The Friedman Archives





Mummering is an old Christmas tradition in many outport communities in Newfoundland. Mummering involved a group of people, wearing masks made of potato sacks, who called on local homes, not unlike Christmas carolers. These Mummers also distorted their voices to avoid being easily recognized. After being invited inside a house, festivities ensued where food and drink were offered to the visitors and sang and danced while the hosts attempted to identify them. Once a person's identity was correctly determined, it was customary for the mummer to remove his or her mask.  The tradition in Twillingate ceased when a causeway to the island was constructed in 1977. Once that happened, the chances of a mummer not being a local from the island increased, making it riskier to let people in. So now they sell these souvenirs like these instead. 


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