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ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



And I'm going to post about it.

What is a Mari Lwyd?


Mari Lwyd (ENG: Grey Mare) is a wassailing tradition from pre-Christian Wales. She is, in essence, a decorated horse's skull on a pole that does rap battles.



https://www.wales.com/about/culture/mari-lwyd posted:

Mari is taken around a village traditionally, often between Christmas Day and Twelfth Night, She is dressed with festive lights and decorations, and is usually accompanied by an ostler... When the groups get to a house, they sing Welsh language songs or wassails, or more traditionally indulge in a ritual called pwnco: an exchange of rude rhymes with the person who lives there. If the Mari and her gang get entry, the household is said to have good luck for the year. The Mari is well-known to be mischievous trying to steal things and chase people she likes as she goes about her bidding.



I know very little Welsh, so any pwnco I get into will probably be in English. Here's some traditional pwnco so you're not let down.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_xFo6Hifzk

More resources for mari lwyd lore:
https://trac.cymru/en/about-mari-lwyd/
https://welearnwelsh.com/blog/welsh-christmas-horse-skull-mari-lwyd/

ChickenOfTomorrow fucked around with this message at 01:24 on Dec 7, 2021

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ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



Some inspiration pictures. I'm assembling a Mari Moodboard.



Who is she



Traditionally the Mari Lwyd uses a white sheet - otherwise she'd not be Lwyd - but I am loving the coordinated green look here.



These two are a bit much for me LOL

BluesShaman
Apr 25, 2016

She wore Blue Velvet.


Where did you get the horse skull?

Asking for a friend.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



Assembling the items.
  • Horse skull - I chose a plastic "clone" of a skull, rather than a real one: it's cheaper, won't flake/molt, and probably won't cause me to be haunted by Freckles. The tradeoff is that it's all one color and looks artificial (like the two in the last picture on my previous post); I could "age" it, but I'm not sure about my skill. Also I have to wait for the place I bought it to ship it to me.
  • Sheet - I have a shitload of flat sheets we don't use.
  • Pole - I'm considering using the shaft from our bathroom broom, and somehow making it detachable from Mari so I can re-attach it to the broom when the wassailin' is done. Is that a silly idea?
  • Bells - I've got some big clangy ones. Also some bells.
  • Ribbons - form Mari's mane, I'm using recycled sari silk so she'll be beautiful.
  • Eyes - traditionally Mari's eyes are glass, but I have no glass baubles, nor any plastic ones. I'm wondering if I could just knit something?

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

Hell yes, random door to door ghost horse Christmas diss track rap battle is one of my favorite unusual customs I've ever come across. Is this still something that's practiced in Wales? Like, will your neighbors roll with it if you show up?

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



I'm a British idiot who lives in Oregon, so, I don't think my experience will answer that question. Maybe someone reading this is living in Wales and can answer? :)

Little worried about the horse skull. I ordered from the cheapest place, and they ship from the next state over, but I called to confirm my order and they say there's a backlog on making the things.

There's a papercraft horse skull pattern available which i've bookmarked as an alternate option, but a paper/cardboard skull won't be rainproof.

Slugworth
Feb 18, 2001

If two grown men can't make a pervert happy for a few minutes in order to watch a film about zombies, then maybe we should all just move to Iran!


Mari posted:

When the groups get to a house, they sing Welsh language songs or wassails, or more traditionally indulge in a ritual called pwnco: an exchange of rude rhymes with the person who lives there
Lol, pwned.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



A week since ordering and no ETA.

I'm buying a backup skull. I should have started this process a month earlier rather than dithering.

I. M. Gei
Jun 26, 2005


Notahippie posted:

Hell yes, random door to door ghost horse Christmas diss track rap battle is one of my favorite unusual customs I've ever come across.

Same. Replace the horse skull with a cow skull and this sounds like something that should've been a tradition in Texas for at least 100 years already. I doubt the conservative crowd would care for the rap battles but gently caress them, I say do it anyway and make those bitches deal with it. Bonus points if you bring an old rear end 80s/90s boombox or a second guy beatboxing with you to provide the beats.


EDIT: Maybe don't force your way into peoples' houses though. My house isn't exactly ready to have guests over and I've got indoor cats that I don't want going outside. If you wanna get drunk with people maybe do it from the doorway instead.

I. M. Gei fucked around with this message at 18:18 on Dec 12, 2021

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



ChickenOfTomorrow posted:

I should have started this process a month earlier rather than dithering.

Haji
Nov 15, 2005

Haj Paj

My aunt is totally obsessed with Mari Lwyd. I can't wait to see your creation. Then I'm going to show it to her.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind









She's here!

ColdPie
Jun 9, 2006



Hair Elf

She looks happy to be there.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



Session 2: From URL to IRL

Assemble all the items you have available, in the bedroom because the table is full of presents.


Plan out how to arrange the mane and bells.


Mock-up

I like seeing something across the brow - I think I'll fashion a rope-halter to which I'll attach the bells, using ribbon (probably not the green ribbon though). The mane is too scanty - I want to use short parts of mane to disguise the ear/sheet/skull connection point and have long trailing parts, and this isn't enough to do both.


Ears (not shown)
Sketched up a stencil. I'll cut out the shapes from a sheet of that flexible-but-stiff plastic file folder material, sew up the fabric version then slip the plastic inside. Then attach the ears to the skull and to the sheet. If I use the corner of the sheet for the attachment point, maybe i can stick the ears through the sheet and into the skull, and use the point of the sheet as a forelock attachment point too?

Try out the pole

Here I run into a big snag. The black pole fits nicely through the base of the skull, where the spine would connect. I'll reinforce this with some fabric and shove . But the lower jaw is completely free, and I have no clue how to connect it. Biology has this answered, so I gotta figure out how biology does it and then whether I can copy biology.

So my first goal is to attach the jaw to the rest of the skull, in a closed position, and carry the whole weight of the skull and jaw on one pole.

Then I have a second pole with a weird attachment on the end (it's like a flat base, a bolt and a flange that goes up and down the bolt) that I think I can use to hold up the jaw. The flange would slot across the bars of the mare's mouth and the bolt would clamp it to the base, attaching the jaw to the pole and looking like a bit. Halters don't have bits I could make a rope bridle instead. Pics of this plan to come later if i pursue it.

For reference, this is what a bit looks like:


Because of omicron, Mari won't be going out this Xmas - which is good, because it's clearly going to take me months to figure this out properly.


Todo:
- Figure out how horse jaws are attached
- Get more mane and scavenge more attachables (bells, rings, and pins)
- Trial the ear stencils and attaching the stencils to the sheet and skull
- Rope halter
- Eyes

Ethereal Spectre
Jun 2, 2009


This is brilliant and so many potential memes. Never saw/heard of this before.

How about a bear skull?

Ethereal Spectre fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Dec 26, 2021

Harry Potter on Ice
Nov 4, 2006


IF IM NOT BITCHING ABOUT HOW SHITTY MY LIFE IS, REPORT ME FOR MY ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HIJACKED


ChickenOfTomorrow posted:

Some inspiration pictures.

Who is she


I'm inspired I want this as an av with that text. Solid thread and project

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



Further inspiration, though i don't like that her jaw is broken

Mad Hamish
Jun 15, 2008

WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING IN LIFE.





Oh! Vaguely related, but I can show something off. I'm a Morris dancer and a lot of time Morris dancing teams will have a hobby-horse or something similar, and the one my side uses was probably inspired by a Mari Lwyd.



Ours is named Binky, for reasons that are probably obvious, and he's made of wood and paper-mache. He didn't use to have antlers or a mane, but I made some changes to him when I refurbished him a few years ago - he had actually been cast aside by another Morris team that was shutting down, so we snatched him up immediately because why not?

His jaw is articulated so he can snap and bite.



I made him a crown out of silk cherry blossoms because our first dance-out of the year on May Morning is at a park with a lot of cherry trees that are usually in bloom that time of year. The skull is held onto the pole with a hose clamp and there's a wire arrangement inside to work the jaw which I can try and photograph when I get home.

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

god damn it, you've got to be kind



Mad Hamish posted:

His jaw is articulated so he can snap and bite.



I made him a crown out of silk cherry blossoms because our first dance-out of the year on May Morning is at a park with a lot of cherry trees that are usually in bloom that time of year. The skull is held onto the pole with a hose clamp and there's a wire arrangement inside to work the jaw which I can try and photograph when I get home.



Wʜᴀᴛ ᴀ ɢᴏᴏᴅ ʜᴏʀsᴇ.

Did some work on my Mari Lwyd today to try to get version 1 presentable. I'll need to name her soon...

First task: the halter. Started out remembering my youth as a horse-mad young girl so I could make something realistic, then realized rope halters for real horses are meant to have a certain amount of slack, so I threw caution to the wind and relied on my shibari skills to whip something up that would hold the jaw in place. Not my finest ropework, but I like the decorative work on the nose band. It seems quite solid, too.



Next up, the ears. Cut the stiff cartilage-y insides out of a plastic folder...


Trial fit...


Then I got lazy and decided to glue fabric onto the ears rather than sew something by hand.

Ripped up a pillowcase to make 8 long strips of white fabric for the mane and tied a bell to one end of each strip. Cut up the silk sari ribbon and tied o-rings to the end of each strip. Attached the whole kit and kaboodle to two large o-rings which I shoved in the earhole.


Got a lot more silk strips today so I'll be making up some more mane. Not many o-rings left so I'll be switching to safety pins.

Not shown: Folded each ear in half and glued the base to itself so as to get a more horse-ear like shape (versus the fox ears she currently has). Thought about the eyes a lot.

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Haji
Nov 15, 2005

Haj Paj

She looks really good. I love the halter you made her

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