From Mummering to Halloween, From Christmas Tree to Mummers

Traditions are inseparable part of people’s life. They are like holy objects or precious treasures which people keep cautiously in a valuable chest and take them out in some special days in a year to remove the dust of time from them and then put them back till next year. Some of these holy treasures never become valueless even though they change as time elapsed. Mummering is one of this traditions in Newfoundland. Although, nowadays it may not be admired as it was before, its footprint is still traceable in Newfoundlanders’ treasure chest.

A picture of Mummering in the convent, taken by Saeede

A picture of Mummering in the convent, taken by Saeede

Today Claire and I went to Sheila’s house to chat with her about the mummers that I found in her stable while Emma and I were working there to draw the floor plans of the building. Although Sheila could not recall much about Mummering tradition itself, she is still making mummers and put them in her garden as decoration in Christmas time. She told me last year, many people in Witless Bay gather in her garden to celebrate Christmas while sitting with her mummer. She herself has never dressed up as a mummer but she decided to make them as a part of Christmas and Halloween decorations because she found mummers very unique and fascinating to many people in Newfoundland. She also mentioned that she is using miniature mummers on Yule logs.

Sheila Ryan and me in her house, Photo taken by Claire McDougall

Sheila Ryan and me in her house, Photo taken by Claire McDougall

Sheila Ryan and her mummers, taken by Saeede

Sheila Ryan and her mummers, taken by Saeede

Sheila Ryan, photo by Saeede

Sheila Ryan with her mummers, photo by Saeede

Sheila’s Mummers are Mummering’s footprint in her life. She removed dust from her mummers when she opens her chest of traditions and takes them out at Halloween and Christmas.

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