Here’s a neat story that reminds us that beneath “mainstream” culture are rich, unique, and sometimes whimsical sub-cultures:
In 1946 a clown aficionado named Stan Bult began collecting the faces of clowns painted onto blown out chicken eggs. It became a U.K. tradition and, because it is considered a great breach of etiquette to steal another clown’s face, the eggs served as a sort of “registry.” The tradition crossed the pond in 1979 when Leon “Buttons” McBryde began a collection in the U.S. Linda, McBryde’s wife, paints the eggs herself (they use goose) and they’ve now collected over 700 unique clown faces.
Here are some examples from the British collection:Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.