A Bit About Black Pig
Named after the ship of the infamous Captain Pugwash, Black Pig
Border was formed in 1986 in Langley Mill/Eastwood on the
Nottinghamshire and Derby border. Our founder members were a group
of like minded dancers and musicians who had tried other forms of
Morris dancing and were looking for something a little different.
From this small group of people, Black Pig has evolved over the years
to what you see today. We are a mixed group of both male and female
dancers and musicians. We have performed all over England at a wide
variety of events, ranging from pub tours through fetes and festivals.
We have danced in California and Germany and also appeared in an
episode of 'Peak Practice'.
We have also been involved in the research behind the Stephen Booth
book, 'Blind to The Bones' which is dedicated to our dance group.
On our 30th Anniversary.
Bit About Border Morris
far as is known, Border Morris Dancing originates from the
borders of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Border Morris
was usually done during the winter months where the dancers performed
vigorously using sticks and bells. One of the explanations was
it was danced to ward off the evil spirits of the old year allowing the
return of spring.
Over the years, we have developed our own style of Border Morris
traditional dances and some of our own invention. We use both
and contemporary tunes for our dances and have produced two music CD's
which are available to purchase through our shop.
our original costume of Flat Caps, Black Trousers, Black Tattered
waistcoats and pink shirts, our kit has evolved into the multi-coloured
garb that we wear today. Although our basic kit is predominantly black
(Black T-shirts and Trousers) we now wear brightly coloured and
Tailcoats which we make ourselves, Top Hats festooned with just about
anything you could imagine, Multi-coloured Scarves , Ribbons and Bells.
and body paints have been used from the earliest times, and for a
of reasons - to enhance beauty, increase fear in the beholder or ward
off evil spirits. Face painting is closely linked with masks : both
a disguise and a sense of make believe. Our painted faces are part of
the Border Morris tradition. There are several explanations regarding
the painted face - We prefer to adopt the popular idea that it is
to ward off the evil spirits of winter, and disguise us so that they do
not return to haunt us.
Mummers Play is an English folk drama based upon the fight between good
and evil. One of the protagonists is killed off by the other and is
revived by a magical doctor. Various other characters appear during the
course of the play - the amount and variety depending upon the area in
which the play originates.
Black Pig perform a version of the old Selston (Nottinghamshire)
play usually at Christmas or in the New Year. We learned it from an old
Selston resident who last performed it in his youth.
It is usually performed in pubs local to the Selston area and the play
lasts about ten minutes, depending of course on how much beer has been
For full details of our play click on the Mummers Play
further in depth information , photo's and scripts on hundreds of folk
plays from all over England
visit the Folk Play web site from our related links page.
The Company of Owd Oss
custom was revived by Dave Mooney and several members of Black Pig
morris. Dave discovered that the old horse Christmas play had once
Kimberley and surrounding area. Further research led to discovery of
of Notts old horse play recorded by M.H. Mason in 1902 and this is the
song and music that is used. Attempts to acquire a genuine horse skull
failed due to laws regarding disposal of animal remains so a
horse was made and painted in the red/black colour mentioned by Mason.
The design of the horse was sketched by Tina Saxton with final
by Dave Mooney and Owen Lewis using Chicken wire and
Jaw movement is by a rope-pulley mechanism. Nick Betinis operated the
horse while Brian Howes performed as the horse ticer and sang the
play is quite short in length and involves horseplay between the animal
and its ticer/blacksmith culminating in the poor horse being roughly
from the premises as neither use to ride upon nor in the team to
draw. Those who take pity upon him are invited to make a