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Bourne River Morris Men

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Bourne River Morris Men formed in 1967, and is based around Bournemouth in Dorset. A men's Cotswold Morris dance team, their kit (costume) is white shirt and trousers, with baldrics of blue on gold with red, blue and gold ribbons at the lowest points of the baldric. At the front of the baldric is a horse brass and on the lower points of the baldric are pony brasses - the brasses are of individual choice so are different on each member's kit. On the back of the baldrics is a shield bearing their 'Fishes' symbol.

They take their colours and their 'Fishes' symbol from a combination of the Bournemouth and Christchurch Coats of Arms, the colours and 'waves' coming from Bournemouth's and the two 'fishes' from Christchurch's. The fishes are only presented to the wearer when he is considered to be a proficient dancer by the rest of the team. They are members of The Morris Ring and perform dances originally collected from a number of villages in Cotswold area, hence the description of 'Cotswold Morris'.

The origins of these dances are uncertain, but probably lie in pre-Christian fertility rites; no doubt superstition and alcohol also played their parts. The sticks, bells and handkerchiefs were thought to chase away evil spirits and ensure good returns from the land.

Links:

bournerivermorris.org.uk
facebook.com/BourneRiverMorrisMen

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