Weald of Kent Morris
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Email Tim Dwyer if you want any further information.
We are often asked how and when Morris dancing started. There are many theories but nobody knows for sure. We do know that it is a very old custom and believe that it had its origins as a means of ensuring fertility for crops, animals and perhaps for our forebears themselves! Even today many believe that there is powerful magic in a Morris Man's hat and we would advise any young woman against wearing one.
The dances which we perform came originally from the Cotswolds but different forms of dance came from other parts of the country, notably ceremonial clog dancing from Lancashire and Cheshire and two types of sword dancing from Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland. Cotswold Morris was traditionally danced by men and each village had its own style of dancing. Most Morris dancing had ceased by the turn of the century but luckily it was seen by the well-known folk song collector, Cecil Sharp and others who made notes on most of the dances that we do today.
Every dance has its own tune. The music was provided, in the earliest times, by the pipe and tabor. Later came the fiddle, concertina and melodeon and in more modern times, the piano accordian. The Weald of Kent Morris use all of these instruments for their dancing.
Though we have no knowledge from the past of Morris dancing in this county, one of our characters is purely Kentish. The Hooden Horse and his attendants were part of an old custom which came from the Isle of Thanet in East Kent. We took pity on this one and now he follows us everywhere. We hope he will not be too much of a nuisance to you - he means well.
We hope you enjoy our performance and will take part in another old tradition, the collection. This should ensure for you, good luck and fertility and only temporary poverty.
The Weald of Kent Morris were formed in November 1988 and first appeared in public on Mayday 1989. We practise in the church rooms, Goudhurst on Wednesday evenings throughout the winter and we dance locally throughout the summer.
Any potential new members will be made welcome.
To contact the side email Tim Dwyer
Charlie Jacobs during our trip to Vermenton, France
A map of our where we will dance in 2023