Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Wives Tales~Dumb Suppers


Have any of you heard of Dumb Suppers (sometimes called dummy suppers)? This is a very new thing to me. And it's so interesting that people actually did this sort of thing (maybe still do?) that I'm surprised I never heard of it before now.

The purpose of a dumb supper is for a young, unmarried woman to see the 'spirit' of the man that she is going to marry. The meal is prepared in complete silence~no talking (dumb) whatsoever. Most people believed that you had to walk backwards while cooking and serving the dumb supper.

When the dinner is done, an extra place is set at the table and the young girl (or girls if done in a group), open all the windows and doors and take their place at the table and bow their head. Sometimes all the lights are blown out, as well. The 'phantom' husbands are supposed to enter in silence. Each girl should be able to recognize the 'husband' that sits down beside her. If no one appears, it means that she will never marry. If only a dark blob appears, it means she will die within the year.

There are quite a few versions of this 'supper'. Some involve making the dinner using thimblefuls for ingredients instead of spoons and cups. In some versions, they see the 'reflection' of their husbands face in their empty plates.

Have any of you heard of this? Have any of you ever been to one?




16 comments:

  1. I've never heard of that, but hopefully having a dumb supper won't bring them a dumb husband, LOL,LOL!!!!

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  2. Never heard of it, but it sounds fun. Can you imagine the excitement of the girls while preparing their meals in silence?

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  3. That's a new one on me! I never heard of it. Very interesting, though.

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  4. I've never, never heard of this!
    Very interesting...

    Oh! You asked about hearing of a cat superstition? Anytime a black cat would walk in front of my mother (or our car), she would ALWAYS say, "D-mn that black cat" and turn an imaginary hat around backwards on her head. ALWAYS, never fails... I asked her why, she said that they are bad luck and especially if they walk in front of you. Made me scared of them for years....
    She is VERY superstitious, though. She does lots of funny rituals when it comes to "luck".

    Blessings,
    Julie

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  5. I have never heard of that. Sounds kinda spooky to me, especially if a dark blob would appear.

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  6. Strange, really strange. Have never heard of that.

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  7. I have never ever heard of that...but totally agree with Carmen, hoping it dont bring them a dumb man..LOL

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  8. Oooo, put me down as having never heard of this practice before either. And I have to admit, I don't know if I would be willing to have done this back then either! heehee

    Thanks for sharing this Mary, it is so interesting to read about how they used to do things back then. I think it is kind of sad that nowadays we really don't have any of the "old traditions" any more. ***sigh***

    Later, Aunt Deb Jo

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  9. I never heard of this Rose Mary. It sounds like the perfect post for the Wednesday before Halloween!

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  10. I was hoping that some of you had heard of this! I do think it's kind of creepy. I think I would have been too scared to do it, LOL! I'd probably be okay until it was time to open up all the doors and windows and turn out the lights!

    I know that they weren't supposed to talk, but I bet there was quite a bit of giggling going on early in the evening if a lot of girls were involved!

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  11. Nope never been to one or even heard of such a thing, Shounds neat.

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  12. I've heard of something similar in that if you are trying to attract a partner you're supposed to act as if they're already here. Meaning, set the table with an extra place setting, put another tooth brush in the t.b. holder, hang a man's robe in your closet, etc. It must have to do with the Law of Attraction. You always have such wonderful tidbits of information. Thanks for sharing them with us!! : )

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  13. Mary-I've never been to one-but I have heard about it-think I read it in a book. Makes you wonder where this things came from.

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  14. I left a comment earlier but it never showed up. I have heard my mom and aunts talk about dumb suppers. My Aunt Irma told me that her and two or three friends started a dumb supper one time but they got too scared to go through with it. Everything had to be done backwards, you had an empty chair beside everyone for their future husband to sit in. No one could talk while this supper was being prepared.
    Maybe I have heard about this because I am a lot older than most of you.

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  15. Thank you all so much for your comments on this. And Vera, thank you for coming over and telling us you had heard of it on a personal basis! I don't blame your aunts for being to 'chicken' to complete it!

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  16. I now have heard of it, today first for it, googled it after I returned from the library with Sharyn McCrumb's newest book...it's begin with mountain girls having a dumb supper.

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