The varied traditions of mumming throughout Europe (and now here in North America as well) all use masks, costumes and theatre-in-motion to embody the spiritual forces and changes occurring in the land and the community at special, liminal times of year. … More Making Magic
Because mumming traditions are an integral part of folk culture in many parts of Europe, some costumes and masks have become part of museum collections. … More Museums
Mummering originated in England and Ireland, and the earliest record of it in Newfoundland dates to 1819, according to the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage project. … More Mummering in Newfoundland
This time it’s Placebo’s new video for “Jesus’ Son,” filmed on location in Sardinia and featuring stunning Sardinian mummers costumes with shaggy sheepskins, enormous bells and horned masks. According to one entertainment website, “The surreal imagery taps into the song’s spiritual undertones.”
Woodkid’s self-directed music video for “Run Boy Run” features a host of monsters running alongside a child. They may not technically be mummers, but the costumes clearly evoke traditional mumming costumes, made of moss and animal skulls, and they are definitely in a “lauf” (run) and look scary, even if they are helping the boy on his … More Run Boy Run
The world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel (the Gotthard Base Tunnel), going straight through the Alps, officially opened recently in Switzerland and was celebrated with a lavish pageant featuring, among many other things, some costumes and processions very reminiscent of traditional mumming. I’m guessing the German director drew inspiration from Alpine mumming customs, although perhaps … More Swiss Tunnel Ceremony Featuring Mummers!
Charles Fréger, the photographer whose gorgeous portraits of European mumming traditions have made the rounds of the internet for the past couple years (from his book Wilder Mann), is about to release a new book covering similar types of costumes and customs from Japan, collectively referred to as yokai. Those familiar with European mumming will see … More Yokainoshima
There are so many varied mumming traditions the world over, it’s not surprising that even after years of studying them, I can still find something I never heard of. Today I noticed a short piece at the back of our local newspaper about a festival happening in Spain. It centers around a devil-like creature named … More Jarramplas