Bath Unconvention Symposium 2011 - Steve Rowley

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'Bajan Mummers - Have they lost the plot?'


Evidence of mummers exists in the contemporary folk culture of Barbados. Performing with a small 'Tuk' band can be found a cast of dancers in tatters costume that would recognisable to any student of mumming, including a giant, a hobby horse and a man-woman. In living memory they performed a Christmas night visiting tradition. Since WWII the Tuk tradition has been in decline but in the last 15 years has undergone a significant revival through tourist shows and an island-wide project in schools. No play script has surfaced so far. This paper explores this and related traditions, and their origins. [Full PDF - 445kB]

About the author

Stephen has been involved in mumming since the mid-1970s. He encountered the Tuk tradition in Barbados in 1994 and developed links with the island which inspired him to establish an anglo-bajan education project. Since then the Mum & Tuk programme has been delivered in more than 50 schools in the UK. In a development of this project he led a LECT tour by 25 teachers from Gloucestershire to visit schools in Barbados. Stephen is a member of the Gloucestershire Morris Mummers and the chair of the Mummers Unconvention.

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