Open Morris

Face Paint Statement

Information was made available at the AGM in November 2016 regarding the legal position of wearing black face paint in the context of the Equality Act 2010. This can be found in Appendix 6 of the Nov 2016 AGM minutes.

This information has now been superseded by the Joint Morris Organisations Statement below.   Further information will be provided as and when available

Joint Morris Organisations Statement

Our traditions do not operate in a vacuum. While no morris dancer wants to cause offence, we must recognise that full face black or other skin tone makeup is a practice that has the potential to cause deep hurt.

Morris is a living tradition and it is right that it has always adapted and evolved to reflect society. Over the past few years, many morris teams have already proactively taken the decision to stop using full face black makeup to avoid causing offence or hurt. We now believe we must take further steps to ensure the continued relevance and inclusivity of the tradition.

The Joint Morris Organisations (The Morris Federation, The Morris Ring, and Open Morris) have therefore agreed that each of them will take action to eliminate this practice from their membership. Teams that continue to use full face black or other skin tone make up will find they are no longer part of the mainstream morris community, be covered by JMO public liability insurance, or invited to take part in events organised or sponsored by the JMO.

Morris is a unique cultural tradition of which we should be rightly proud. We want people from all races and backgrounds to share in this pride and not be made to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable by any element of a performance.

Joint Morris Organisations, comprising The Morris Federation, The Morris Ring and Open Morris
3rd July 2020

Further to the Statement above, the JMO have issued the following guidance.  This is provided below together with an FAQ from Open Morris for your guidance

JMO Statement and Open Morris FAQ July 2020