You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Mumming with the Neighbors in West Tyrone
Journal of Folklore Research
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan. - Apr., 2000), pp. 73-84
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3814666
Page Count: 12
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
While conducting fieldwork on commemoration and collective memory in Northern Ireland, I was invited by my neighbors to join their Christmas mumming group. That experience led to this short, informal piece, which offers insights-from my perspective as a newly initiated mummer-into the motivations, group dynamics, and improvisational play of a contemporary mumming group. By describing how the group assembled and practiced, the essay touches on how this tradition is transmitted from veterans to new recruits. By recalling specific performances, the piece describes the contexts in which mumming is performed today. As a result of my mumming experience, I relaxed my initial compulsion to document folklore as a thing and came to appreciate being part of folklore as a process. Although folk drama was not the primary focus of my fieldwork, my experience as a mummer was foundational in my relationships with new neighbors and to my understanding of my role as a fieldworker. Thus, this "encounter with folklore" also allows for some reflection on fieldwork and methodology.
Journal of Folklore Research © 2000 Indiana University Press