At the start of this thread someone asked for evidence of blacking up. I have copied this from a previous thread. Thjese are facts not opinions and not folklore.
All quotes from Professor Ronald Hutton in 'Stations of the Sun – a History of the Ritual Year in Britain'. He is at University of Bristol – the most prestigious history dept in any UK university.
8th c. Wassailing mentioned in Beowulf
1263 Mumming first recorded in Troyes where the corporation banned it among the populace.
1320 Peter de Langtoft written description of Wassailing
1347 Edward III introduces Mumming into the court using masks of women, men, angels, animal heads and wild men.
1377 The Common Council sends 130 men to salute Richard II ' to go Mumming with the said prince'
1405 Mumming banned from streets of London, Bristol and Chester as the 'combination of dark nights, dark faces and revellers in disguise afforded marvellous opportunity for crime'
1414 Lollard heretics plotted a coup at Eltham Palace ' under colour of Mumming'
1508 Scotland man hanged for stealing whilst under the guise of Mumming.
1599 a court at Elgin 'forbade guising' as this was the third time in 5 years people had stolen and 'every one of those before had been defied by revellers disguised by blackened faces'
1606 Mummers in Aberdeen 'they presume to mask or disguise themselves'
1655 Calne, Wiltshire dispute between ale house keeper over payment by mummers.
1657 reference to mummers from North Aston in Oxfordshire and Frome in Somerset
1659 Mummers in Weston Underwood, Bucks
I will add to this that the 1780 Mylor [Truro] Mummers Play has the charcter Black Sambo in it, again evidence of blacking up. No argument about the rights and wrongs from me. I have just responded to a request for evidence of blacking up.