Ventriloquism and Polyphony

January 10, 2020
Many Hands
1914
'M'
photo by
Robert Zunikoff
on unsplash

Tonight, we’ll read a chapter from "Three Hundred Things a Bright Boy Can Do", titled "Ventriloquism and Polyphony", written by “Many Hands” and published in 1914. Ventriloquy, an act of stagecraft in which a person changes their voice so that it appears that the voice is coming from elsewhere, usually a puppet, known as a “dummy". Originally, ventriloquism was a religious practice among the ancient Greeks. The noises produced by the stomach, for example were thought to be the voices of the unliving, who took up residence in the stomach of the ventriloquist. The ventriloquist would then interpret the sounds, as they were thought to be able to speak to the dead, as well as foretell the future.