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Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team

16 Jul 09 - 08:44 AM (#2681364)
Subject: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,Mike of Hessle

I noted on the Hull Daily Mail website yesterday that unless the Green Ginger Morris are able to recruit new members they may not exist in another twelve months.

Surely there are some youngsters out there who are keen to give it a go.


16 Jul 09 - 09:02 AM (#2681380)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Jack Blandiver

How is that Folklore?


16 Jul 09 - 09:16 AM (#2681392)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: davyr

If they're forced to call it a day, they'll have passed into the realms of folklore? Just a guess...


16 Jul 09 - 09:34 AM (#2681397)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Morris-ey

Dance teams disappear on an almost daily basis. Green Ginger have lasted longer than most....perhaps if they began to dance Border?


16 Jul 09 - 10:14 AM (#2681419)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Dave Hunt

http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/news/Morrismen-issue-plea-bells/art
icle-1166444-detail/article.html

[snip]
According to the group [Green Ginger Morris], morris dancing stems from
ancient pagan rituals which were held in the spring to ensure a prosperous
future for crops, livestock and local people.
[snip]
*************************
Given the amount of scholarship available on morris, where do people get
these ridiculous notions. Have they never researched the origins of what they
do - is it wishful thinking or are they ideas which are perpetuated within a team ?.
There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE of any pagan, pre-christian, ritual
aspects to morris. There is no need to make up spurious reasons for dancing something that originated no earlier that late 15th century

In the article it says they 'bash each other with sticks'! and that morris is a 'gentle excercise' They have not recruited a new member for 15 years - I wonder why??!!!

Dave (Ironmen and Severn Gilders - who definitely don't regard it as 'gentle excercise - and try not to bash each other!!)


16 Jul 09 - 01:37 PM (#2681570)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Jack Blandiver

There is no need to make up spurious reasons for dancing something that originated no earlier that late 15th century

I thought it originated in the 1960s?


16 Jul 09 - 08:46 PM (#2681852)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Dave Hunt

On a Thursday??


17 Jul 09 - 03:04 AM (#2681985)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: SteveMansfield

I thought it originated in the 1960s?


On a Thursday??


Now I've told you before about looking things up on Wikipedia.

I'm with Dave though, anyone who is still perpetuating the 'pagan fertility rites' guff needs their bellpads taken from them, their sticks lopped, and (if Cotswold) their white hankies besmirched.

I'm reminded of the 'revoking membership of the Morris Circle' scene from A Life With Bells On ....


17 Jul 09 - 07:02 AM (#2682077)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Jack Blandiver

On a Thursday??

Well, why the hell not? After all I know several Good Christians who believe The Creation began on Sunday October 23, 4004 BC, which I respect a lot more than WAV's God created evolution guff. If one believes in God, then one might as well go the full hog.

Does a similar chronology exist for Morris Dancing I wonder? Most Morris Dancers I know can't even remember the last time they danced let alone the first...


17 Jul 09 - 08:20 AM (#2682121)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,Neovo

Why, oh why, do people think that taking up dancing border badly is any substitute for other traditions? One day anybody who wants to dance will have little choice but to join a mixed border side!


17 Jul 09 - 08:38 AM (#2682138)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Jack Blandiver

Most Morris Dancers I know can't even remember the last time they danced let alone the first...

One suspects this is true of The Tradition as a whole.


17 Jul 09 - 08:56 AM (#2682149)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,jemma gurney

My guess would be Morris-ey's comment about border was a tad tongue in cheek!

I agree with lots of stuff on this thread - but the biggest issue I have is with teams (or the whole ring) trying to gain more membership by whinging through the media. The comment

"Maybe young people don't want to appear in front of their friends dressed up in flowery hats, with bells, bashing each other with sticks and waving handkerchiefs"

does far more harm than good - why can't they see that?

I'm sure that there are so many more effective ways of upping the membership of a team. How about:

Go to the local folk clubs / festivals and put out leaflets there?

Generally get out and about and dance with other teams who have a slightly healthier membership - maybe the local border side is briming with people who also have the urge to wave hankies...

Get some of the demon barbers lot (or any other good, young-ish dancers) to come and teach in a local school.

Take their kids / grandkids to festivals with a big youth contingent.

Any other ideas?


17 Jul 09 - 09:07 AM (#2682153)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Gedi

"Why, oh why, do people think that taking up dancing border badly is any substitute for other traditions? One day anybody who wants to dance will have little choice but to join a mixed border side!"

As it happens I recently joined a Border Morris side and have found them to be a great bunch of people happily doing their thing. Perhaps you would like us all to be dancing the same dances to the same tunes in exactly the same way as they have always been done (or for as long as the 'tradition' can be traced back).

If Cotswold sides are having trouble recruiting maybe they should make things more interesting for their members.

Surely there is room for us all......


17 Jul 09 - 09:12 AM (#2682156)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Yes S. - in response to the God v. evolution argument, I've said God created evolution, too (here, under "Messages," e.g.).

More to the point of this thread, for what it's worth, I don't dance but love watching Morris, can play "English Country Gardens" on the English flute, and think "Green Ginger Morris Team" has a nice ring to it.


17 Jul 09 - 01:51 PM (#2682327)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Les in Chorlton

Going with Bishop Usher's use of dates and generations in the Bible as a guide to the age of the planet or people ie 4004 years which at least was an honest attempt to use the Bible, perhaps a Morris Equivalent could be explored:

1. How many bells do Bampton carry now and how many did they carry in previous times can we extrapolate?
2. How has the length or diameter of sticks changed - will this reveal a max or min for sticks at some starting date?

Sorry I have to go and lie down now

L in C


17 Jul 09 - 02:02 PM (#2682339)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Chris Partington

You'd be able to easily tell the age of the sticks by counting the annular morris rings....


17 Jul 09 - 02:26 PM (#2682357)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: SteveMansfield

You'd be able to easily tell the age of the sticks by counting the annular morris rings....

With our lot it's more of a case of 'if they are still intact, they're less than about six months old'!


17 Jul 09 - 02:47 PM (#2682382)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Les from Hull

Green Ginger Morris are named for an unusual street name here in Hull - Land of Green Ginger. There are a number explanations as to how the street got its name, but the basic answer is - nobody knows!

It would be a real shame if the side stopped dancing, but I'm hardly the one to inject some youth!


17 Jul 09 - 04:48 PM (#2682457)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Steve Gardham

Here's a bit of background that might help.
In the late 60s we were a young enthusiastic Hull longsword/mummers team all in our early 20s and along came a newcomer to the area who had been a dancer with Nottingham Foresters. He offered to teach us Cotswold and we capered at the chance. Frank Bull (still alive but doing more clicking than kicking) became the first Squire and we added a large repertoire of Cotswold to our numerous performances.

Just my opinion, but this realisation that we're all getting older is typical of the folk scene in general, a case of too little too late in some aspects of the scene regarding getting younger blood in.

Again just my opinion, but this conservative attitude of not allowing the tradition to evolve naturally and be updated is one major reason why few youngsters are getting involved. Also rapper doesn't quite seem to have the same problem. I wonder why!!


18 Jul 09 - 04:18 AM (#2682670)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Folkiedave

It was always shift work that stopped me joining!!

I suspect there are two reasons for the upsurge in rapper. Some North-West teams don't seem to have problems too.

One is that they have a competition which has done a lot to raise standards.

Secondly they are inclusive, hardly the reputation that some morris enjoys. (I suspect rightly or wrongly GG might be included in that).


18 Jul 09 - 04:53 PM (#2682981)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,Paul

Actually I can remember my first danceout with Green Ginger Morris. I can also remember my last one. I also remember dancing Goathland and Winlaton with the same team. Perhaps a change in emphasis might help? It was Green Ginger Morris and Sword in my day, perhaps Green Ginger SWORD and Morris might attract some flashing blade types. My current team - sword dancers, are all under twenty-one with most being under sixteen.
On the subject of pagan origins by the way, I'm sorry to disappoint but the last word on that one has yet to be written. One thing I can absolutely guarantee with appropriate evidence, these dances are older than 15th century. The problem lies with the word 'morris' not the evidence of antiquity.


19 Jul 09 - 04:23 AM (#2683197)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Mo the caller

It doesn't have to be a sword team to attract the young. Earl of Stamford's dances Cotswold and has 2 teams, one of them look as if they are all in their teens.


19 Jul 09 - 05:54 AM (#2683212)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Jack Blandiver

Land of Green Ginger.

There's a converted church in Tynemouth which goes by this name - it's an arcade with various wee shops, antiques, fossils, second hand books, New Age emporia etc. complete with old props from Super Gran. Often wondered where the name came from; never dared ask! Worth a look if you're passing, and if Raspberry Bazaar is still there go feast your senses...


19 Jul 09 - 06:52 AM (#2683225)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: davyr

"On the subject of pagan origins by the way, I'm sorry to disappoint but the last word on that one has yet to be written"

Will it ever be? I know that "absence of evidence doesn't mean evidence of absence", but the whole Pagan origins thing has obviously become an article of faith with some. In the same way, some followers of Wicca believe themselves to be carrying on an unbroken tradition of great antiquity (with a similar absence of evidence).

What individuals wish to believe is entirely up to them, but the only honest answer to members of the public or the media asking about the origins of Morris is to say "we don't know".

Nothing wrong with that - it all adds to the mystery!


19 Jul 09 - 09:23 AM (#2683266)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Jack Blandiver

the origins of Morris

As with Folk Song there ought to be a greater clarity with respect of Traditional as oppose to Revival. In this sense most (all?) of what is done in the name of Morris originates with the revival rather than the tradition of which it is a recreation.

Pagan origins? I think not, but Primal Urges I'll accept! Either way I love it all.


19 Jul 09 - 11:05 AM (#2683299)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,Paul

'As with Folk Song there ought to be a greater clarity with respect of Traditional as oppose to Revival. In this sense most (all?) of what is done in the name of Morris originates with the revival rather than the tradition of which it is a recreation.'

This is a whole new thread really. Sadly, the thing you think is 'traditional' is all too often a revival. The dancers from whom Sharp collected, often were only doing what they did because of some local event where it had been thought appropriate to include dances from 'the olden time'. It can be argued in many cases that the 'revival' is really the 'tradition'.
Both are, on the whole very unhelpful terms and rarely offer any clarification.

My family were all singers going back several generations. They all had their own songs and 'party pieces' and, as a result, didn't pass these on to the next generation who had to find their own songs to contribute to family events. Result is that the 'tradition' in my family is 'singing' not the 'songs' – because of the 'trad' versus 'revival' terminology it took me most of my life to realise this and that's despite being related to Harry Cox!


19 Jul 09 - 01:16 PM (#2683343)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Dave Hunt

' One thing I can absolutely guarantee with appropriate evidence, these dances are older than 15th century. The problem lies with the word 'morris' not the evidence of antiquity.',

******************************************************

Where is your evidence for this???


19 Jul 09 - 02:25 PM (#2683393)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,Paul

Since you ask Dave,
The research I have been working on for the last 30 years which includes fieldwork in Holderness and substantial cross referencing with those references available from other collectors and literary sources. This is something that has been going on for some time. The use of biological statistical methods was suggested by Chris Cawte and has thrown up, among other things, a dance tradition that was not known to exist, a distribution map that indicates not only a transition from one form to another but also a comparative aging of the morris and the sword dances together with other dance traditions which, in the areas of east and west yorkshire exist along side each other. Couple this with the work done by numerous agencies on settlement patterns in the same area and some surprising things leap out. I say again, the problem is the word 'morris' which has been used as a 'catch-all' term for a series of older and, of course, younger dance traditions across the whole country.
cheers


19 Jul 09 - 02:33 PM (#2683401)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Les from Hull

Where can I read about this?


19 Jul 09 - 05:47 PM (#2683507)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Steve Gardham

Which 'this' do you want to read about, Les?
The article was in your 'local' paper for 'local' people last week. It'll still be in my blue bin if you want it.
I have Paul's booklet on the East Riding dances from a few years back, but no doubt he's done a lot more research since then.

I agree with Paul over the evolving use of the word 'morris' over the centuries. Most of the pictorial evidence for pre 18thc morris is of solo dancers, often associated with pageants and May Day celebrations, and costume wise, apart from the bells, look nothing like the 19thc costumes being used today.


20 Jul 09 - 04:39 AM (#2683713)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,buspassed

Will there be nothing left of my cultural heritage in Hull by the time we move back to East Yorkshire? The Minerva's gone, the toilets on the pier and under King Billy have closed. The Gent's at Botanic has disappeared completely and now the Green Ginger side looks like it is on it's last legs! It only needs the telephone boxes to be painted red and that'll be that!


20 Jul 09 - 03:35 PM (#2684024)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Jack Blandiver

Fear not! Morris Dancing is alive and well and flourishing:

North of England Morris Dancing Carnival Organisation

What do you Folkie Tankard Swilling Morris guys & gals make of this?


20 Jul 09 - 07:05 PM (#2684146)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Herga Kitty

Is there any connection between the Hull and Tynemouth Lands of Green Ginger and the children's book by Noel Langley published in 1937? Or the novel by Winifred Holtby?

Kitty


20 Jul 09 - 07:31 PM (#2684173)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: gnomad

I haven't read W Holtby's Land of Green Ginger, but know she was raised in the East Riding, as such she would probably have known of the Hull street, and may well have been familiar with it.

From the description I would imagine that the Tynemouth place was named after the street.


20 Jul 09 - 09:07 PM (#2684204)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Dave the Gnome

Origins of North West Morris. It is a well known fact that North West Clog was started down t'pit where teams of men in clogs used synchronised stepping to stamp on rats that plagued the workings. The fact that the miners used to perform this task unwashed was also used to explain the black face tradition but as that belongs to Border teams this is blatantly ludicrous.

That can be quoted as an absolute truth because it was taught to me by my great uncle, Blind Lemonbelly Higginthorpe, the only known exponent of Lancashire Blues and writer of such famous pieces as 'Tune for a lost euphonium'.

Honest.

DeG


21 Jul 09 - 03:41 AM (#2684289)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Les in Chorlton

What Dave says is all true

L in C


21 Jul 09 - 09:14 AM (#2684423)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Morris-ey

>>One thing I can absolutely guarantee with appropriate evidence, these dances are older than 15th century<<

I bet you can't.


21 Aug 09 - 09:49 AM (#2705398)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: GUEST,A Green Ginger Man's son

Winifred Holtby is IIRC connected to Holtby's Farm (just off the crossroads in North Ferriby, some 7 miles west of Hull), so she ought to know about the Hull Street


21 Aug 09 - 04:40 PM (#2705700)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Green Ginger Morris Team
From: Paul Davenport

Morris-ey,
you wouldn't want to put money on that.
Reason - 'cos I've been gathering the evidence for thirty years and you haven't.
But… if you're keen to have a go, I'm happy to help you out. Try starting with population patterns in relation to Humber wetland habitats and then apply all available references to traditional dance in East Yorkshire to your findings. When you've done that try to explain your findings in the light of so called 'common knowledge.
This was a great bottle of Merlot -have a nice evening.:-)
PS I'll be at Whitby next week - if you're there, look me up and we'll have a cuppa and discuss this, like I said, you really don't want to put money on this one.