The project will enable participants to create their own version of a mumming tradition that is identifiable and distinct to their locality. In this way this rich authentic cultural activity will be kept alive and vibrant.
The project will teach young participants about the folklore associated with mumming and develop essential skills required to perform mumming. These heritage skills will include, straw craft, mask making, music, song, and dance performances. The project will facilitate the intergenerational exchange of folklore between the older generation; the last custodians of the mumming in Fermanagh, and the young people engaged in this project.
Saint Ninnidh’s Primary School have been extremely busy leaning all about the Mumming Traditions in Fermanagh. Following 10 weeks of rehearsing with the Mummer Foundation they preformed the age old folk drama in front of a packed assembly hall. They also got the opportunity to ask their parents and grandparents about their memories of The Mummers.
The Mummers Foundation hosted a traditional Strawcraft Workshop as part of the Keepers of Tradition project. On the day we learned heritage skills in straw and rush craft, taught by our team of experienced Fermanagh based craftspeople. The team passed on basic, traditional skills in plaiting so that all participants where guaranteed to leave having crafted either a Mummer Hat, Harvest Knot or Corn Doll.
The Mummers Foundation hosted their Horribilist Halloween Mask Making at Fermanagh House where families got the opportunity to have a go at making their very own Halloween Mummers Mask. A brilliant day for the whole family while learning some amazing strawcraft.
As part of last week’s promotion of Seactain na Gaeilge (week of irish language) over twenty pupils from Lisnaskea’s Bunscoil An Traonaigh crossed the Ferry bridges over to Aughakillymaude on the loughshore . The objective: to converse and listen to the social history of the mumming tradition within Fermanagh through the medium of Irish language . On hand was jim Ledwith , coordinator the Mummmers Foundation whose command of irish conversation enabled him to open the minds of children to the countryside’s most enduring tradition – mumming.
With the assistance of the country’s sole exhibition on mumming the children were also introduced to the heritage of strawcrafts which were widely used on farm households. It was then onto a strawcraft workshop where the age old mastercraftsman, Patrick Murphy excelled , once again in helping children fashion the rudamentary , iconic straw masks of the mummers .
After three hours of solid working strewn straw and hairy ned rope the children proudly held aloft their mini straw masks and went off home to show their parents and grandparents. The Seactain na Gaeilge workshop was jointly supported by the Mummers Foundation and the Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) with national heritage lottery funds.