Rumburgh Morris is a mixed-sex side formed in 2008, dancing Cotswold Morris. It is based in the village of Rumburgh, Suffolk, with The Buck as headquarters, although practice sessions are held in the village hall at St. Margaret South Elmham.
It is unclear as to when Morris Dancing began to be performed, though there is evidence that this dance has existed for several centuries, the earliest reference being from the year 1448. It has also been claimed that the dance is so ancient that its origins have been lost in the mists of time. The name is said to have been derived from the word ‘Moorish’ or ‘Morisco’ (a derogatory term meaning ‘little Moors’), although it is uncertain if this was the original name for the dance. Nonetheless, during the late Middle Ages, Morris dancers were occasionally referred to as ‘morisco dancers’.
Believed to have been once widespread throughout England, it had largely died out until remnants were collected by Cecil Sharp in the early twentieth century in the villages on the uplands of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. Each village produced its own steps and dances, and these have become the “traditions”, known by the name of the parent village.
Each village’s morris dancers also had their own distinctive costume. Rumburgh Morris’s costume, or “kit”, comprises a white collared shirt beneath a blue Tudor-style tabbed jerkin, black knee-breeches, white stockings and black shoes.
Rumburgh Morris also performs mummers’ plays on special occasions. Mummers’ plays are traditional English folk plays, often including such characters as St. George, the Turkish Knight and the Quack Doctor.
Following the dancing we usually offer an evening of music and song.