Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

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Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

Postby Roibeárd on Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:10 pm

I am looking in to designing kit for an early medieval Irish jester/fool for gigs.
Does anyone know what were the practical roles of the Irish jester/fool?
Where jesters low status?
What evidence is there for juggling?

Descriptions of Jugglers and fools in the “Intoxication of the Ulaid” � “Der�s Hostel” ment� cloaks and shirts having with them balls of silver and a sweet little bell.
I presume this would suggest a Brat and Leine. What length and colour would be appropriate?

Any suggestions how I could make the kit easily distinguishable (as a jester) your typical early medieval re-enactor at an event for the general publics sake?
Thanks in advance.

Rob
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Re: Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

Postby the_power on Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:35 am

"Early Irish Law" has some tracts on the relative status of various entertainers; from top to bottom, status wise;

harpist (cruit)
piper (cuislennach)
horn-player (cornaire)
juggler (clesamnach)
jester (fuirsire)
acrobat (monach)
raconteur (creccaire)
professional farter (braidetóir)
crude satirist (crossá�
fool (drút�

Pretty much all but the harpist have an honour price proportional to their master; they don't have one in their own right. i.e. no status at all, unless they find a patron. As for clothing; no idea. Bells could be one thing, clothing that's intentionally made of patchwork of different bright - but not expensive - materials might be another (that's a welsh affectation; no idea if it made it here, but in the absence of evidence, you might have to make something up). These would also not be completely distinct professions; no reason why a fool couldn't also be an acrobat & a piper.

Oh, there was something. In Bretha Nemed Toíse�, there is a phrase "three things which confer status on a crossán; �stending his cheek, distending his bag, distending his belly'. There is some confusion if 'bag' means an inflated bladder on a stick or his scrotum. So..um..yeah. You could either turn up with a bladder on a stick (great conversational piece) or take some hints from the Jim Rose Circus & go for a very short shirt.

John
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Re: Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

Postby Roibeárd on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:40 am

Thanks for the info.

The bladder on a stick idea certainly sounds original. :lol:
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Re: Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

Postby claimhteoir on Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:46 am

I could have sworn I read something brief on jesters or fools while I was reading about entertainers in Ann Buckley's "Music in Ireland to c.1500" in "A New History of Ireland Vol. 1: Prehistoric and Early Medieval Ireland" ed. Daibhi O Cronin. Though I was having a quick search through the text on Google Books and found no hits on those two words. I'd give it a read anyway. I'm sure there'll be something of interest in it relating to the habits of performers "at court" even if it doesn't answer your question. Here's a link to the preview on Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=SJSDj1dDvNUC

Angela Gleason's entry on "Entertainment" in "Medieval Ireland: An Encycolpedia" is brief but interesting and speculates on a few issues regarding fools and jesters in early medieval Ireland. It's a very brief entry, though it is worth a read on Google Books preview:
http://books.google.com/books?id=kVslRbrSH7QC

Can't think of much else though I'm sure if you do a search on the words "fool" or "jester" in the Early Irish Myths or Sagas compilations you'll find other references aside from those you already have.

Hope that helped!

Eóin
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Irish Buffoons

Postby finnobreanan on Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:26 pm

A similar class is sometimes listed as "Bufoons". What bufoons did I am not too sure. A book I am currently reading on Hospitality in Medieval Ireland lists them in several sources. The author also claims that the two men at the right of this image are bufoons, mooning the Lord at his table. I can't read the text written in Latin next to them. I have always thought they were just warming their arses by the fire! :lol:

http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 55_jpg.htm
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Re: Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

Postby claimhteoir on Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:32 pm

I thought they were professional farters! :lol:
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Re: Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

Postby Freebeard on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:20 pm

as far as is known these two lads are professional farters (braigire or braigedóir). The word braigedó� is often translated as buffoon in some texts.
-'Dligid Diummus Dermat'

"Wyt ti’n ffrwtin fel gwyddel"
(you are farting like an irishman)
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Re: Irish Buffoons

Postby Aislinn on Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:55 am

finnobreanan wrote:The author also claims that the two men at the right of this image are bufoons, mooning the Lord at his table. I can't read the text written in Latin next to them. I have always thought they were just warming their arses by the fire! :lol:
http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 55_jpg.htm
The text reads:
"Aspice spectator sic me docuere parentes"
and "Me quoque maiores omnes virtute carentes."

These could be translated as:
"This is how my parents taught me to behave as a spectator"
and "All older people lacking in goodness taught me the same."
(Translation from http://www.legendarytours.com/Derrickfull.html)
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Re: Kit for a Irish early medieval Jester

Postby claimhteoir on Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:33 pm

Derricke the rascist propagandist strikes again! Move over Gerald of Wales... :roll:
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