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Morris Dancing - England Folk Culture

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Hi.   Can anyone tell me why Morris Dancing looks so gayified?

Surely at some point there something more to it ... I can't believe it began like this.


My question is more about where is the folk tradition of England.

In Scotland they have some things, Wales too.

And England?


Do we have to go back to King Arthur (probably Welsh anyway) to find something with meat on the bones?

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13 minutes ago, rideforever said:

Hi.   Can anyone tell me why Morris Dancing looks so gayified?


In scotland there is the Morrison clan. The morris men would originally have been peacemakers between the tribes acting as mediators in disputes and helping to resolve legal matters


They may have had a ceremonial role at festivals which is what we see echoed today. That ceremony has become 'gayified' as you put it because their original purpose has become lost in the mists of time and has instead only retained its outer shell


Clashing sticks and bells match in with various other rites still seen around the country that are said to be to 'ward off evil spirits' and which form cleansing processes at certain turning points of the year. People still participate in this at the new year when they take stock of their life and make 'new year resolutions' to attempt a new chapter in their life as the suns power begins to grow again and life returns to their bones after the shortest days of winter


The bad spirits could of course also be the bad blood that exists between people that will be banished through the mediation. Festivals and those that managed them superceded tribal differences

Edited by Macnamara
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1 minute ago, Macnamara said:

I think there are lots of things that are being done that have been done for a long time, but its more that the original meaning gets lost at least to the many

I often wondered where the martial tradition is?  In Japan you have Samurai, Judo and so on.  Where is it in Britain?  Where are the Knights?  Yes there is the SAS ... is that the same thing?

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5 minutes ago, rideforever said:

I often wondered where the martial tradition is?  In Japan you have Samurai, Judo and so on.  Where is it in Britain?  Where are the Knights?  Yes there is the SAS ... is that the same thing?


Knights had their own martial arts sure and i think there are groups still doing re-enactments. I stumbled across some people training with sword and knife once in a backwynd in edinburgh.


There is a big viking overlap in Britain and they had a martial art called glima. The problem with the old martial arts is that they were about how to damage your opponent which doesn't really go down so well in your local gym! So spartan death blows would become modern pancration and Viking glima morphed into a less deadly wrestling style that is used in modern competition and so on


There is a walter scott novel 'the two drovers' in which the fight styles of the scottish highland gael clashes with the fight style of the lowland, english saxon because when a dispute occurs in the inn and the saxon starts punching the gael the gael reaches for his sgian dhu (which would be concealed somewhere that it could be pulled quickly from such as under the armpit but within the plaid) and he stabs the burly englishman


Celts have also taken to boxing though and connor macgregor is a good example of a scrappy little celt. But the english have always loved boxing and it was them who codified the rules with the queensberry rules. Bare knuckle boxing was always a big sport in england


The highland gael battle tactic was to run closer to the enemy, discharge your pistol at close range and then charge into them in the 'highland charge'. The biggest guys would lead to break the enemies ranks and the smaller guys would follow behind to stab at the disrupted soldiers.


The highlander would hold a targe (shield) sometimes with a spike in the middle and also in their shield hand they would hold their dirk. In their sword hand they would hold their broadsword so that they would charge into the person with their shield to throw their opponent off balance, then slash sideways with the dirk whilst crashing down with their sword arm....three strikes in one fluid motion


That strategy worked in many battles and only failed in culloden because of the distance they had to cover and the boggy terrain. The attack was also delayed for various reasons causing more casualties. So i think the gael was more inclined to the blade and the englishman to his fists. Although people were banned from holding firearms by the disarming act the cattle drovers were permitted to carry some light weaponry as defence against robbers on the road


It is the descendants of a Scot who created the Gracie school of brazilian ju jitsu


But if you are talking about way back then there was the fianna which was a standing army in ireland and scotland of warriors that had to undergo trials to prove their worth. Some trace the highland games to the process of chiefs choosing warriors. There are various stones still dotted about scotland that were lifted by people as trials of strength:



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