Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain Further Reading Materials

Curatorial Statement – Folk Customs and Blackface

Costume is an important element of how groups identify themselves and can include gesture and make-up, as well as dress. The use of blackface is a divisive aspect of folk traditions that is subject to debate. This has been an ongoing discussion from the beginning of the Making Mischief project.

This exhibition presents the beginning of our investigation and is a unique space for us to develop dialogue. We do not claim to have all the answers and will inevitably make mistakes along the way. Rather than overlook this difficult history, we have chosen to include these objects to acknowledge the historical reality of the practice, and to question why it is still used. These resources offer further information on the subject which we hope will help to contextualise the objects you can see in the exhibition.

Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer 1927

Black Faces, Garlands, and Coconuts:<br>Exotic Dances on Street and Stage

A SURVEY OF THE LITERATURE ON ‘BLACKING UP’ IN TRADITIONAL DANCE

The Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup

Pears’ Soap

jim crow illustration

Not All Singing and Dancing: Padstow, Folk<br>Festivals and Belonging

the morris federation