I stumbled upon this (clicking on the link not the picture above!) medieval picture of a juggler, and I wondered what he actually did. There are 5 balls in his hands. Could he juggle all 5? Did he know many variations with 3? Did he work to music? So many questions which will remain forever unanswered.
The History of juggling begins this century, it is a frustrating affair, so little of the pre filmed juggling era is known. Compare it to the vast bibliography readily available to magicians and one pales in shame.
The smaller players have always been neglected…This got me thinking about Roberto and Wilfredo. There is so little information about them to be found. It needs an intrepid historical researcher to unearth more information. They were described as the inventors of bouncing ball juggling and indeed performed
multi wall bouncing, a clear precursor to Michael Moschen seminal Triangle piece. And yet Michael’s justified historical position means that multi-surfaced ball bouncing gets referenced back to him and not Roberto and Wilfredo; taking away the steps in the process.
There are many examples of this, it makes me wonder weather the democratising process of the Internet will have a clarifying effect on history.
Having grown up in communist Havana in the seventies i have a clear sense of how different historical realities are. The history we were taught was fascinatingly different from what would have been taught 70 miles away in Florida!
Perhaps we need more histories, the more histories we have the closer to an authentic history we can have.