Thanks, my Grandkids are going to love this!
Didn't know "Morris Dance" was English Folk dance, or that "Border Morris" was a collection of village dances along the Wales/England border. (Wikipedia)
Do they just use the face paint for Beltane (May 1st)? Read it was traditional camouflage, but also so people didn't forget the atrocities of the "Black Act"?
Dont know how the black face thing started but I believe it was to do with coal mining, the miners had coal blackened faces, only a few use the black face paint, and they all have different coloured costumes. Didnt expect to see anything like this today but there were 75 different morris troops all performing all over Liverpool. All types of dance, from one that was like a sword dance to just using handkerchiefs instead of sticks. I love it, it makes everyone smile and it also keeps history alive. They had troops today who had the obby horse with them, and there were also all female troops.
The stick thing has been said to have been originally for sword training, dont know if thats true or not, but I used to do a martial art called Escrima in which we fought with sticks and some of the movements are very like how we trained, we used a stick in each hand though, but I could see how music and drills go could go togeher for basic sword training.
From Beltane Border Morris:
The use of facepaint has nothing to do with race. It is a form of disguise that relates to performing for money (dancing or mumming) by the labouring classes to raise money. The disguise was necessary so the performers were not recognised and then prosecuted for begging, or victimised by their landlords.
However there is a much more sinister side to blacking than this. In 1722 the Criminal Law Act introduced over fifty new capital offences onto the statute book. This Act, known as the "Black Act" was in response to poaching, in particular the "Blacks" who went poaching with blackened faces, so as to not alert the gamekeepers. After the Black Act you could be hanged not only for poaching, fishing in a private pond, damaging a hedge and many similarly minor crimes, but also simply for the act of disguise itself.
...guess there are Black marks in ALL Country Histories!
Thanks Emily, I had never heard of the Black act, mind you, any way to disguise your face if you were seen poaching would have been a good idea. A lot of it went on in this country as the class divide was and still is immense, the havs have a lot and those who dont do what they can.
@stringy this was neat. sometime back i watched a show about a wealthy family im thinking had a mansion or something in liverpool...could have town wrong. they had a mine or something dug under property that caught fire? or exploded? anyway lots of people hurt. does that soumd like anything youre familiar with there?
anyway i thought this was something to do with that but checked the website.. hm. they seem a little dark..lol..but the video was interesting. ALSO...saw they were looking for muscians. you outta throw your hat in there! cool share stringy. enjoyed that
Never hear about that explosion you mention greg, could well have happened though as there are lots of mines in this area. Liverpool actually had some great buildings but now theres only really St Georges hall and the museums nearby, the rest was almost totally destroyed during the war with German bombing, thats why my family moved from there to the town close by where I live, they moved from Ireland, dublin and downpatrick to liverpool then when their house got blown up moved to were I was born and now live. Some good stuff in Liverpòol lots of tourists now, also in Manchester as well they actually have tourist tours now I find it quite amusing.
There was a series of tunnels dug under part of the city by an eccentric fellow at one time may have been a disaster with that, they are opening them to the public .
"...There was a series of tunnels dug under part of the city by an eccentric fellow at one time may have been a disaster with that, they are opening them to the public ."
I bet thats what it was.. I do remember them discussing tunnels he was building. cant remember the exact purpose.