Mudcat Café message #2150263 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104600   Message #2150263
Posted By: Ruth Archer
16-Sep-07 - 05:13 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
Tim, I'm American. I've been living in England for 15 years.

Doing Abbots Bromley in America would be like like doing the Munmmer's Day Parade in Cleethorpes. No context. It's a pretendy version of the real thing. And that kind of faked-up "tradition" makes my skin crawl.

I have a soft spot for the Hallaton Bottle Kicking. That doesn't mean I think I should re-enact it on our village green. What the hell would be the point?

If people had real reverence for these calendar customs and traditions, they would realise that it is their uniqueness and sense of place that makes them special - versions of the custom popping up all over the bloody place, and claiming to BE that thing, de-value it somehow.

"I think it counts as rooted in Thaxted now."

No, it doesn't. What they do at Thaxted is NOT Abbots Bromley - it's no better than the kind of twee Victorian romanticism that the tradition has been fighting against for a century. It's precisely this sort of claim that does my nut. What they do at Thaxted is the worst kind of "tribute", because they've actually tried to "improve" upon the real tradition! It might be all woooooooo and spooky with haunting tunes and fading twilight, but it's bollocks.

Hey, I've got a really good idea! Why doesn't Disney do a new addition to its theme parks? It could be called Tradition World. That way everyone who can't be arsed to come and see the real thing could go and see nice, folked-up versions of calendar customs and traditions. And they could clean them up and make them all pretty and sanitised, so there was no more mud and dirt and locals getting pissed and fighting, which is the sort of thing that accompanies the real customs most of the time. And you could even buy your fake Abbots Bromley horns to wear around the park!