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History of Mummering

Hark, what’s the noise out by the porch door? Well, it could be mummers!

Mummering has a history dating back to England and Ireland. Its roots in Newfoundland can be traced back to 1819.

It's unclear how the tradition came to Newfoundland to begin with. The tradition varied from community to community but the most prominent aspects included dressing up and visiting homes. One welcomed into a home mummers may dance, music, jokes, or recitations. The hosts must also guess the mummers' identities before offering food or drink.

In 1861 a law was introduced to prevent people from wearing masks after a group of masked mummers killed Isaac Mercer in Bay Roberts.

Mummering in rural communities continued despite the law.


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