Modern Day Mummers
Mummers were actors who, over the twelve days of Christmas, performed an ancient form of theatre in verse. The main characters in the performance were two battling heroes, and a doctor who revives the one that falls. This tradition continues today in some part of the country, particularly in the north of the country. In Leitrim there is a long mumming tradition which continues today. Mummers use disguise to conceal their identity and in Leitrim the custom was to dress entirely in straw.
In 2020 dancer Edwina Guckian, singer Fionnuala Maxwell and musician Brian Mostyn formed the Modern Day Mummers and visited the homes of elderly people in Leitrim who were cocooning .
Dressed in the distinctive straw head-dresses they recreated the mumming tradition that many of these elderly people would have remembered from their own childhoods. In turn the simple act of calling to the house provided a much appreciated break from the social isolation experienced by many of those visited.
A short video documenting the project can be viewed here: MODERN DAY MUMMERS VIDEO