Dark Morris Dancers come together each Halloween at the All Hallows Eve Gathering in Boscastle, Cornwall, UK. Made up of talented musicians and dancers from across England and Wales, Dark Morris dancers meet for the last dance of the year but they trade their traditional bright white summer costumes for black shrouds and perform in darkness without smiling or laughter. Dancers are discouraged from smiling and use black make up as a continuation of a 16th century tradition. A custom which began with impoverished farm workers disguising their faces to avoid recognition whilst begging for food during winter months. This is the Dark Morris, without which winter may not arrive to complete the cycle, water the land with snow and prepare for the renewal of spring.
All images copyright Jim Johnston 2017.