Digital Archives Initiative
ICH - Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
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Skanes, Honora. Honora Skanes interview on the Wren tradition, Colliers
Descriptive TitleSkanes, Honora. Honora Skanes interview on the Wren tradition, Colliers
CategoryFestive events and games
Music and song
Social beliefs, practices and customs
DescriptionColliers resident Honora Skanes answers questions about the wren tradition
CollectorJarvis, Dale Gilbert, 1971-
InformantSkanes, Honora
Location Depicted/DiscussedCanada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Colliers
Recording LocationCanada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Colliers
NotesThe wren is just one of several Christmastime house-visiting traditions that continue in Newfoundland and Labrador. Typically, children and/or adults will visit homes within their community carrying around an effigy of a small bird—the wren. Upon entry into a home, they usually recite a poem about the wren and may offer some kind of performance, be it song, joke, or recitation. Often the host will offer up food, drink, or money for the visit. Unlike other house-visiting traditions, there are no disguises involved.
Resource TypeAudio
CollectionIntangible Cultural Heritage Inventory - Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
LogDale Jarvis interviews Honora Skanes on Wren traditions in Colliers. [Ryan Davis and Dennis Flynn in attendance] November 11, 2009. Honora introduces herself; questions about why Dale is collecting; Honora introduces herself again; Dale asks about the Wren; recalls 1938 Boxing Day Wren; recalls how men would carry out the tradition with drinks; recites the Wren rhyme; how the Wren was made; boys would collect money and treats; why she never went around with the Wren; how the tradition is dying out and why; describing how the traditions varied between children and men who would perform; what types of songs the men would sing; no children performing in recent years; memories of Christmas growing up; stocking presents; Christmas in the community and visiting; jannying traditions in Colliers; Christmas memories; Christmas community concert; families from Bacon Cove that would come over to sing at Christmas; mostly girls would go with Wren; inquiring about St. Bridgette's day; why her house was the first house for the Wren; the future of the Wren; money for the Wren performers; why the Wren was in Colliers; the songs that were sung - The Maid of Newfoundland, Charming Kitty Flynn, Many a Tall and Gallant Ship; how the Wren would walk in; no hobby horses in Colliers; she thinks the tradition of Wren should be kept and what she likes about it; closing remarks.
CONTENTdm file name22.wma
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