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black men dancing morris ?

GUEST,Dom 27 May 12 - 01:24 PM
meself 27 May 12 - 01:59 PM
Richard Bridge 27 May 12 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,999 27 May 12 - 02:16 PM
John MacKenzie 27 May 12 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Dom 27 May 12 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Eliza 27 May 12 - 02:38 PM
John MacKenzie 27 May 12 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Dom 27 May 12 - 02:49 PM
MGM·Lion 27 May 12 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Eliza 27 May 12 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,from Sweden 27 May 12 - 03:16 PM
Jeri 27 May 12 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Eliza 27 May 12 - 03:45 PM
Gurney 27 May 12 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Bizibod 27 May 12 - 04:27 PM
Gurney 27 May 12 - 04:54 PM
Keith A of Hertford 27 May 12 - 04:59 PM
Joe Offer 27 May 12 - 05:40 PM
MartinRyan 27 May 12 - 05:45 PM
Sandra in Sydney 27 May 12 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Rich A 27 May 12 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,CS 28 May 12 - 10:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 May 12 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 28 May 12 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,muppett 28 May 12 - 11:48 AM
Morticia 28 May 12 - 11:49 AM
MGM·Lion 28 May 12 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Eliza 28 May 12 - 01:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 May 12 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Eliza 28 May 12 - 04:50 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 May 12 - 06:06 PM
Wheatman 29 May 12 - 02:58 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 May 12 - 02:59 AM
MGM·Lion 29 May 12 - 03:34 AM
MGM·Lion 29 May 12 - 03:41 AM
Dave Sutherland 29 May 12 - 07:17 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 May 12 - 08:11 AM
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Subject: Black Face Morris
From: GUEST,Dom
Date: 27 May 12 - 01:24 PM

Just come across the brilliant powder kegs morris - a border team. After talking with my friend I was left with two related thoughts.

The first is the origin of black face morris, about which there is much debate but little agreement. This is unlikely to be solved, but I wonder whether some of the possible colonial origins and the make up itself can alienate the audience.

Following on from this, I was thinking about the lack of non Caucasian involvement in English folk music, morris in particular. Or am I wrong, have others seen a lot of people from different ethnic backgrounds involved in traditional UK dancing?


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: meself
Date: 27 May 12 - 01:59 PM

Oh boy - this is going to be fun!


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:08 PM

I think I've got deja vu again.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:16 PM

Keriste, just when ya thought it was safe to enter the water . . .


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:25 PM

Not getting involved, but I do know a black Morris dancer.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Dom
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:32 PM

Ooops, didn't realise this was such a much discussed topic. Wasn't going for controversial.My mate (who is pretty new to trad dance) was just wondering what a black man may think to the old blacking up malarkey.Everyone was white at this event and we just speculated about the lack of black morris dancers. Wonder if Border Morris has ever been danced at The Moss Side Carnival ??


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:38 PM

Well my husband is VERY black (West African) and he loves and adores watching morris dancing. He's been to Whittlesea and was dragged in to dance with the Witchmen and then with Red Leicester. He's been loads of times to the Sheringham Pottie Festival and danced again holding Moss Ambrose's hand with the Leicester Morris. He's had his photo taken with Old Glory (who are very blacked-up) and laughed because he said he didn't need the make-up. He doesn't see anything wrong with the black faces, it's just tradition. In his part of the world, traditional dancers often white-up!!


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:46 PM

That's not fair. Here we are deserting our long held traditions in order to avoid apsetting those from different cultural backgrounds, and there you go spoiling all our hard work, by telling us. "He doesn't see anything wrong with the black faces, it's just tradition. In his part of the world, traditional dancers often white-up!!
Where would the PC industry in this country be, if they all shared that attitude?

(Joke)


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Dom
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:49 PM

That's really interesting about the white up and your husbands interest in morris. Got an answer for my friend now.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 May 12 - 02:52 PM

Out of interest, Eliza, which W.African country does your husband come from? I only ask out of interest because I spent a bit of time, 20 years ago now, in Sierra Leone at Freetown University, where Valerie was Visiting Professor for a year and I did a half-term on my English folksong kick. Was there over Xmas/NYear, and learned to swim in the warm Atlantic off Lumley Beach at age of 60!

~M~


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 May 12 - 03:10 PM

He's from Ivory Coast, the Senoufo tribe. I think it's lovely that different races can mix in the Morris. I went to Weston-super-Mare a few years ago to watch the Morris Ring and there was a sikh in a turban dancing beautifully in a Cotswold side! A pair of youngsters at Sheringham (don't know which side they danced with) came up to my hubbie to inspect his traditional Ivorian outfit and one said, "LOVE the threads, man!" I'm looking for a way to post a super photo of my husband with Moss Ambrose, also some of him wearing a feathered headdress dancing border morris, but don't know how to do it. Any idea anyone? Is there perhaps an email address I could post them to?

Click to view


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,from Sweden
Date: 27 May 12 - 03:16 PM

Just stumbled in on my way to see if anything new had happened in another thread but I had to remind you people of an old "Goodness Gracious Me" sketch: Bhangraman vs the evil Morrisdancerwala. I love (watching, not dancing, I couldn't dance to save my life) both bhangra and morris dancing, so the sketch is a real favourite of mine and I often go back to youtube to watch it. In the comments both on this sketch and in clips of morris dancing I have spotted many comments from people with indopak-sounding nicknames saying things like: "Morris dancing isn't really dancing, anyone could do that blind folded" or "Is this dancing?! It looks like England playing football" - sounds like there may be a little bit of a (mostly rather friendly!) rivalry between bhangra and morris dancing...


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Jeri
Date: 27 May 12 - 03:36 PM

Eliza, asking Joe Offer might be your best bet. His e-mail address is (insert symbols in appropriate places: joe(at)mudcat(dot)org.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 May 12 - 03:45 PM

Thank you Jeri, I've done as you suggest and sent him an email with the photos attached. He might be agreeable to putting them onto this thread for me, I'm not techno-savvy enough at my age to be able to do all these clever things!


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Gurney
Date: 27 May 12 - 04:15 PM

I have met a Chinese morrisman. She's very good.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Bizibod
Date: 27 May 12 - 04:27 PM

hahahaha! Love it !


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Gurney
Date: 27 May 12 - 04:54 PM

True, too.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 May 12 - 04:59 PM

If only you would become a member Eliza, you could have some pics put on the members' page.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 May 12 - 05:40 PM

Eliza's photos posted:

Click to view

Please let me know if this doesn't work. Thanks to katlaughing for setting up this photo section.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 May 12 - 05:45 PM

I presume there are ethnomusicologists out there correlating this with "Can white men sing the blues?" ;>)>

Regards


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 May 12 - 07:59 PM

our local side Black Joak was just aging blokes & the Squires's son when the girls joined them, which brought more (young) blokes!

Now the side has many young members Black Joak on youtube


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Rich A
Date: 27 May 12 - 08:45 PM

Bathampton Morris Men have had a black member for the last 20 years. Really nice chap and good singer.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 28 May 12 - 10:20 AM

Hey Eliza, that's a proper dishy looking bloke you've got there!
I echo the "nice threads" too - just love the vitality of African fabrics.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 May 12 - 10:35 AM

Most people don't care about Morris. Most white people and most black people don't care if white people dance about with black on their faces.

It seems fairly clear that 'blackface' has two sources of influence: the English tradition and 'blackface minstrelsy'. Some 'border' tunes come from the latter and some border dancers called what they did 'going out n*ggering'.

Some Border sides dance dances they have made up to tunes never associated with morris, on instruments not invented when morris was a lad, in costumes with little historic connection. It's a living tradition - xlnt.

Some people are uncomfortable with white men blacking up. This simply true. How many? probably not many. How many do you need to annoy?

L in C#
A lover of Border


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 28 May 12 - 11:44 AM

Border morris is open to anyone who wants to join in, male, female caucasian or otherwise. Check out this video of the wonderful Wreckers from Cornwall. Keep a good watch around the 50 second mark.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFsGboPxaFs


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,muppett
Date: 28 May 12 - 11:48 AM

I tried out for a morris team back in the 80's, I think I was the world's first Anglo African Caribbean,Irish, French, Canadian, southern counties born, naturalised Yorkshirman ever to perform morris dancing!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Morticia
Date: 28 May 12 - 11:49 AM

Rich A. That man is my man, and thank you, I think so too.And also I think it's more like 22 years but he won't thank me for saying so.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 May 12 - 11:51 AM

Eliza ~~ Emma is very interested to hear of the Ivorian connection, because she is an avid Chelsea supporter [we manage to live together without scratching eyes out mostly, tho I am Arsenal myself!], so she worships Didier Drogba. Is he a member of that same tribe?

~M~


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 28 May 12 - 01:37 PM

No, M, Didier Drogba is from the Be-te tribe, who live in the west of Ivory Coast. My husband's people, the Senoufo, are from the north. His ancestral village is Tengrila, near the Mali border. Ibrahima adores Chelsea FC and is very proud of Drogba.
Thank you CS, he is rather attractive isn't he? W. African cotton fabrics are to die for, and every single design has a name, for example "Fingers of my Rivals", "If You Go Out, I Go Out", "My Husband Is Capable" (!) and so on. The materials are so reasonably priced and of excellent heavy-duty quality. The one he's wearing in the photo is called "Eyelashes Of A Young Girl" (very strange isn't it?)
Thank you very much Joe and Kat for putting the photos on this thread.
Eliza.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 May 12 - 03:10 PM

My friend Peter had a photograph of a West Indian Pace Egg play where the cast, all young black men, 'whited' up! Slight Morris dance connection and quite interesting I think. Not sure if Stephen Fry would agree...

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 28 May 12 - 04:50 PM

I think 'blacking up' or 'whiting up' is basically a means to disguise the actors or dancers. In Scotland at Hallowe'en children come round with blackened faces to sing for sweets, and they're called the Guisers. It obscures the individual personality and renders one anonymous and mysterious. Far from being objectionable or faintly racist, I've always found Morris dancers of all types exceptionally friendly and welcoming to my black husband. If he doesn't mind their black faces, why should anyone else? Who knows, he might even one day join a side!


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 May 12 - 06:06 PM

Spot on, Eliza. I am pretty sure that the make-up is a mask. But whether it is seen that way is another matter. As someone mentioned earlier if it offends someone then maybe we need to review it. I am not saying it should be stopped - I have blacked up dozens of times for the pace-egg play as King of Egypt, Hector, the Doctor and some even more dubious characters! I was once talking to a black lad on a course I was running and he took the piss mercilessly whan he found out I blacked up. He reckons all us white blokes really want to be black anyway :-) He is probably right a lot of the time - I am far cooler as the doctor than as the gnome :-)

Anyway. In a nutshell - If blacking up offends someone then it needs some explanation at least. I am sure that the far right will take that to extremes but anyone with a modicum of sense should realise the difference between border morris and the three letter party who must not be mentioned is massive. Support the former by all means. Kick the latter where it hurts most.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Wheatman
Date: 29 May 12 - 02:58 AM

It was great to meet you at Whittlesey and I agree the threads were exceptional. Gan Canny Brian


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 May 12 - 02:59 AM

A friend of ours was brought up in Hume Manchester in the fifties, Around bonfire night her and her friends went door to door with blackened faces collecting money, I guess for fireworks, and they called it .................. "going out n*ggering"!

At the clear risk of boring the *rse off everybody: I know most people niether know nor care, morris dances are friendly and no harm is meant and no racial intent is implied. It's just that some people are somewher between uncomfortable and offended by the practice and it does have roots to "n*gger minstrelsey" -


<="" span="">href="http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/avenue/pd49/morris/bordern/bordern.htm">here

"One tune that was used regularly is 'Not for Joe', or 'Om Si the Gom Si'. This started life as a 'nigger minstrel' song and either took its folk name from, or gave the name to, a particular style of Border Morris Dancing. Some of the versions of the words for this song would be considered mildly obscene even today and it is not surprising that the collectors did not print them, although they often recorded them in manuscript. In an area where few people travelled regularly to the large towns, being able to use the latest popular music-hall songs in a performance must have been somewhat akin to being able to use part of the latest blockbuster movie as an accompaniment to the dancing."

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 May 12 - 03:34 AM

The words sung by John Kirkpatrick to 'Not For Joe' were

There was a little nigger
And he got no bigger
So they put him in the Wild West Show.
He tumbled out the winder
And broke his little finger
So he couldn't play the old banjo.

'Om Si the Gom Si' can be varied to 'Umpsi Dumpsi Di-Do [3x] ~ playing on the old banjo!'. I always took this to explain the name of John's Umps and Dumps Band, on one of whose records [was it 'Among the Many Attractions of the Show will be a Really High Class Band'?] he sang these words.

All long ago ~~ all IIRC: except that I am certain I have remembered those words correctly.

~M~


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 May 12 - 03:41 AM

I see another olde thread on this very song has just been revived alongside this one ~~ qv


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 29 May 12 - 07:17 AM

Mike, not sure that Didier Drogba could stay on his feet long enough to dance Morris.


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Subject: RE: black men dancing morris ?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 May 12 - 08:11 AM

Northwood Morris

Frank Bruno was roped into dancing with Northwood Morris back in the 1980s!


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