they announced they were Christians on the first Wraith DVD. Didn't they? (back me up Joe).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
is a term used in anthropology
for an organization of comedic entertainers (Heyoka
or "clowns") who have a formalized role in a culture or society.
//  Description and Function
Sometimes clown societies have a sacred role, to represent a trickster
character in religious ceremonies.[citation needed
] Other times the purpose served by members of a clown society is only to parody
excessive seriousness, or to deflate pomposity.[citation needed
In the sense of how clowns serve their culture:[citation needed
- A clown shows what is wrong with the way things are.
- A clown shows how to do ordinary things the wrong way.
Members of a clown society always dress in some kind of a special costume
reserved for clowns, which is usually an absurdly extreme form of normal dress.[citation needed
In the case of the Zuni
clown society of the Pueblo Indians
, "one is initiated into the Ne'wekwe
order by a ritual of filth-eating" where "mud
are smeared on the body for the clown
performance, and parts of the performance may consist of sporting with mud, smearing and daubing it, or drinking and pouring it onto one another".
The sacred clown
and his apparently antisocial behavior
is condoned in Indian ceremonies
While in their costume, clowns have special permission from their society to parody or criticize defective aspects of their own culture. They are always required to be funny. Other persons living within the same culture may recognize a clown when they see one, but seldom consciously understand what the clowns do for their society. The typical explanation is "He's just a funny man."[citation needed
In the case of the jester
at the English Royal Court with his cap of bells and pig's bladder
stick he was allowed to make fun of, be indelicate and sometimes downright rude to members of the royal family and their entourage without fear of reprisal.
Clown societies usually train new members to become clowns. The training normally takes place by an apprentice
system, although there may be some rote schooling as well.[citation needed
] Sometimes the training is improvisational comedy
, but usually a clown society trains members in well known forms of costume, pantomime, song, dance, and common visual gags. Occasionally these include a scripted performance, or skit, which is part of a standard repertoire that "never gets old," and is expected by members of the culture that the clown society is part of.
In Native North America. humor
assumes "a sacred position within ceremonials"
; examples are found in Trickster
traditions, Pueblo clown societies
"Booger" dances, and aspects of the Northwest Coast Potlatch.
Humor is a fundamental aspect of Native American life, and has many purposes related to sacred rituals and social cohesion.
 Difference from School for Comedians
A clown society
is different from, but closely related to a school for comedians
. Comedians serve many of the same social functions of parody and social criticism, and also embody the role of the trickster, but a comedian usually only uses slightly exaggerated mannerisms to show that he/she is joking. Comedians who are not also clowns do not wear a blatantly outrageous or formalized costume.[citation needed
] Also, a comedian
has to take personal responsibility for his/her humour and its consequences, whereas a person in clown
-costume has some protection from reprisal.
As a general rule, a comedian
says funny things, a comic
does funny things, and a clown
does things funny.