Day 12:01 am

  • Day #66/365: Sarah Hannants wander through the English ritual year

    Mummers Maypoles and Milkmaids-Sarah Hannant-A Year In The Country 1File under:
    Trails and Influences: Other Pathways. Case #7/52.

    Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey Through The English Ritual Year by Sarah Hannant.

    In many ways this is a continuation of the journey that Homer Sykes with his Once A Year book/project (see Day #19/365). Both books are visual social histories of the ongoing observance and enactment of English folk rituals.

    Mummers Maypoles and Milkmaids-Sarah Hannant-A Year In The Country 4I think one of the things I find fascinating about them is the way that these sometimes arcane rites and rituals are pictured alongside and in contrast to symbols of modern-day life: whether it be a straw bear next to a local metro supermarket, a fluorescent clad safety officer next to float queens or a burry man supping a drink through a straw (again see Day #19/365 on Homer Sykes for that last one),  sometimes just small things such as a digital camera next to blackened faces, the modern eye wear of a traditional jester as he wanders down a country lane or maybe just the modern day physiognomy and clothing of the observers of burning tar barrel carrying.

    Often the rituals pictured have a playful, dressing up, knockabout air but just once in a while something else seems to creep into the photographs, faces at the window that just here and there begin to hint at or conjure up an otherly albion, slithers of a view through the portal as it were.

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    Rather reasonably priced this book. Read more here. Sarah Hannant can be visited here.

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