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ICH - Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
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Ryan, John. John Ryan interview on the Wren tradition, Colliers
Descriptive TitleRyan, John. John Ryan interview on the Wren tradition, Colliers
CategoryFestive events and games
Music and song
Social beliefs, practices and customs
DescriptionColliers resident John Ryan answers questions about the wren tradition
CollectorJarvis, Dale Gilbert, 1971-
InformantRyan, John
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 John Ryan on Wren traditions in Colliers. [Ryan Davis and Dennis Flynn in attendance] November 11, 2009 Introduction remarks; describing the Wren; giving a backstory on the tradition; how the tradition changed from children to both children and men; the children's tradition; the men's tradition; recitation of the Wren rhyme/song; showing the Wren stick; how it was made; his Wren stick is about twenty years old; how the tradition was carried out by men; how Jack Whalen would set up his house for ‘a drop of smile'; why the Wren stayed in Colliers; how John learned about the Wren; the Wren may keep going into the future; different families that prepare food for the performers of the Wren; how the community has changed; performing the Wren outside of Colliers; called "going on the Wren"; "Wren boys" the performers; story about an Irish woman joining the Wren; how it fostered community spirit; how the Wren visit is different from just visiting; the Irish tradition; how John and friends renewed the tradition for adults; children would bring a Wren stick as well; how children's tradition differed; the "old folks" would prepare for the tradition to take place; no instruments because of the cold; memories of doing the Wren; doing the Wren at Mr. Butler's wake; closing remarks.
CONTENTdm file name24.wma
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