skimmington

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skimmington

(ˈskɪmɪŋtən)
n
(Anthropology & Ethnology) (in rural Britain, formerly) the custom of forming a mock procession to ridicule an unfaithful spouse
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Through magical impotence, Sir Hudibras is targeted by skimmingtons enabling Katritzky to discuss popular seventeenth-century shaming methods.
Skimmingtons clearly parodied and mocked that elevation of women, making them the centre-piece of the spectacle but debasing them as usurpers (of male authority), shrews, rebels, brawlers, or bawds.
While, as Underdown has suggested, skimmingtons were festive events, often attracting participants from neighboring villages, such incidents likewise underscore the overlap between the public and private spheres.
Unfortunately, these still operate and are maintained by social constructions like the "Rule of Thumb" myth and by the sanctions patriarchal power exerts through the vehicle of Skimmingtons in modern guise (George, 2002).
They were actively involved in a wide range of activity that spurred laughter--such as skimmingtons, horn fairs, Hocktide binding, riddling, rhyming mock verses, and even performing in jigs.
In that sense, the farce seems to follow more from ritually authorized moments of male cross-dressing, such as the presentation of scolding or shrewish wives in charivaris and skimmingtons, than it does from the employment of boy actors for the Elizabethan or Jacobean stage.
Also included in her investigation of jesting culture are accounts of public events such as Horn Fairs and skimmingtons, which Brown reads as unscripted performances of events reflected in early dramas ranging from the Chester plays of Noah and his wife to The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Alchemist.
Ingram cites five noted 16th and 17th century authors for whom Skimmingtons were commonplace.
23) We know that the local community, with all its rites and rituals of passage (marriages, skimmingtons, charivaris, funerals, and the like), mentored and monitored the performance of self.
The coincidence of history and theatre also emerges in Christina Bosco Langert's essay about cross-dressing and skimmingtons, particularly the Lady Skimmingtons who protested enclosure.
She stretches the definition of jest to emphasize the social drama inherent in horn fairs, jigs, skimmingtons, and other impromptu displays of social criticism, acts that were often instigated and performed by women with a female audience in mind.
The ritual shaming of authorities or neighbours through skimmingtons involved cross-dressing and allowed for expressions of frustration and repression to manifest themselves in this festive practice.