Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Traditional British dancers black their faces to 'prevent being recognised by evil spirits' in historic procession

Traditional dancers from a 150-year-old troupe took to the streets with blackened faces in a historic procession.

Members of the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup took part in the Whitworth Rushcart parade, in Lancashire, accompanied by a hand-drawn cart decorated with flowers and a brass band.

The troupe performs 'folk dances', with their blackened faces reflecting a 'pagan tradition as a disguise from the evil spirits'.

Their parade includes rush-bearing, where rushes, herbs and grasses are collected and transported to the local church to be laid on the floor.

The custom is supposed to symbol providing a new surface for the forthcoming year and is believed to go back to the middle ages.

Their choreography, which looks similar to Morris dancing,  is believed to originate from Moorish pirates, with the outfits worn by the group - kilts, turbans and clogs - similar to pirates' dress.

Critics have previously slammed the tradition as offensive, with white men wearing black face paint prompting memories of the Black and White Minstrel Show - which was pulled from the air in 1978.



Bird of Paradise said...

Tell the whining little snowflake to GET A LIFE and stop their rediculous whining

Anonymous said...

They are clearly not minstrels.
Minstrels don't just blacken their faces all over.