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MARIONETTES, MARIOLATRY, MUMMERY,
PUPPETRY AND VENTRILOQUISM
LIST OF SCRIPTURES
1. Isa. 8:11-22 (Israel’s idolatrous practices)
2. Isa. 8:19 (wizards that peep and mutter)
3. Isa. 10:10-17 (chirping – chatter, peep, whisper)
4. Isa. 10:14 (or opened the mouth or peeped)
5. Isa. 59:3 (tongue hath muttered perverseness)
6. To Murmur (in anger): (imagine, mourn, mutter, roar, take away)
7. See Strong’s Concordance for murmur, murmured, murmurers, murmuring and murmurings.
MARIONETTE – DEFINITIONS
1. Mariolater: n. one who worships the Virgin Marry: opprobrious term.
2. Mariolatry: n. (Gr. Marie, Mary, and Latreia, worship.) Worship of the Virgin Mary, regarded as carried to an idolatrous extreme: opprobrious term.
3. Marionette: n. (Fr., from mariolette, dim. of mariole, a name formerly given to little figures of the Virgin Mary.)
(Probably from Ital. morio, a fool or buffoon, but also said to be derived from the mariolettes, or little figures of the Virgin Mary), fantoccini (from fantino, a child) or puppets (Fr., poupee, Lat. pupa, a baby or doll), the names given to figures, generally below life-size, suspended by threads or wires and imitating with their limbs and heads the movements of living persons.
The high antiquity of puppets appears from the fact that figures with movable limbs have been discovered in the tombs of Egypt and among the remains of Etruria, they were also common among the Greeks, from whom they were imported to Rome. Plays in which the characters are represented by puppets or by the shadows of moving figures, worked by concealed performers who deliver the dialogue, are not only popular in India and China, but during several centuries past maintained an important position among the amusements of the people in most European countries. Goethe and Lessing deemed them worthy of attention; and in 1721 LeSage wrote plays for puppets to perform.
The earliest performances in English were drawn or founded upon Bible narratives and the lives of the saints, in the same vein as the “morality” plays which they succeeded. Popular subjects in 16th century were “The Prodigal Son” and “Nineveh, With Jonah and the Whale”. And in a pamphlet of 1641, describing Bartholomew Fair, we read, “Here a knave in a fool’s coat, with a trumpet sounding or a drum beating, invites you to see his puppets. Here a rogue like a wild woodsman, or in an antic shape like an incubus, desires your company to view his motion.” In 1667 Peys recorded how at Bartholomew Fair he found “My Lady Castlemaine at a puppet play, Patient Grizill.” Besides the “Sorrows of Griselda”, other puppet plays of the period were “Dick Whittington”, “The Vagaries of Merry Andrew”, and “The Humors of Bartholomew Fair”. Powell’s noted marionette show was the subject of an article in “The Tatler”, 1709, and again in “The Spectator”, 1711. The latter refers also to Pinkethman, a “motion-maker,” in whose scenes the divinities of Olympus ascended and descended to the strains of music. An idea of the class of representation may be gathered from an advertisement of Crawley, a rival of Pinketham, which sets forth–“The Old Creation of the World, with the addition of Noah’s Flood”, also several fountains playing water during the time of the play. The best scene represented “Noah and his family coming out of the ark, with all the animals two by two, and all the fowls of the air seen in a prospect sitting upon trees; likewise over the ark is the sun rising in a gorgeous manner; moreover a multitude of angels in a double rank”, the angels ringing bells. “Likewise machines descending from above, double, with Dives rising out of hell and Lazarus seen in Abraham’s bosom; besides several figures dancing jigs, sarabands, and country dances, with the merry conceits of Squire Punch and Sir John Spendall.” Yates showed a moving picture of a city, with an artificial cascade, and a temple–with mechanical birds in which attention was called to the exact imitation of living birds, the quick motion of the bills, just swelling of the throat, and fluttering of the wings. The puppets were wax figures 5 feet in stature. Toward the end of the 18th century, Flocton’s show presented five hundred figures at work at various trades. Brown’s Theatre of Arts showed at country fairs, from 1830 to 1840, the battle of Trafalgar, Napoleon’s army crossing the Alps, and the marble palace of St. Petersburg; and at a still later date Clapton’s similar exhibition presented Grace Darling rescuing the crew of the “Forfarshire” steamer wrecked on the Fern Islands, with many ingenious moving figures of quadrupeds, and, in particular, a swan which dipped its head into imitation water, opened its wings, and with flexible neck preened and trimmed its plumage. In these mechanical scenes the figures, painted upon a flat surface and cut out, commonly of pasteboard, are slid along grooves arranged transversely in front of the set scenery, the actions of legs and arms being worked by wires from the hands of persons below the stage, though sometimes use is made of clockwork. In recent days the literature for the marionette stage has had an important literary recruit in the person of the Belgian author Maurice Materlinck.
1. Mummer: n. 1) A person who wears a mask or disguise for specifically, in England, any of the masked and costumed persons who travel from house to house, as at Christmas time, acting out short pantomimes. 2) Humorously, any actor.
2. Mummery: n.; pl. mummeries, (OFr. mummery, from momer, to mum.) 1) Performance by mummers. 2) Any show or ceremony regarded as pretentious or hypocritical.
Mummers were bands of men and women in medieval and later England and elsewhere, who, during periods of public festivity, particularly at Christmas, dressed in fantastic clothes and wearing masks or disguised as animals, serenaded the people outside their houses or joined in the revels within. In a more restricted sense the term is applied to the actors in the old English rural folk plays of St. George, etc.; and “mumming” thus becomes a contemptuous synonym for any form of stage-playing. The origin of the word mummer (older spelling “mommer,” Fr. momeur) is not satisfactorily explained, but the verb “to mum” means both to mutter and to be silent, and “mummer” apparently comes from one or both of these senses. Mumming seems to have been a survival of the Roman custom of masquerading during the annual orgies of the Saturnalia. “The disguising and mummying that is used in Christmas time,” Langley writes in his synopsis of Polydore Virgil, “in the Northe parties came out of the feasts of Pallas, that were done with visors and painted visages, named Quinqatria of the Romaynes.” Aubanus, writing of mumming in Germany, says that “in the Saturnalia there were frequent and luxurious feastings amongst friends, presents were mutually sent, and changes of dress made; that Christians have adopted the same customs, which continue to be used from the Nativity to the Epiphany: that exchanges of dress too, as of old among the Romans, are common, and neighbors by mutual invitation visit each other in the manner which the Germans call mummery.” Christmas was the grand season for mumming in England. Some were disguised as bears, others as unicorns, or wore deer’s hide and antler’s or ram’s horns. Mumming led to such outrages that Henry VIII issued a proclamation declaring the wearing of a mask or disguise a misdemeanor. Stow gives an account of an elaborate mummery held in 1377 by the London citizens to amuse the son of the Black Prince, then living at Kennington (Survey, 1603, p. 97). In Scotland, where mumming still exists at Christmas, Hogmanay, New Years’s Day and Handsel Monday, mummers are called “guisards”. They usually present on these four nights a rude drama called Galatian, which, in various versions, is common throughout the Lowlands of Scotland.
PUPPETRY – DEFINITIONS
1. Puppet, n., (Fr. poupee; L. Pupa, a puppet.) 1) A small figure that is a likeness of the human form; a doll. 2) Such a figure moved by attached strings or wires, or actions, ideas, etc. are controlled by another.
2. Puppeteer, n., a person who operates, designs, or costumes puppets, or produces puppet shows.
3. Puppetish, a., like a puppet.
4. Puppetmaster, n., one who manages or performs in a puppet show.
5. Puppertoon, n., (puppet and — oon as in cartoon.) a motion picture made by arranging jointed puppets into the successive stages of some motion and photographing each stage separately.
6. Puppet Play, same as puppet show.
7. Puppet Player, one who works puppets in a puppet show.
8. Puppetry, n., 1) Puppets on their actions; mummery. 2) The art of producing puppet shows.
9. Puppet Show, a play or performance with puppets.
Puppet: Puppets are figures usually in imitation of life, under an operator’s control. They are used for dramatic presentations.
Types of Puppets: There are many different kinds of puppets. Some are worked by strings. Others are worked by rods or held over the hand and fingers, and there are combinations of these types. String puppets are often called marionettes, a word of French origin. It comes from the religious puppet plays of the Middle Ages in which one of the puppet characters represented the Virgin Mary. The name Little Mary, or marionette, came to be given the other puppets.
Types of puppets are the hand puppet, the rod puppet, the hand-and-rod puppet, and the finger puppet. There are also flat puppets known as shadow figures, used to cast black or colored shadows on a screen. Puppets may be moved by strings, wires, rods, hands, fingers, or magnetic attraction. They can be controlled from above, below, at a level with the operator, or from the back or sides of the stage, depending on the type of puppet.
A dummy, such as Charlie McCarthy, used in combination with ventriloquism, or “voice throwing”, is operated from the back and held level with the ventriloquist. There are strings and rods inside such dummies and these work the head and the features. The ventriloquist’s arm, which supports the dummy, also gives some movement to the body. The limbs of the dummy are usually moved only as they swing with the body. See Ventriloquism.
Hand puppets are one of the easiest types to make, though not to operate. The hand puppet, in its simplest form, needs only a head on a tubelike costume. It is drawn over the hand, like a glove. The forefinger works the head, and the thumb and middle finger the two arms. Such puppets are often sold as toys, because even a child’s hand can produce entertaining movements of the figure. Puppets made of paper bags are a popular variety of hand puppets among amateur puppeteers, or operators of puppet shows.
Road puppets and shadow figures may be made simply, of everyday materials, and they also can be worked easily, even by young children. Varieties of these types are sometimes found in toy stores. String puppets are the most popular type in the United States.
Early Puppets: Greek Literature of about 300 B.C. refers to “string-pullers”, possibly puppeteers. Small jointed puppets or dolls with a wire attached to the head have been found in children’s graves in Greece and Italy, and date back to about A.D. 100. After the break-up of the Roman Empire, the puppet theater kept alive some of the traditions of the Roman theater. It is thought that string-operated solid puppets originated in the Western World, then went eastward to China, and over the Bering Strait to the Americas. American Indians were using them before the coming of the white man. The flat shadow figures probably originated in Asia and made their way westward, reaching Europe and America during the 1700’s as opaque silhouettes. There was then a vogue for black cut-paper figures.
Later European Puppets: In the Middle Ages, people used puppets to act out religious plays and morality plays. The popular puppet Punchinello came to France from Italy in the 1640’s and became known as Plinchinelle. He reached England about 1660, and his name was soon shortened to Punch. The first text of a Punch-and-Judy was published in England in 1828 and was illustrated by the famous artist, George Cruikshank.
Many parts of Europe developed puppet heroes who spoke and acted like the people of the region. Certain places were also known for special types of puppets. The people of Barcelona, Spain, liked hand puppets of a special type. The people of Cologne, Germany, were fond of rod puppets. Flanders and Sicily used puppets of knights in armor. In the palaces and castles of the 1700’s there were richly appointed private puppet theaters. Voltaire, the French philosopher and playwright, helped with puppet shows in such theaters.
Geothe, the great German poet, received a puppet theater on his twelfth birthday, and wrote his own plays for it. Toy puppet theaters and small hand puppets were favorites in the 1800’s. Lewis Carroll, Hans Christian Andersen, and Tad Lincoln made their own. In Paris there were artistic groups of people who were fascinated by the hand puppets of the satirist, Lemercier de Neuville, and by rod puppet shows at the Petit-Theatre and shadows at the Black Cat cabaret.
Puppets in America brought the theater to many people. Both children and grown- ups who could not afford the regular theater or who lived too far away from it, attended puppet shows until the movies took over the low-priced field. Around 1900 puppets were popular at fairs and circuses, in town halls and schoolhouses, and in parks and streets. Puppeteers presented popular versions of old-fashioned dramas. Noah’s Ark and Jeptha’s Rash Vow appeared for many years after such Biblical plays had ceased to be done by living actors.
Gradually in the 1900’s, a new kind of puppet show developed. More skill and artistry were displayed. Most puppet theaters today are small and easy to travel with. Artists and writers who wanted to produce plays for small audiences of friends used puppets. They wrote plays especially for puppets and used puppet actors that were works of art. The professional puppet theater of today grew out of this type of sophisticated artistry.
In 1915, full-length plays with string puppets were produced by Ellen Van Volkenburg and the Chicago Little Theater. Tony Sarg gave his first public show in 1916 in New York, and Ellen Van Volkenburg directed his famous production of The Rose and The Ring. Sarg’s work helped to revive puppetry in the United States.
Many men and women contributed to his revival. Remo Bufano used all types of puppets in New York City. He had a little hand puppet, Orlando Furioso, and a huge thirty-five foot telescoping string-puppet clown, used in the stage show, Jumbo. Forman Brown and Harry Burnett have done string-puppet musical comedies, and had their own Turnabout Theater in Los Angeles. George Pal and Lou Bunin have made films with puppet actors. Puppets are used widely in television advertising.
Publications and Societies: As a result of the puppet revival, many people became interested in producing puppet shows. Puppetry became popular with school and civic groups. Many of these amateurs had no idea how to make a puppet. Puppeteers had always kept secret the mechanics of their trade and they were reluctant to give assistance to newcomers. Gradually, writers published technical information.
One of the first books was The Tony Sarg Marionette Book, published in 1921 by F.J. McIsaac. In 1930, Paul McPharlin first issued Puppetry, A Yearbook of Puppets and Marionettes. During its 16 years, it recorded important events in puppetry throughout the world. Other books and pamphlets on puppets also appeared.
The Union Internationale des Marionnettes was founded in Prague in the 1930’s, and held congresses. People interested in puppetry established national societies in many countries, notably England, France, and the United States. Periodicals on puppetry also appeared. The first one was The Marionette, in 1918. These publications contained historical articles, plays, and construction details for puppets and stages.
In May, 1958, the first International Festival of Puppet Theaters took place in Bucharest, Romania. More than 300 delegates from 27 countries and more than 30 companies participated.
VENTRILOQUISM – DEFINITIONS
1. Ventrilocution: n., ventriloquism.
2. Ventriloqual: a., ventriloquial.
3. Ventriloquial: a., pertaining to, belonging to, or using ventriloquism.
4. Ventriloquially: adv., in a ventriloquial manner.
5. Ventriloquism: n., (from L. ventriloquus, lit., one who speaks from the belly, from venter, belly, and loqui, to speak; and -ism.) the art or practice of speaking in such a way that the voice seems to come from some other source than the speaker.
6. Ventriloquist: n., a person who practices ventriloquism; specifically, an entertainer who uses ventriloquism to carry on a pretended conversation with a large puppet, or dummy.
7. Ventriloquistic a., of or pertaining to ventriloquism or ventriloquists.
8. Ventriloquize v.t. and vi,i.; ventriloquized, pt., pp.; ventriloquizing, ppr. to utter (words or sounds) as a ventriloquist.
9. Ventriloquous: a., same as ventriloquial. 10. Ventriloquv n., same as ventriloquism.
Ventriloquism (lat. venter, belly, and loqui, to speak), the art of producing the voice in such a manner that it shall appear to proceed, not from the speaker’s own mouth but from some place altogether distant from him. The art of ventriloquism was formerly supposed to result from a peculiar use of the stomach (when the name) during the process of inhalation. As a matter of fact, the words are formed in the normal manner, but the breath is allowed to escape very slowly, the tones being muffled by narrowing the glottis and the mouth opened as little as possible, while the tongue is retracted and only its tip moves. Gestures and facial expression are employed at the same time to assist in the deception by stimulating the imagination of the listeners and to distract their attention from the speaker. “Thus,” says Huxley, “if the ventriloquist desires to create the belief that a voice issues from the bowels of the earth, he imitates, with great accuracy, the tones of such a half- stifled voice, and suggests the existence of someone uttering it by directing his answers and gestures towards the ground. The gestures and tones are such as would be produced by a given cause; and, no other cause being apparent, the mind of the bystander insensibly judges the suggested cause to exist.” Ventriloquism, which is still a recognized form of conjuring entertainment, is of ancient origin. Traces of the art are found in Egyptian and Hebrew archaeology. Eurykles of Athens was the most celebrated of Greek ventriloquists, who were called after him Euryklides, and also Engastrimanteis (belly-prophets). It is not impossible that the priests of ancient times were masters of this art, and that to it may be ascribed such miracles as the speaking statues of the Egyptians, the Greek oracles, and the stone in the river Pactolus, the sound of which put robbers to flight. Many uncivilized races of modern times are adept in ventriloquism, as the Zulus, the Maoris and the Eskimos. It is well known in Hindustan and China, where it is practised by travelling magicians.
1. The above was taken from dictionaries and encyclopedias with the scripture from the Bible. The practices refer to idolatrous and ungodly conduct. Some of the key words researched are chirp, murmur, peep and mutter uttered by people practicing the occult or talking against God.
2. Marionettes is a part of the worship of the Virgin Mary rather than Jesus Christ. It is derived from the words fool and buffoon, incubus, divinities of Olympus, Devil rising out of hell, etc.
3. Mummery is regarded as pretentious and hypocritical. It is described as contemptuous, mutter, annual orgies of the Saturnalia, unicorns, outrages, rude drama, etc.
4. Puppetry is an imitation of life. It is described by religious puppet plays, voice throwing, etc.
5. Ventriloquism is the pretended conversation with a dummy. It is described by the terms of conjuring; belly prophets; speaking statutes of the Egyptians, the Greek oracles and the stone in the river Pactolus; etc.
1. God is total reality; there is no fantasy or play-acting in God! There is no unreality in the Bible!
2. Christians should not deal in any spiritual fantasy. Fantasy is very simply a lie that is not from God.
3. God does not need any human circus or side shows to sell and promote the kingdom of God! All it takes is a straight forward application of the Bible with signs, wonders and miracles following the true teaching of the Word of God to attract people to church. Jesus said if you don’t believe me then believe my miracles.
1. Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language, unabridged, Second Edition, 1970. The unabridged dictionary is the best type of dictionary to use to study spiritual origins of words and practices.
2. The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments in the authorized King James version along with Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Greek and Hebrew Dictionary.
3. The Encyclopedia Britannica, a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Eleventh Edition, 1910. The best type of encyclopedia to study spiritual origins is the older ones. The newer encyclopedias leave out more and more about spiritual things. 4. The World Book Encyclopedia and The New Family Encyclopedia.
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