exciting folk music
idioms on the planet. "Zydeco" is the term for a black
form of Cajun music and comes from the french term for
"beans" -- "les haricots" phonetically for non-french
speakers this is pronounced "lays-air-ee-ko" but I digress!
"Arcadia" is a little more difficult to pin down because it
is almost philosophical in concept. Arcadia is not a real
place; rather it is a place that represents to us that
mythological land where there was no strife or conflict
either on personal or national levels; people lived in
harmony with their enviroment, pursued poetry, music,love;
lived in freedom and peace with neighbours without war and
you get the idea. It actually is relevant to Sinclairs
because as Baigeant et al. pointed out in Holy Blood and the
Holy Grail, The Prieure de Sion, that murky semi-secret
group that is supposed to have an unbroken chain of grand-
masters all the way back to the Merovingians and the
descendant's of Christ and Mary Magdalene, numbered Poussin
the French artist of the Baroque period as one of their
grand-masters and he was into "Arcadia" in a big way.
The French St. Clairs are regarded as semi-regal by Baigeant
and were the gurdians of the secret of the Holy Blood and
for whom "Arcadia" represented the lost secrets if not also
I am not up onthe current leadership of the the Prieure but
at the time that book came out it was headed by Plantard de
As a philosophical concept Arcadia has had its
ups and downs as intellectual fashions come and go. eg.
Rousseau's concept of the "noble savage" was pure Arcadia
insofar that he held that there was a time when people lived
pure lives without the contamination of society and
civilization. His ideas were a big part of the French
Revolution and helped removed the veneer of civilization
from aristocrats who had, up till then had appropriated
"good" behaviour as possible only for those who had good
breeding. Enough for now. Rory Sinclair
we now call
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