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Seventeenth century ritual humiliation for cuckolded or henpecked husbands.
It was assumed that the husband should be able to keep control of his wife, and therefore the male victim, not the female perpetrator, would be the focus of these events. The man was seen to deserve ridicule for letting his wife get the upper hand.
As a rule, the victim would be verbally abused, laughed at, and kept awake by the playing of loud music or the banging of saucepans outside his house.
Sometimes, however, the abuse was physical; men could be beaten up, ducked in the village pond or paraded through the village sitting backwards on a mule.
The purpose of charivari/skimingtons was to ensure that the orthodox social order was followed.

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