The wren tradition and other visiting customs in Newfoundland and Ireland

Ní Shúilleabháin, Caoimhe (2004) The wren tradition and other visiting customs in Newfoundland and Ireland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The Wren, or Hunting the Wren, is a Christmas tradition in which a group of people visit homes carrying with them an object representing a wren and reciting a traditional rhyme declaring the wren the "King of all Birds" while asking for a reward for saying the verse. Information on the custom's history and distribution in Newfoundland has been compiled through fieldwork, archival and printed sources. The Wren or Wren Boy tradition is discussed in the context of other visiting traditions in Newfoundland: the ritual visits of the mummers as well as everyday social-casual visits. As distribution of the custom in Newfoundland is primarily restricted to the Irish-settled communities it can be assumed that it came to Newfoundland from Ireland. Therefore, while an overview of the Wren tradition in Europe is given, there is particular comparative focus on the Irish tradition. Similarities in form and function between seasonal house-visits in Newfoundland and Ireland are also dealt with.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5481
Item ID: 5481
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 157-169.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 2004
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mumming--Newfoundland and Labrador

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