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Morris Dancing(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Originating as pagan fertility dances, Morris (or Morrice) dances have been performed by teams, or "sides," in almost every village in England for hundreds of years. They can also be found, in various forms, in other European countries. In some of the dances the dancers leap high in the air, in the same way that the Witches did to show the crops how high to grow (sympathetic magic). In one of the traditional dances the men "dibble," or bang, sticks against the ground, simulating planting seeds. They then bang the sticks together to frighten away any negativity. Similarly, the waving of handkerchiefs, a part of many of the dances, is done to frighten away any negative spirits that might inhibit fertility. Mumming plays were often performed as an adjunct to Morris dancing.
The name is possibly derived from "Moorish." In fact, some sides perform with blackened faces, suggesting that the origins may be found in North Africa or in Moorish medieval Spain. Yet nothing like these English dances can be found in the Moorish lands. It seems more likely that they are a holdover from preChristian fertility rituals and that the face-blackening may have been done originally as a disguise.
Most sides consist of six dancers accompanied by one or two musicians, a young boy dressed as a girl (and called Maid Marian), a fool, and a hobby horse rider. The dancers wear bells attached to their legs, tuned to harmonious notes. Crossed ribbons, much like the sautois of Voodoo, were worn over white clothing adorned with ribbons and flowers. Morris dancing was banned by the Puritans but was revived at the Restoration. Today it is practiced not only throughout Great Britain but also in America and other countries. Many Modern Wiccan and Pagan groups enjoy Morris dancing as part of their regular activities.