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Artist Details

Somerset Morris

Somerset Morris are a women's Cotswold Morris dancing side based in the Bristol and Bath area who perform Cotswold Morris dances which come from the villages of Ducklington (Oxon), Kirtlington (Oxon) and Ilmington (Worcs). These dances are characterized by the use of sticks or handkerchiefs and require considerable physical dexterity. Women did dance the Morris in the past but there were fewer female sides than today.
They also perform a set of unusual dances which originate from the Friendly Societies. These self-help societies were based in the villages and were at their most active during the 19th century. The information on the dances they performed was discovered in society minute books.
Each dancer carries a two metre stave crowned with a distinctive brass emblem and decorated with ribbons and each society had its own design of stave head. Since Keynsham was the centre of the brass industry during the last century, this metal was used to make the local stave heads. In other parts of the country, wood was used and consequently most have not survived.

Website: www.somersetmorris.org.uk/

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