We were inspired by a copy of Folklore Myths And Legends of Britain we recently acquired, and of course we were struck by the image of the Dorset Ooser Mask on the cover. From the text within:
“Centuries ago, a man wearing a horned mask known as an Ooser may have been the high priest who officiated at a pagan fertility ritual: and the mask may have represented a powerful pagan god. But by the 19th century, the Ooser’s original meaning had been forgotten, and in places like Shillingstone, it had become the ‘Christmas Bull’, a terrifying creature which roamed through the streets of Dorset villages at the end of each year demanding refreshment from any villagers.
“Sometimes, its former sanctity was so far forgotten that it was used to frighten children, or to taunt unfaithful husbands or wives. Once every Dorset village may have had an Ooser, but by the beginning of the 20th century only one was left at Melbury Osmond. Now, even that has been lost, and the ancient Horned God has probably disappeared from Dorset forever.”
As the text states, the Dorset Ooser mask has disappeared! Our founder Raymond Buckland had created his own copy, but that has disappeared as well. We knew we must have one created for the museum, but who could bring something like this to life? We immediately thought of @thekillustrator herself, Lindsay Parker.
Thank you, Lindsay!
1. Our new mask 2. Folklore Myths and Legends Cover 3. Article 4. Ray Buckland’s mask 5. Lindsay handing it over to Steven.
Thanks to all that help us create an experience like the Buckland Museum, helping make us one of Cleveland’s most unique tourist attractions.