The 2012 Napoleon Hill Leader Certification trip to Ireland included a performance by the historic Irish Mummers. They are a very old tradition in Ireland. They made a special appearance at Belle Isle Castle in Fermanagh County in Ireland.
Mummers Plays (also known as mumming) are seasonal folk plays performed by troupes of actors known as mummers or guisers (or by local names such as rhymers, pace-eggers, soulers, tipteerers, galoshins, guysers, and so on), originally from thought to be from England but there are early examples from Ireland(In the ancient annals of Ulster, men in tall conical masks are mentioned as chief entertainers to King Conor, who lived at the royal fort of Emain Macha. Those plays are believed to have their origins in the second millennium B.C.E.) (see wrenboys), but later in other parts of the world. They are sometimes performed in the street but more usually as house-to-house visits and in public houses. Although the term mummers has been used since medieval times, no play scripts or performance details survive from that era, and the term may have been used loosely to describe performers of several different kinds. Mumming may have precedents in German and French carnival customs, with rare but close parallels also in late medieval England (see below).
The earliest evidence of mummers' plays as they are known today (usually involving a magical cure by a quack doctor) is from the mid to late 18th century. Mumming plays should not be confused with the earlier mystery plays.
Mummers' and guisers' plays were formerly performed throughout most of English-speaking Ireland, Europe and Great Britain, as well as in other English-speaking parts of the world including Newfoundland, Kentucky and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In England, there are a few surviving traditional teams, but there have been many revivals of mumming, often associated nowadays with morris and sword dance groups.
Mummers and "guisers" (performers in disguise) can be traced back at least to the Middle Ages, though when the term "mummer" appears in medieval manuscripts it is rarely clear what sort of performance was involved. A key element was visiting people in disguise at Christmas. At one time, in the royal courts, special allegorical plays were written for the mummers each year — for instance at the court of Edward III, as shown in a 14th century manuscript, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. However, apart from being in rhyme, these plays were nothing like the current traditional plays, whose documented history only goes back as far as the mid-18th century.
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