White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Perchten and Krampusse: Living Mask Traditions in Austria and Bavaria

Carter, Molly (2016) Perchten and Krampusse: Living Mask Traditions in Austria and Bavaria. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

[img]
Preview
Text (Ethesis)
Carter.Perchten-Krampusse.Thesis.Feb.2016-ethesis.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (5Mb) | Preview
[img] Video
Carter.Perchten-Krampusse.Video.Appendix.mp4
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (3134Mb)

Abstract

Two centuries-old mask traditions native to Austria and Bavaria enjoy ongoing popularity due to a creative mingling of old and new elements (heavy metal music and fireworks alongside hand-carved wooden masks and birch rod switches). The Krampus is the menacing companion of St. Nikolaus, who visits children on December 5 and 6, although nowadays groups of Krampusse may appear alone. The Perchten, who are associated with the magical female folk-figure Perchta, appear on January 5 and the week before. While the Perchten and Krampusse represent distinct traditions, their history has intersected at various points, and their contemporary manifestations share many elements, including a movement towards a “modern” aesthetic and the employment of such resources as tourist publicity and the internet to promote their appearances, educate the public, and network with each other. While the house visit was formerly the primary setting for these masked figures (or mummers), today it is the public parade. These parades, while rooted in and resembling conventional display-custom performances marked by a static division between performer and spectator, actually consist of a kind of fluid, interactive ritual theater in which the partially improvised, partially scripted performances of masked figures and the responses of spectators shape one another. Contemporary manifestations of Perchten and Krampus traditions will be explored in light of the ongoing cultural dialogue between performers and non-performers who seek to define and interpret the tradition, and the interplay of academic and popular discourses surrounding invented tradition, Folklorismus (folklorism) and Rücklauf (feedback), and the nature of authenticity. Questions of cultural heritage “ownership” surface in the debates over form and meaning, while in the hands of the Perchten and Krampusse themselves, tradition emerges as an active process and collaborative artwork rather than a fixed commodity with boundaries which can be defined and navigated by outside observers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Molly J Molly Carter
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 10:03
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 10:03
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14431

Actions (repository staff only: login required)