Morris dancers who lined the streets of a Cambridgeshire town for the traditional Straw Bear festival appeared to get around their self-imposed blackface ban by using very dark paint on their faces.
The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival returned over the weekend after a two-year break amid the Coronavirus pandemic, which saw more than 250 dances, musicians and performers take to the streets of Whittlesey.
This year’s event, held today, saw Bourne Borderers Morris Dancers and other Morris dancing groups opting to paint their faces with very dark hues of green and blue, just over a year after Morris dancers ditched their 500-year-old blackface tradition.
It is believed black soot was historically worn by the English folk dancers as a disguise so they could beg for money without getting in trouble with the law.
This year’s event saw hundreds of Bourne Borderers Morris Dancers opting to paint their faces with very dark hues of green
Morris Dancers performed at the…