Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Wexford Mummers

Now you may well say that this is a Wicklow and not a Wexford blog, but the Wexford Mummers did a star turn at the Carnew Heritage Day in Carnew, Co Wicklow on Sunday last and therefore qualify for inclusion in this esteemed blog by way of association.

So, what is this Mumming?  Now very rare in Ireland and concentrated largely in Co Wexford, Mummers combine dancing, mime and pageantry, much as was performed in medieval times. The rhythmic beating of wooden swords against each other is a feature of the entertainment.

Up to twelve participants are called-on by their Captain and each has a long rhyming introduction describing the circumstances and deeds of the character which he represents. Each has a ‘sword’ like a flat wooden ruler about two feet long. In two lines they go into an intricate step-dance accompanied by fast clashing of the swords. Teams dress alike in sashes like baldrics, and special hats.

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