Morris dancers perform in green face paint for first time in 500 years

A troupe of Morris dancers who ditched traditional black face paint amid a racism row have performed for crowds painted GREEN for the first time in 500 years. Silurian Border Morrismen voted to scrap the tradition which dates back five centuries in case it upset anyone in wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. And today (Mon) the group performed their English folk dance routine to crowds of onlookers in Ledbury, Herefordshire, with their faces painted dark green. The side said they took the decision to ditch black face for their Boxing Day Tour after watching the rise of the BLM movement during lockdown. 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. But there has been a growing controversy that the practice is 'black face' and a belief the word Morris derives from the word Moorish. Morris dancer Chris Mulvey, 71, admitted the majority of the group would like to have continued with the black disguise - but felt it was the right time to change. Chris, who has been member since 1978, said: "We are on our Boxing Day tour and this is the first time we have our green face disguise. "There have been about 15 of us out performing this morning and we have had hundreds come and watch us dance so far. "We've had no direct comments from anyone, we were not anticipating any antagonism from the public at all - and that has been proved. "They just want to see people having a laugh and making fun of themselves. "We're not in the business of wanting to upset people, we've made the change to a greenish tinge. "We're not taking the mick out of anyone. If anybody is offended we do not want to add to that. Video was filmed on the 27th Dec 2021.

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