View your list of saved words. (You can log in using Facebook.)
Ritual folk dance mainly danced in rural England from about the 15th century. The name, a variant of Moorish, possibly arose in reference to the dancers' blacking their faces as part of the ritual disguise. It is principally a fertility dance, performed especially in the spring. Danced by groups of men often dressed in white and wearing bells on their legs, the steps are varied and intricate and are maintained in a jog-trot while handkerchiefs are waved in both hands. It calls for individual characters such as a hobbyhorse and a fool.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Morris dance, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up Morris dance? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.