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Britannia Coconut Dancers

A side of North West Morris dancers from Bacup in Lancashire with a particular tradition:

"Every Easter Saturday, no matter what the weather, the Britannia Coconut Dancers, with their blackened faces, hats like turbans decorated with rosette and coloured feathers, black jersey, red and white kilts, white stockings and shining black Lancashire clogs make a gradely sight as, accompanied by members of Stacksteads Silver Band, they keep up the tradition of dancing from boundary to boundary of the town of Bacup situated between Rochdale and Burnley"

There are seven dances - 5 garland and two nut. Britannia claim that they learnt the dances from Tunstead Mill Nutters who were also from the area. The 'nuts' are actually bobbin tops from the cotton mill. There is evidence that this tradition was in existence and more widespread in the mid 1800s and is perhaps another example of convergent evolution in folk.

See Also:

Coconutters' website