Padstow's Obby Oss

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

PADSTOW MUSEUM. Padstow Obby Oss is one of Cornwall's most famous and enduring folk customs. The Oss was once part of more elaborate May Day celebrations. This mask or hat which looks a bit like an African mask, hooped gown, teaser, staffs and melodian all date from the mid 20th century. David Farquar made the hat and it was in use from 1948 to 1975. The melodian belonged to William 'Bluey' England who fought in the Boer War and made 'Blue Ribbon' osses before 1914. After 1919 the name Peace Oss was adopted. The Blue Ribbon name continued to be used to describe the group.

The Obby Oss is similar in style to that of the Duck Duck Dancer's of New Guinea.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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Cornwall, Padstow

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