Guise dancing is an ancient tradition from west Cornwall performed during the twelve days of Christmas. It is a form of mumming, whereby participants disguise themselves (hence the term ‘guise’) and entertain people through music, dance, drama and games. Guise dancers go from house to house, pub to pub, or process through streets and lanes bringing merriment during the darkest time of the year. The activities that guise dancers perform has changed through the years, but the one constant is complete disguise.
We have been researching guise dancing for many years, but we began as participants of guise dancing without knowing much about it. Here will outline what we have learned through taking part, as well as our academic and historical research into the tradition.
This section will grow as we add information.