Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Mummers of Philadelphia

In Lipsitz’s, “Mardi Gras Indians” he discusses how the parade is more than just a single day event for the participants. The parade has turned into a community builder and the costumes that are made, become a yearlong labor of love for not only the participants but also the community. This ritual is similar to that of the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia. The parade takes place on New Years day, dating back to 1901. The Mummers Parade is made up of four divisions, comic, fancy, string band and fancy brigade. The costumes are as elaborate as the dance, each more impressive than the next. When driving through South Philly, you can see the “club houses” of the different mummers groups. These houses serve as a hang out during Philadelphia Eagles games on Sundays, and as the workshop for their elaborate performances. This, like the Mardi Gras Indians, is more than just a creation of a parade; it is a creation of a community.

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