It has been almost three weeks since we landed in Witless Bay. As time is flying, we are also getting close to our farewell ticket, heading back to St. John’s.
During these last days, all of us are very busy working on our fieldwork. Last night, I was in the chapel, writing my field notes, drowning in my thoughts when all of a sudden Daisy’s calling pulled me back to the world. She said, “Everybody is waiting for you in the kitchen and we want to start the Screeching In ceremony!” Waiting for this moment, I got very excited and ran down the stairs. But when I got to the kitchen, there were just Emma, Sharna and Daisy, no trace of anybody else. Getting suspicious, I remembered I hadn’t seen anyone over the last four hours. Really where were the others at 11 p.m.? We were making guesses, when suddenly, we heard some scary noises from upstairs. We started screaming! These were not ghosts or fairies! Yes, that’s true, there were four mummers coming to the convent!
The ceremony started with dance and music! While making music with pots and spoons, lovely mummers with their funny clothes and scary masks were dancing with us! I cannot say how much fun it was! While dancing with them, I could easily hear my heart, beating with extreme excitement! Our mummers very artistically disguised themselves and it was not easy to guess their identity!
Next was screeching time! We all had the honour to get screeched in with one of the mummers who was trying hard to disguise her voice! Haha, mummer Terra, your eyes revealed you!
Poor Sharna, she was the first sacrificial screecher who kissed the cod!
Next was Emma!
And my turn!
Thanks to our lovely mummers, now we all are proud honorary Newfoundlanders!
Emma, Sharna and I were not only screeched in last night, but also tasted Newfoundland mummering for the first time! It was an unforgettable memory for all of us, that in September 26, 11 pm at the convent in Witless Bay, we experienced two great Newfoundland traditions, mummering and screeching!