Contact/ FAQ

Contact

If you have any questions about Mainland Mummers or just want to get in touch with us, please email stephanie.pharoah@gmail.com, and we will respond as soon as possible. Read on for frequently asked questions.

General

1. What is mummering?

According to Heritage NL, “A tradition practiced in various forms for over 300 years, mummering, mumming, or janneying in Newfoundland and Labrador describes the practice of visiting several homes throughout an evening while dressed in disguise.”

Mummering is a centuries-old tradition that has its roots in Europe, taken from a very specific part of the British Isles, and has evolved today to something unique to “The Rock”. 

Mummering takes place over the twelve days of Christmas, and In its most basic form, it is the act of wearing a costume (often as absurd as possible) that disguises your identity and going door to door, from house to house, visiting your neighbors. Once invited in, the hosts of the house would offer food and beverages to the mummers, while they would dance and perform skits. All the while, the hosts would try and guess their identities. Since neighbors would most often know the clothes you owned, and other mannerisms, you might wear someone else’s clothing (too big or too small), borrow someone else's quilt to disguise yourself, alter your voice and the way you walked/ danced about.

Typically associated with Christmastime, mummering has become a cultural tradition that has taken on many forms. Today, “[it is] a type of performance for summertime Come Home Year celebrations; it’s the topic of a still-popular song; and it’s represented in art and craft. Mummering has inspired artists, craftspeople, musicians, and business people. We now see mummer Christmas tree ornaments, dolls, embroidered pillows and quilts, wrapping paper, gift cards, paintings, photos, books, t-shirts, wine bags, coffee mugs, and Christmastime specialty beer. Mummering appears in local films, music, and television.”

Mummers have become a symbol of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a cherished reminder of home for many Newfies who still live on the island, and those who have moved away.

2. Is the mummering tradition still practiced today?

Although the old tradition is not  practiced as commonly, one day each year the mummers appear in St. Johns, Newfoundland for the annual Mummers Festival.

3. How did Mainland Mummers start?

In many ways, Mainland Mummers is a product of COVID-19, having soft launched in Ottawa in January 2021 (after a little too much time in lock down!). It all started when my ‘mudder’ asked me to paint her a 2D set of mummers from cardboard (pictured below). She posted them on Facebook, and to my surprise, a number of family and friends commented, saying how fantastic they were. A few even mentioned that they would be interested in having a set, if I decided to make more. 

Seeing the interest, and with much more time at home as previously mentioned, I was motivated to play around with the mummers some more. I started experimenting with plywood, a jigsaw and acrylic paint, and the first mummers from Winter 2021 were born. This project has re-ignited my love for art and creation. Since then, I have expanded the product offering, and continue to play around with new ideas.

4. Why “Mainland Mummers”?

Mainland Mummers was mainly created for Newfies living on Canada’s mainland who are familiar with mummering, and who wish to share the tradition with their family and friends by displaying our decorations. For more information on how the brand was started, and the face behind mainland mummers, check out our About section.


Products & Ordering

Note: The website is currently 'on pause' and will be re-launched before Christmas 2024, with a new look! Stay tuned for new products, and the ability to place online orders. In the meantime, if you would like to order something directly from me, please reach out via Instagram, Facebook or email.

5. Are custom orders accepted?

Yes! Custom orders are accepted and encouraged. We’re always looking for new challenges and inspiration.

Have an idea? Send us a message on Instagram or Facebook, or email at mainlandmummers@gmail.com to inquire. 

6. Do you make more than mummers? 

We sure do! Although this started out in 2021 with exclusively wooden mummers, we have since expanded into mummer signs of all sizes, ornaments, cards, paintings, and more!

7. Do you ship Internationally?

Yes! We ship our mummer products in Canada, and worldwide. However, additional fees may apply depending on the size of the order, and the desired location. 

8. Do you deliver?

We sure do! All orders in the National Capital Region are eligible for free delivery! Just put in your postal code when completing your order to see if you qualify.

Note: Deliveries will go out on the weekends, either Saturday or Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. You will be contacted by email to confirm the delivery time. We offer contactless delivery upon request. 

9. Where can I buy Mainland Mummers products  in-person?

Select products are currently offered seasonally through the Maritime Market, and at Petit Bill's Bistro in Ottawa. If you would like to see our products offered elsewhere, we are always looking for new opportunities and would love to connect with you!