A History of Holiday Beasts
Learn about one of Newfoundland’s creepiest cultural customs. The hobby horse, a rare sight in these parts now, was once a long-standing part of the mummering tradition. It is the most peculiar of breeds. With menacing eyes, and crooked-as-sin nails for teeth, the mummer’s hobby horse has been terrifying people for centuries. It
harkens back to the days when our not-so-distant ancestors would save the skins of animals, dry them, drape them over their bodies, and chase people around at festive times of the year. Hobby horses have been made out of junks of wood, giant blocks of
styrofoam, leftover plywood, stitched-together cardboard, and the skulls of horses, moose, cows, and pigs to name just a few.
In this multimedia presentation we take you through the history of the hooded holiday beasts of Newfoundland and the links between our traditions and those of our UK horsey cousins.