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English, then British, monarchs
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The picture is of morris dancers, an old time practice now become popular again.
Traditionally, only men perform morris dances, though women do it now, and they probably date back to ancient mystical practices. They wear ribboned hats and bells on their knees, and one dance involves mock swords.
They are certainly connected to mummers' plays, when people in costume went around putting on short plays or getting up to mischief, or begging, or all three. Trick-or-treating is connected to this. I used mummers in my story, The Mummers' Play.
The hobby horse -- or in this case, a hobby ostrich! -- is a mischief character.
The photograph was taken in the Leicestershire village where my sister lives.Return to the menu.