klausnick/莫罗佐夫·尼科莱/профан (klausnick) wrote,
klausnick/莫罗佐夫·尼科莱/профан
klausnick

The rommel pot

The rommel pot was a crude musical instrument made of an earthenware jar covered with a pig’s bladder. The stick that punctures the bladder agitates the air inside, producing sounds that mimic the low grunting of a pig. Though this handmade instrument could be played throughout the year, rommel pot playing was particularly associated with the energetic celebration of Shrove Tuesday (Vastenavond), when children went from door to door singing and dancing in exchange for money or sweets. 4 In seventeenth-century paintings and prints of such joyful festivities, the rommel pot player was often accompanied by children or other street musicians. He was often depicted with the attributes of a fool, recalling the folly of Carnival itself, which concludes on Shrove Tuesday. In The Rommel Pot Player (fig 1), attributed to Frans Hals (1582/83–1666), for example, the player, surrounded by a crowd of children, wears a hat with a foxtail, a traditional attribute of the fool. 5 A print by Jan van de Velde shows a rommel pot player with a similar hat, and it bears an inscription that reveals his role: “At Shrovetide, many fools walk about / For farthings [they] grunt on a rommel pot.” 6
Tags: Масленица, музыкальный инструмент, обычаи
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