Between legend and history, what is his background?
Legend and History
When we talk about the character “Blanc-Moussi”, history and legend merge… Abbey, Principality, monks, population and folklore are mixed.
An abbey founded in 648 by Saint Remacle gave birth to the Abbey Principality of Stavelot-Malmedy, which radiated for nearly eleven centuries well beyond the territory of its eponymous cities.
Towards the end of the Middle Ages, morals became more relaxed. The clergy is no exception.
The religious regularly mingle with the crowd during celebrations called “Laetare”, sanctions are necessary! In 1499, the Prince-Abbot William of Manderscheidt, reacted with an edict that forbade the monks to participate in the festivities.
Deprived of the monks during the Laetare, the Stavelotains, rebellious, dressed themselves in a white costume reminiscent of the monastic bure and a hilarious mask with a long red nose.
We are in 1502: the Blanc-Moussi was born, and will continue to exist over the centuries. However, we had to wait until 1947 to experience the rebirth of the Blanc-Moussi character. (link to current Brotherhood page)
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In Walloon, “Blanc-Moussî” means “dressed in white”. The costume grabs the viewer with its sparkling whiteness, punctuated by a mask with a long red nose.
To this image, we must add a sound! The White Moussi does not speak, he grunts! It emits a kind of indefinable Wah-Wah. This faceless and voiceless anonymity makes individualities disappear to leave only a group driven by the same goal: to intrigue and entertain its audience.
Beyond appearance, the White Mossi also has a character. He is rebellious, satirical and entertaining. Its goal, in the procession, is to make the spectators participate, to generate a reaction in them; in short, to integrate them into the party.
To achieve this, he is willingly provocative and is helped in this role by his 2 key accessories: confetti and pig bladders that bludgeon the heads of the audience.