The hobby horse is a traditional character in Mummers plays and processions. They have a head made of wood, usually with hinged jaws that can be made to snap. The head is attached to a stick held by the person acting the horse who is covered by a cloth as a further disguise.
The 2012 Dell from Downtown is free-standing, about 10 inches in height, and will be signed and dated in a limited edition of 1200 figures.
Thereís something about mummers and the mummering tradition that appeals to the pagan and the child deep inside us. The Lords of Misrule rule. The uniquely weird and creative disguises, the mischief and fun embodied in the carryings-on, the way mummering is a metaphor for what is singular about Newfoundland--all contribute to the subjectís enduring appeal. That interest has led to the creation of our own mummer, Dell from Downtown, of Heartís Delight, crafted by Pam and Cara, of Cara's Joy, Upper Island Cove.
What's A Mummer?
Mummering is a centuries-old tradition, practiced mostly in the outports of Newfoundland during the 12 Days of Christmas. A group of mummers will disguise themselves, in person and voice, and set out for a night of mischief in their community, going from house to house. A man might dress as a woman or a woman as a man, a lace curtain or tea towel hides the face, clothes are worn inside out or backwards, underwear over outerwear, sporting odd shoes or mitts. They will knock on a neighbour's door and ask, on an ingress of breath, "Any mummers 'lowed in?" Once inside, a mummer might have a swally of rum, play the fiddle, accordion or ugly stick, and dance a jig or two with the lady of the house. Largely dying out in practice, mummering lives on fondly in the arts and crafts of Newfoundland today.
The seasonís upon us, we're merry and gay,
There's talk that some Mummers are coming this way.
The kitchen is ready for family and fun--
Pop's got his fiddle, the party's begun.
Nan's toes are tapping, she jumps with a start,
A rap at the door has fluttered her heart!
"ANY MUMMERS 'LOWED IN?"
a voice calls through the night.....
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