John Price's Pages 11
|To return to the Betley Window front page click the hobbyhorse|
Having elsewhere on this site touched on the subjects of John of Gaunt and the morris/Moorish connection, and given the similarity between the Betley Window figures and the van Meckenem engraving, it is difficult to leave this subject without briefly considering the connection between morris dancing and other European dances.
A search of the Worldwide Web using a character string like "moris" throws up more references than you can shake a stick at to characters and dances which appear to a layman either to be related to "English" morris dancing, or to be from the same origins. (But given the strong views of Professor Alun Howkins, expressed on an earlier page , a laymen should take care!) One of these references is the web site of the Moriskentaenzer group from the Technischen Universität München.
|This group was inspired by a set of sixteen wood-carvings which Erasmus Grasser created in 1480, ten of which survive today in the Munich city museum.|
This may or may not be true: but even if it is, my personal view is that it doesn't make our dances of today less English than English people themselves or than the English language itself. All have been based on earlier influences and turned into "English" over several centuries by assimilation and evolution. One might also add, patriotically "- and all the better for that!".
And that's what I, as an English morris dancer, say to enquiring members of the public.
My thanks to all who contributed to the content and development of this website, as listed at References and Acknowledgements.