The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157043 Message #3704009
Posted By: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
25-Apr-15 - 05:26 AM
Thread Name: What exactly is Morris dancing?
Subject: RE: What exactly is Morris dancing?
Spot on Lester and if you look at the EFDSS symbol you will see it comprises of 6 swords, not 5 as in a Rapper team. Further confusion - The Rapper sword is not really a sword either! With a handle at each end it is far more like a flexible scraping tool. But Rapper sword scans much better :-)
While I am sure that what Les says about black face is correct you must bear in mind that while minstrelsy had the effect of being a big influence in the popularity it is by no means the whole picture. There are many takes on it from the discredited Blackamoor theory to 'guising' or disguising that happened prior to the Minstrels and across the globe in many forms. It is this aspect of uncertainty that make Morris such an interesting reseach subject. There are probably as many tales as there are Morris dancers ;-)
A difficult to read but interesting work on Morris is Kemps nine daies wonder telling of Will Kemps Morris dance from London to Norwich. There are a few original errors in it but I can't remember what now - Basically the 1600 equivalent of cut and paste mistakes!