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Black Faced Morris Dancers Banned at ShrewsburyFolk Festival

(168 Posts)
Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 11:01:26

Because someone has complained, the black faced Morris dancers are to be banned in future. I love Morris Dancers, but much prefer the black faced dancers to the hanky wavers [no offence to hanky wavers by the way]. It is nothing to do with race; they originally blacked up to disguise themselves so their landlords/employers wouldn't recognise them, using, I assume soot. Morris dancing is yet another old British tradition that is in danger of ceasing to be, and the black faced morris dancers, being much more exciting than the hanky wavers tend to attract younger people.It seems to me that people are constantly looking for racism when racism isn't there. It even crossed my mind [and for this I feel that I want to wash my brain out with carbolic soap to get the idea away] that this is the sort of thing that attracts people to UKIP. We saw some black faced morris dancers dance in Southwell Minster a few years ago, and found it amusing that such subversive individuals were dancing there; subversive they may be but racist; never sad.

kittylester Fri 26-Aug-16 11:14:53

I agree completely.

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 11:24:17
..if this works, these are my favourites...

Anniebach Fri 26-Aug-16 11:27:46

I agree, if the custom had started with black slsves being made to dance then yes ban it, but this form of Morris dancing is English history , if wearing the Welsh National Costume was to be banned because high black hats could cause offence there would be uproar in Wales .

BBbevan Fri 26-Aug-16 11:34:00

Oh for goodness sake . Whatever next.?

NanaandGrampy Fri 26-Aug-16 11:36:06


POGS Fri 26-Aug-16 11:38:39

Makes my blood boil this type of thing.

The problem is this actually get's peoples heckles up and provides more ammunition for the voices who say Political Correctness has/is going/gone too far. Well actually I agree it has.

I can imagine the person who complained in my minds eye and he/she is typically on 'a mission' in the belief they are being mindful of prejudice/racism where there is non intended. They are permanently on the hunt for the next time they can sign a petition or make a complaint because they feel we should jump to their tune. angry

I know this story would definately annoy and frustrate my friends and family from a non white/British background as we have spoken of this before. I know for a fact they would enjoy watching the Morris Dancers , put a quid in the collection bucket and accept the Morris Dancers are in no way being prejudice/racist.

DaphneBroon Fri 26-Aug-16 11:40:28

Isn't the origin of "Morris" dancers "Moorish" anyway, so yes, they would have "blacked up" cf Othello. Another case of throwing the baby out with the bath water as on that basis ALL Morris dancing "should be banned".
angry Bah humbug!

DaphneBroon Fri 26-Aug-16 11:42:38

And when it says "Moors" it's not taking about the Yorkshire Moors either!

Synonymous Fri 26-Aug-16 11:47:21

This is all part of dumb trying to ensure that everyone is dumber! It makes one despair!
Most people in this country are more than happy to support traditional events but get intimidated by those with the loudest voices so clearly we need to be more vocal in our support.

What a sweeping and funny idea about UKIP! I can't imagine where that came from! There are a broad range of people in every political party and no one party has the monopoly on stupidity!
I know lots of people who support UKIP and some of them are of very differing complexions and racial origins but they wanted to remain British - and "didn't want to be swallowed up in an enormous amorphous glob" as one of my friend's sons said. He sports an amazing 'afro' by the way which is all natural and he is fiercely British and third generation Jamaican/British. He is a very nice lad and not racist in any way.

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 11:54:34

So I assume he's happy that Farage is supporting that well known advocate of racial tolerance, Donald Trump then smile.

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 11:56:58

I suppose that we should ban all battle re enactments as well.

sunseeker Fri 26-Aug-16 12:01:48

I sometimes think those who look for racism in everything are deep down racist themselves and this is their way of hiding it. It's like people saying some of their best friends are black - I have friends, their colour is of no consequence. I know someone who insists on referring to two of her friends as "my gay friends". What has their sexual preference got to do with anything!

merlotgran Fri 26-Aug-16 12:09:45

I can just imagine the reaction if they try something so utterly daft around here.

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 12:46:57

I always think of Mollie dancers as Goths who dance with sticks.

LullyDully Fri 26-Aug-16 12:50:54

However if people are being offended perhaps we need to look at some of our traditions in the light of modern society. We have given up black and white minstrels.

Ana Fri 26-Aug-16 12:53:11

But that wasn't just blacked-up faces, they were made to look like golliwogs! shock

LullyDully Fri 26-Aug-16 14:30:22

Yes,black faces. I think if people are offended we need to ask ourselves why.

Elegran Fri 26-Aug-16 14:39:38

Perhaps we also need to disseminate more of the history of the Morris dancers too, including that info that they blacked their faces as a disguise so that they were unrecognisable when they took the mickey out of their employers and "betters" who could sack them for it at the drop of a hat. They faced discrimination which could cost them their livelihood, that should be remembered, not overlaid by current pre-occupations.

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 14:45:11

It's because they associate black faces with people of colour and not people who have rubbed soot on their faces*...which, to me is racist. Some morris dancers use yellow but it has only crossed my mind now [literally this minute] that they might be racist against the Chinese. Who was it that used to daub themselves in wode? That must be racist against someone somewhere. Heck; I'm finding racist links with everything now. I'm getting good at this#justneededabitofpractice*better ban Mary Poppins while we're at it...

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 14:47:55

Jalima Fri 26-Aug-16 15:31:11

I am getting very confused these days (must be getting old).
At one time it was frowned upon to say 'coloured people' and people had to be called 'black' even if they weren't very dark-skinned.
Now the term seems to be 'people of colour' (I heard Dianne Abbott use it so it must be politically correct).

I see nothing wrong with Morris dancers putting soot or whatever on their faces to celebrate ancient traditions if it was to disguise themselves - or for whatever reason.

Near where I come from the dance dates from 1226:
but they wear horns and don't black their faces.

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 15:37:15

I've always wanted to go to this one
It probably all goes back to my time in Cornwall when I first followed the 'obby horse' round Padstow.

Tegan Fri 26-Aug-16 15:38:52

rosesarered Fri 26-Aug-16 16:33:02

Have never seen the blacked up dancers, here it's white smocks and sticks and hankey waving ( I like it, but DH falls about laughing.)