Trauma studies and existing performance theory facilitate the exploration of the poetics of an indigenous music and dance form found in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The Highland Clearances is the background for this overlooked dance form that inscribes and records the unspeakable and unknowable. An interloping, performative autobiographical narrative further illustrates the way Cape Breton dance represents an archival “hauntopia” in the wake of the amnesiac and aphasiac fallout of mass trauma.

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