Tuesday May 18 2021



In Full . . .

How do we feel?

Posted on November 27 2014 at 11:11:33

Thanks to all the letters printed in your last issue I now have a good, perhaps biased, knowledge of the history of morris dancing.

I understand the history behind the face-blackening, but feel that one point is being forgotten: how do people who see the morris dancers feel?

As an ethnic minority living in the community, I was really pleased to see someone voicing their opinion on the way they felt about the morris dancers with blackened faces featuring on the front cover of The Village.

I too felt uneasy when I saw the cover and was disappointed. Not every member of the community has in-depth knowledge of the morris dancing history and, while people choose to interpret the meaning of the face painting for themselves, let’s not forget there is an element or a point of view that the blackened faces are linked to an idea some may consider racist.

Although I do find morris dancers’ blackened faces offensive, I do understand that there are a number of views as to why it is done.

Does it make it any easier seeing blackened faces on people because I know the history? No it does not.

There are various styles of morris dancing, some of which don’t involve face painting. I know the history and know people of all race find it uncomfortable (as I’ve asked them) when they see blackened faces.

Have you ever asked an ethnic minority how they feel? There must be a reason I’ve never seen any ethnic minorities taking part.

It’s now 2014 and if one person finds it offensive, isn’t that one too many?       

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