Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Morris: Symbolism

After describing the events mentioned in the previous post, I noted that someone was paying attention to what the Morris stick symbolised. Asked if I meant that the stick symbolised a penis, I answered "Yeah, among other things."

True as far as it goes. But what it also symbolises is not just a penis, but all penises. More than that, it represents what the penis itself represents[1]: the male fertility principle and the generative power of the universe.

So when you see men in bells, waistcoats and blackface hitting each others sticks, just remember that it symbolises the creative force of the world, fertility, and the penis. All this, and it represents a lump of wood too.

Now that's one hell of a lot symbolism for a stick you can hold in one hand. And I haven't got around to the other things it can symbolise, depending on the dance.



[1] And you thought it was just a knob.

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