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Photographer's Note

"Come and join in..." the gentleman says, not today thank you.

A group of Sword Dancers. (I have tried to discover the name of this particular group, but with no success.)

Although commonly referred to as 'Sword dancing' there are two distinct forms.The sword of the North East of England tends to be a double handed flexible metal strip known as a 'rapper'.
In Yorkshire the implement is more sword-like, being single handed and rigid and called a 'longsword'.

The dance is basically six or eight men in a circle, each holding the end of his neighbours sword.They perform circling and intertwining figures without breaking the circle or letting go of the swords, except at the climax of the dance,when the swords are interlocked to form the 'lock', which is then held aloft.It has the appearance of a star.
The men wear no bells unlike the traditional Morris men.

It is suggested that these dances were a release, for the men, from the hard grind and terrible living conditions that many people had to endure.

Taken at the Annual Folk Festival held in Sidmouth, Devon.

Thank you for looking.

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Additional Photos by Jean Dwyer (jean113) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2442 W: 0 N: 7507] (28787)
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