Mudcat Café message #220919 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20846   Message #220919
Posted By: GUEST,JZG
01-May-00 - 02:47 PM
Thread Name: BS: More pagan stuff
Subject: RE: BS: More pagan stuff
On the subject of historical claims and such, this morning I came from our local morris dance community's annual May Day celebration (attended also by at least a few neo-pagan types and some who show up in medieval garb, etc.) Anyway ... this year there were some students there from a sociology or anthropology class at one of the universities around here, studying the phenomenon for a class, and some friends and I overheard a morris dancer offering to tell one of them about the historical origins of morris dancing (to the accompaniment of "don't believe him!" and similar catcalls). He told her at least two versions, one involving ancient island dances being spread over the sea by Polynesian traders ... but I think we were all laughing hard enough that she didn't take him too seriously :-)

Actually I think their professor was one of the other morris dancers at the event, which would have made it pretty funny if she *had* believed him, and written it up for the class ...

For what it's worth, my impression of most neo-pagans I know personally (not necessarily representative of anyone else) is that they don't claim what they do is in an unbroken tradition from ancient times, but are interested in borrowing from parts of old traditions that speak to them; in creating a *present* tradition appropriate to their own beliefs and convictions; and in doing so in continuity with the present traditions of the communities they have chosen. I'm just talking about the individuals I happen to hang out with, and I'm not part of pagan circles myself so I don't really have the view from inside the community.

May we respect each other and be careful of taking ourselves too seriously :-)