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|Description ||Padstow Obby Oss ('hobby horse' for those unfamiliar with shortened form) Childrens' mask on display at Royal Cornwall Museum.
The May Day 'Obby 'Oss processions and dances at Padstow in Cornwall are one of the longest-surviving folklore celebrations welcoming the coming of summer in Britain today.
There are two adult Oss/es?, the 'blue ribbon' and 'red ribbon', with their own meeting places, and there is much rivalry between them. The children also have their own Oss. They take in turn to dance through the town, and are followed by accordionists and drummers and locals dancing and singing the rather mesmerising song, 'Summer is a-come unto day'.
The procession is preceded by a 'Teazer' waving his club topped with padded cushion, usually with Cornish shield design. Young women take turns with this club, waving it around while dancing around the Oss. It is said that if you touch the black 'skirts' of the Oss you will become pregnant, so fertility rituals have survived!
There should be plenty of info if you Google for it, and there's a book called 'Padstow's Obby Oss'... and May Day Festivities... a Study in Folklore & Tradition', by Donald R. Rawe. (A Padstonian, he is also a Bard of Gorseth Kernow (Scryfer Lanwednok: Writer of Padstow.)
This is available in most book shops in Padstow. Do visit on 1st May. The atmosphere is great!|
| Old Oss and Peace Oss (Blue Ribbon Oss) please. |
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