Folk Play Links - Newfoundland

Compiled by C. Little



Groups listed may be folk club, morris dance or amateur drama groups, as well as traditional performers. Publications listed may be cited, extracted or summarised publications, as well as full text.


The 'Mummering' or 'Jannying' tradition is currently still very active in Newfoundland. There are two 'Mummering' customs - one in which plays are performed, as in Britain & Ireland, and the other involving house-visiting in disguise. It is the latter which predominates today, thanks to the popular 'Mummers' Song' and book by the folk duo Simani.


Artwork

001 * A Newfoundland Christmas [Expected Visitors', painting by Danielle Loranger; Audio of The Mummers Song, performed by Great Big Sea]
002 * Ambrose, of Heart's Delight [Figurine for sale]
003 * Any Mummers Allowed In? [Prints for sale: by Richard Steele, 1999]
004 * Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador [exhibition - 'The Dancers', by Janet Peter]
005 * Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador [exhibition of bronze sculptures and incised clay urns - 'Mummer With Fiddle', by Joan Blackmore Thistle]
006 * Mummers Make Ready [Poster and greeting cards for sale: by E.J. Wareham]
007 * Purity - Syrup [served when the costumed "Mummers" come 'round at Christmas]
008 * The Mummer's Veil [exhibition of paintings]
009 * Twackwear [T-shirt for sale]

Groups

010 * Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage : Mummers' Troupe [A now defunct Newfoundland professional theatre company, whose repertoire was based on the mummering tradition]
011 * Salmonier Country Manor: Activities: "Christmas and The Mummers" [Annual mummers play]

Papers

012 * Blackface Performance and Christmas Mummers: Intersections of Race Class Ethnicity in Newfoundland [citation of Kelly Best, at American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, Quebec City, Quebec, 17th-21st Oct. 2007 - see article below]
013 * Mummers, Janneys and Naluyuks of Newfoundland and Labrador [citation of Lynn Lunde, at MLCS Graduate Student Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, 28th-29th Sep. 2006]
014 * Mumming and Violence in Newfoundland’s Conception Bay (c.1830-1860): New Evidence from Criminal Trial Proceedings [citation of Joy Fraser, at Taking Shetland out of the Box : Island Cultures and Shetland Identity, Lerwick, 7th-10th May 2009 - see article below]
015 * Othering and Owning: Newfoundland Mummers and the Transformation of Difference [citation of Diane Tye, at American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, Rochester, New York, 16th-20th Oct. 2002 - see article below]

Publications

016 * A brief history of the early inhabitants of Lance Cove, Bell Island, Newfoundland [internet edition] [by Lloyd C. Rees - "janneys"]
017 * A History of Newfoundland from the English, Colonial, and Foreign Records [by D.W. Prowse, 1895, p.402 - "fools"]
018 * A History of the Island of Newfoundland: [by Rev Lewis Amadeus Anspach, 1819, p.477 - "mumming"]
019 * A Public Nuisance: A History of the Mummers Troupe [Book for sale: by Chris Brookes, 1988]
020 * Any Mummers Allowed In? Christmas Mumming in Newfoundland [by Lynn Noel, in American Morris Newsletter, 1984]
021 * Any Mummers 'lowed In? [in First-Time Readers, Vol.4 No.1, Dec. 1996, p.5 - mummering at Stag Harbour, Fortune Harbour & Colinet]
022 * Applying Signaling Theory to Traditional Cultural Rituals : The Example of Newfoundland Mumming [by Craig T. Palmer & Christina Nicole Pomianek, in Human Nature, Vol.18 No.4, Dec. 2007, pp.295-312 - Springer subscription required]
023 * At Home and Away: Newfoundland Mummers and the Transformation of Difference [by Diane Tye, in Material Culture Review, Vol.68, Fall 2008, pp.48-57]
024 * Behind a winter door: it's serious business when the mummers come a-knocking - Masquerade [by Gordon Jones, in Performing Arts & Entertainment in Canada, Autumn 2002]
025 * CBC - The World this Weekend, 23rd Dec. 2001 [Audio (about 40% way through the show)]
026 * Christmas in Newfoundland and Labrador [extract from ed. D.W.S. Ryan, 1988, pp.88-93 - extract from article, in Newfoundlander, Dec. 1949 - Change Islands text]
027 * Christmas in Newfoundland and Labrador [extract from ed. D.W.S. Ryan, 1988, pp.86-87 - as Mummering In The Outports, by Don Ryan, in Western Star, 22nd Dec. 1950, Back Section p.4; and Photo of mummer models]
028 * Christmas Lore : 'Janneying' in Newfoundland [citation of Melchen, in New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol.VII No.4, Winter 1951, pp.272-273]
029 * Christmas Mumming and the New Year in Outport Newfoundland [by Gerald M. Sider, in Past and Present, No.71, May 1976, pp.102-125 - Subscription required for JSTOR]
030 * Court Cases Found In Various Newspapers [in Harbor Grace Standard and Conception Bay Advertiser, 8th Jan. and 31st Dec. 1862 - Sentences handed out to unlicenced mummers at Harbor Grace - Archived]
031 * Dictionary of Newfoundland English [2nd edition with Supplement] [eds. by G.M. Story et al, 1990 - Search for 'fool', 'janny', 'jannying', 'mummer', 'mummering' and 'ownshook']
032 * Episodes in our Early History [by D.W. Prowse, 1878, pp.13-14]
033 * Excursions in and about Newfoundland during the Years 1839 and 1840 [by Joseph Beete Jukes, 1842, chap.VII - includes a brief description of Fools and Mummers]
034 * Excursions in and about Newfoundland during the Years 1839 and 1840 [extract from Joseph Beete Jukes, 1842, chap.VII - and Modern photo]
035 * Folklore and the Creation of National Identities: A North American Perspective [by Gerald L. Pocius, in Journal of the Baltic Institute of Folklore, Vol.1, 1996 - mummering and the mummers song demonstrate points raised during discussion]
036 * Folk-Lore Scrap-Book : Christmas "Fools" and "Mummers" in Newfoundland [in Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol.VI No.XX, Jan.-Mar. 1893, pp.63-65 - extract from article, by Rev Arthur C. Waghorne, in Evening Herald, 1892 - itself extract from article, by William Whittle, in Telegram and Colonist, Christmas No., 1886 or 1887]
037 * Fools and Mummers [by Larry Dohey, in The Monitor, Dec. 2000 - about mummering being prohibited. [Included a painting by John W. Hayward of mummers in the 1850s.] - Archived]
038 * George Skinner's Christmas : An Incident of the Early Days [by P.K. Devine, in Christmastide, No.1, Dec. 1907, p.3 - mummers at King's Cove]
039 * History of King's Cove [by J.T. Lawton & P.K. Devine, 1944, chap.IV - includes description the Jannies' mummering play]
040 * Labrador Nurse [by B.J. Banfill, 1953, p.103 - mummers]
041 * Making Cool Things Hot Again": Blackface and Newfoundland Mummering [by Kelly Best, in Ethnologies, Vol.30 No.2, 2008, pp.215-248]
042 * Models and Mirrors: towards an anthropology of public events [by Don Handelman. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1998 - includes chapter 'Christmas mumming in Newfoundland' - Subscription required for Questia]
043 * Monday, 21st January, 1860 [in Journal of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland, Second Session of the Seventh General Assembly, 1860, pp.27-28 - law to prevent "mummers" and "fools" appearing in disguise]
044 * Mummering - Theatre of Antiquity [by Michael Rossiter, in Muse, Vol.49 Iss.11, 27th Nov. 1998 - on the revival of Mummering in Newfoundland through the activities of Chris Brookes - includes photos - Archived]
045 * Mummers and Moshers: Two Rituals of Trust in Changing Social Environments [citation of Craig T. Palmer, in Ethnology, Vol.44 No.2, Spring 2005]
046 * Mummers and Real Strangers: The Effect of Diminished Isolation on Newfoundland Christmas House Visiting [citation of Craig T. Palmer, in Newfoundland Studies, Vol.8 No.2, Fall 1992]
047 * Mummers and Real Strangers: The Effect of Diminished Isolation on Newfoundland Christmas House Visiting [by Craig T. Palmer, in Newfoundland Studies, Vol.8 No.2, Fall 1992, pp.125-134]
048 * Mummers on Trial : Mumming, Violence and the Law in Conception Bay and St. John's, Newfoundland, 1831-1863 [by Joy Fraser, in Shima: the international journal of research into island cultures, Vol.3 No.2, 2009, pp.70-88]
049 * Mumming in Newfoundland [by Ann Marie Powers, in World and I, Dec. 1988 - Subscription required for the full online article.]
050 * Newfoundland in 1842: [by Sir Richard Henry Bonnycastle, 1842, Vol.II, pp.139-140 - at St John's]
051 * Notes on the Dialect of the People of Newfoundland : II [by George Patterson, in Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol.IX No.XXXII, Jan.-Mar. 1896, p.36 - "old teaks" and "jannies"]
052 * Old Time Christmas in Newfoundland [by Michael Harrington, in Daily News, Vol.62 No.3, 5th Jan. 1955, p.2]
053 * Remembering the Past : The Marketing of Tradition in Newfoundland [Book for sale: by Paul Smith, in Masks and Mumming in the Nordic Area, ed. by Terry Gunnell, 2007, pp.755-770]
054 * Some Recollections [by Adm Sir Cyprian Bridge, 1918, pp.25-27 - "Fools" at St John's & Mummers fragment, 1851]
055 * The Mummers [by Loreen Adams-Haldenby, in Downhomer, Dec. 1999 - mummering at Milton - Archived]
056 * The Mummers Song in Newfoundland: Intellectuals, Revivalists and Cultural Nativism [citation of Gerald L. Pocius, in Newfoundland Studies, Vol.4 No.1, Spring 1988]
057 * The Mummers Song in Newfoundland: Intellectuals, Revivalists and Cultural Nativism [by Gerald L. Pocius, in Newfoundland Studies, Vol.4 No.1, Spring 1988, pp.57-85]
058 * The Mummers Troupe, the Canada Council, and the Production of Theatre History [by Alan Filewod, in Theatre Research in Canada, Vol.19 No.1, Spring 1998, pp.3-34]
059 * The Newfoundland Mummers’ Christmas House-Visit [citation of Margaret R. Robertson, 1984 - Mercury Series - Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies - No.49 - as thesis below]
060 * The Tenth Island : being some account of Newfoundland, ... [by Beckles Willson, 1897, pp.88-89 - "mummers"]
061 * Theatre of Fish [Book for sale: by John Gimlette, 2005]
062 * This Marvellous Terrible Place: Images of Newfoundland and Labrador [extract from Yva Momatuik & John Eastcott, ?, p.137 - mummering in Francois]
063 * Twinelofts & Pantries [by Battle Harbour Literacy Council, 2000, pp.18-19 - jannying at Deep Water Creek]
064 * Victoria: Recalling Our Heritage [by Victoria Community Development Corporation, [1997 ?], p.17 - jannying - also see interviews with Eva Ash, Samuel Burke, Ester Clarke, Nathaniel Clarke, Roy Clarke, Clarence Collins, Helen Higdon, Leonard Inniss, Fanny Inniss, Virda Layden, Hazel Peckham, Rosalie Penney, Harold Priddle, George Snooks, Jean Stephenson, Annie Whyte and Cyril Whyte]

Songs

065 * Mummers Night in Oshawa [CD for sale: by A. Frank Willis]
066 * Mummers Night in Oshawa [by A.Frank Willis. Lyrics to the song]
067 * Newfoundland Mummers [Audio of Tracks - 'Mummers Song' & 'Mummers Jig']
068 * The Mummers Song [song]

Theses

069 * Ireland Newfoundland Partnership [Educational Bursaries Scheme, No.15: MA thesis on Newfoundland/Irish Folk Culture by Caoimhe Ní Shuilleabhain - with a particular focus on the mumming tradition of the South East counties of Ireland, which is replicated in the ‘mummering’ tradition of Newfoundland.]
070 * The Newfoundland Mummers’ Christmas House-Visit [MA dissertation by Margaret R. Robertson, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's]
071 * The Wren Tradition and Other Visiting Customs in Newfoundland and Ireland [MA dissertation by Caoimhe Ní Shuilleabhain, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's]

[General]

The 'Mummering' or 'Jannying' tradition is currently still very active in Newfoundland. There are two 'Mummering' customs - one in which plays are performed, as in Britain & Ireland, and the other involving house-visiting in disguise. It is the latter which predominates today, thanks to the popular 'Mummers' Song' and book by the folk duo Simani.

072 * Adding some Christmas Cheer - Mummers in Newfoundland
073 * Canon Jim Irvine [Mummering or Jannying']
074 * Diary of the Rev M.P. O'Driscoll for the Years 1874-1881 [internet only ?] [Mummers" at Tors Cove, 26th Dec. 1878]
075 * Dr Shawn Thomas [photo at his home]
076 * For the Love of Learning [2008 performance; photos; video]
077 * Growing Up - Up in Cove, by Abbie Whiffen [internet only]
078 * Intangible Cultural Heritage
079 * Mysterious Canada: Mummering [Texts or plays and songs; painting, by Danielle Loranger]
080 * Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage : Custom [calendar customs - including Mummering - with photo]
081 * Newfoundland Historical Society Archival Collection [mummering at English Harbour]
082 * Newfoundland's Grand Banks - Folklore
083 * Northern Bay, by Mary Elizabeth McCarthy, 1964 [internet only] [mummers at Northern Bay]
084 * St Peter's All Grade School, McCallum [photos at their homes]
085 * World's End Theatre Company [Here Comes We: A Celebration of the New Year" includes performance of Change Islands text]

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