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From today's featured article
The Dorset Ooser
is a wooden head that featured in the nineteenth-century folk culture
of Melbury Osmond
, a village in the southwestern English
county of Dorset
. The head was hollow, thus perhaps serving as a mask, and included a humanoid face with horns, a beard, and a hinged jaw. Although sometimes used to scare people during practical jokes, its main recorded purpose was as part of a local variant of the custom known as "rough music
", in which it was used to humiliate those who were deemed to have behaved in an immoral manner. It was first brought to public attention in 1891, when it was owned by the Cave family of Melbury Osmond's Holt Farm, but it went missing around 1897. In 1975 a replica of the original Ooser was produced by John Byfleet, which has since been on display at Dorset County Museum
. This mask retains a place in Dorset folk culture, and is used in local Morris dancing
processions held by the Wessex Morris Men on Saint George's Day
and May Day
. The design of the Ooser has inspired copies used as representations of the Horned God
in the modern Pagan
religion of Wicca
in both the United Kingdom and United States. (Full article...
Did you know...
On this day...
- 1740 – Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refuse to honour the Pragmatic Sanction and the War of the Austrian Succession begins.
- 1805 – General Mack's army surrenders to Napoleon at Ulm after a few skirmishes.
- 1910 – The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- 1939 – Pope Pius XII publishes his first major encyclical, entitled Summi Pontificatus.
- 1951 – The "Johnny Bright incident" occurs in Stillwater, Oklahoma
- 1952 – Governor Evelyn Baring declares a state of emergency in Kenya and begins arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya.
- 1982 – During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people are crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster.
Today's featured picture
Christ Carrying the Cross
on his way to his crucifixion
is an episode included in all four Gospels
, and a very common subject in art, especially in the fourteen Stations of the Cross
, sets of which are now found in almost all Catholic churches. However the subject occurs in many other contexts, including single works and cycles of the Life of Christ
or the Passion of Christ
. Alternative names include the Procession to Calvary
, Road to Calvary
and Way to Calvary
being the site of the crucifixion outside Jerusalem
. The actual route taken is defined by tradition as the Via Dolorosa
in Jerusalem, although the specific path of this route has varied over the centuries and continues to be the subject of debate. (Full article...
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