Statement on facepaint
For a generation, Stone the Crows has entertained audiences large and
small with Border Morris, a tradition that has its roots in the
centuries-old dances and costumes originating from the English counties
along the border with Wales.
Part of our appearance is the disguised face, sometimes in black - traditionally (and practically) using soot to hide your identity. This has been a controversial feature of Border Morris, and Stone the Crows have debated the issue many times over the years. The team has a number of variations of facial disguise, including simple feather designs on the cheeks, and members can choose which they wish to use. We have never shied away from discussing the history and origins of our appearance, and received positive responses from audiences when we engage on the issue.
We have long been mindful of these issues and though we are non-political, we have supported good causes and campaigns for many years, including anti-racism events. However, the harrowing death of George Floyd in the US has shone a light on systemic and systematic racism across the developed world, and gives us a greater insight into the issues and how people are affected by them.
Protests here highlighted everyday discrimination and inequalities, as well as what it means to live in a society that continues to venerate (with statues, buildings and street names) those who profited and supported the international slave trade and slave labour in Britain and further afield.
Similarly, we must look at how our traditions affect our communities in the same way. Regardless of their origin, it is possible they are of equal consequence through their perpetuation.
We recognise the continued hurt and upset these symbols cause. As a living tradition, and as compassionate and considerate men, women and children, we have decided we will no longer use full black face paint as part of our disguise.
This decision took effect for all future events and appearances from Thursday the 11th June, 2020.
We dance at events around Lancashire and further afield. See our upcoming performances and recent our events.
Stone The Crows also perform at private and corporate events. If you would like to book us simply contact us with your requirements.
We are always looking to expand our group with new members. If you are interested in joining us then please get in touch.
Stone The Crows are a Border Morris side from Leyland Lancashire who teach and perform morris in the North West and across the UK.
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