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Morris dancers perform with faces painted green instead for the first time


This year, for the first time in 500 years, the Silurian Border Morrismen voted to scrap the black face paint for their Boxing Day Tour to avoid causing offence in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The group performed their English folk dance routine to crowds of onlookers in Ledbury, Herefordshire, with their faces painted dark green instead.  

Silurian foreman Ian Craigan admitted some people 'feel it is a step too far' but wants to be 'on the right side of things' to help attract new members to the club. 

He added: 'It would be foolish to pretend everyone in the side is happy with the decision. There are people who feel it is a step too far or a compromise. 

'But the main purpose is to dance and share the tradition which is unique to Silurian which is more important than what we wear or how we decorate ourselves.' 

It is believed black soot was historically worn by the English folk dancers as a disguise so they could beg for money without getting in trouble with the law. 

Morris dancer Chris Mulvey, 71, admitted the majority of the group would like to have continued with the black disguise - but felt it was the right time to change.