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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


A classic feature of any parade or fair is a clown. In this part of the world, clowns are most often provided by the Shrine Temple, a voluntary organization that supports children's charities. The clown above, who appeared in the Oak Bay Tea Party parade was, according to the International Shrine Clown Association, an "Auguste" type of clown:

His is the most comic face. His make-up is a flesh color (pink or reddish or tan) instead of white. His features (usually red or black) are exaggerated in size. The mouth is usually thickly outlined with white, which is often also used around the eyes. Outlining is very important. Gradual shading of colors is often used. He will usually have a ball nose, but there are many exceptions.
Clowns have been around for a long time. According to the International Clown Hall of Fame:
First known clown was a pygmy presiding as a court fool at the court of Pharaoh Dadkeri-Assi, Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty. In 1818 BC, one of China’s rulers, neglecting ancient religious rites, filled the court with clowns. His successors restored the rites, but also kept the clowns. One of China’s jesters, Yu Sze, is remembered as a national hero because he saved the lives of thousands of laborers when he kidded the Emperor Shih Huang–Ti out of having the enemy side of the Great Wall whitewashed in 300 BC.


USelaine said...

Thanks for that history - I tended to be uncomfortable around clowns as a child. Maybe the slapstick of some of them seemed agressive, I don't know. I remember someone reporting on a religious group that claimed one of the signs your child has been recruited by satanists is that he or she will be afraid of clowns. Oh dear! But to my relief, this one seems very friendly and harmless. Beautiful photography, as always.

Small City Scenes said...

Happy clown. I love his hat. MB

vero said...

Funny photo and thanks for your visit!

Bill said...

The horse is a nice touch :)

Annie said...

Love this clown!

Chuck Pefley said...

Benjamin, thanks for your recent comments and visits. Glad to hear you're enjoying your new e-bike; they are great, and I expect yours is much improved over the Currie e-bike I had about 10 years ago, before moving to Vespa scooters. (I wanted to go farther and faster ...)

I'll bet this clown wishes he had a nice electric bike instead of that poky old hobby horse!