Mumming In Newfoundland

lordmongrove

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#1
The Long-Banned Tradition of Mummering in Newfoundland is Making a Comeback Resurrecting a centuries-old Christmas ritual with creepy masks, horse heads, and bras worn on the outside. BY SARAH LASKOW DECEMBER 13, 2016​
One day each year, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the streets are filled with misshapen, masked figures. They are wrapped in quilts and oversized jackets, or bright boots and distinctive dresses, with undergarments worn on the outside. Their faces are obscured behind gruesome disguises, lacy veils, giant horse heads, or beneath ghost-like pillow cases. These are Newfoundland’s mummers, the latest iteration of a centuries-old tradition that has its roots in Europe but is entirely unique to this Canadian island. More than a thousand people come out to the Mummers Parade each year, to feel what it’s like to shed their normal identity for at least a few hours.​
CONTINUED (NICE PHOTOGRAPHS):​
 
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Ermintruder

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#3
I was last in Newfoundland just over 20yrs ago, and I never saw, nor heard, anything about this tradition. Interesting....shall read the reference content later-on.

What this does accidentally do is remind me about the huge unsettling stone-built figures in Labrador /Nfld....resolute giants built from stacked flat boulders, but with outstretched arms (not just piles/cairns, they acted like practical sign-posts rather than just omnidirectional mapping pins)

I can't remember what they were called, but they were iconic to the land they sat upon (in a similar emblematic way to the 'great heads' of Easter Island) .

I also cannot recollect whether we've talked about them, here on the Forum or not. Dammit.....

In my mind's eye, they were reminiscent almost of squat overweight electricity pylons, and very disturbing to see (in many ways). What are they called? I might remember once I wake up....
 
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maximus otter

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#4
...huge unsettling stone-built figures in Labrador /Nfld....resolute giants built from stacked flat boulders, but with outstretched arms (not just piles/cairns, they acted like practical sign-posts rather than just omnidirectional mapping pins)

I can't remember what they were called...
Inuksuk?

maximus otter
 

Gloucestrian

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#6
Mumming is somewhat related to guising and to wassailing. All three traditions marked special days with an inversion of social norms. Mumming and wassailing evolved a more acceptable form in parts of the UK by singing, storytelling or playing to solicit boons of food or money. Guising retained its more raw inversion of norms by retaining the masks and the begging/threatening from whence we derive "trick-or-treat". It makes a lot of sense that in Newfoundland mumming retained or perhaps returned to its more raw Saturnalian form.
 

brownmane

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#7
Mumming and wassailing evolved a more acceptable form in parts of the UK by singing, storytelling or playing to solicit boons of food or money. Guising retained its more raw inversion of norms by retaining the masks and the begging/threatening from whence we derive "trick-or-treat".
The OR when I read it, reminded me of when I was a kid and went out for halloween. I grew up in a very small community where families had lived for eons and I was related to many in some distant way, so everyone knew everyone by "relation to" eg " oh, you are so and so's daughter/granddaughter etc" whether they knew your actual name or not.

When we went out trick or treating, we always would enter someone's house and not speak while they tried to guess who we were. I am one of five, so we would try to come in two groups to try and trick people so that they would have a harder time guessing who we were. If we had a friend or cousin with us, it was more fun. My cheeks would be sore after an evening of trick or treating from grinning and trying not to make a sound to give my identity away.

We did NOT sing nor dance. Lol
 

James_H

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#11
If you google 'Wexford Newfoundland Mumming' you will get loads of reports on the cultural connections between south east Ireland and Newfoundland.
I listened to Glenn Gould's radio documentary about Newfoundland. One of those interviewed I was very surprised to realise was not a recent immigrant from Ireland - his accent really could have fooled me. There are Canadians out there who sound straight out of the Irish countryside.
 

ScarlettR

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#13
I listened to Glenn Gould's radio documentary about Newfoundland. One of those interviewed I was very surprised to realise was not a recent immigrant from Ireland - his accent really could have fooled me. There are Canadians out there who sound straight out of the Irish countryside.
There are people in Argentina who sound straight out of the Midlands of Ireland. Their ancestors emigrated to farm sheep in the 1880s and their descendants still have Irish surnames and accents from Counties Westmeath and Longford.
 
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