3

Every year in September a "horn dance" is held in the village of Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, England, a ceremony mentioned for example in J G Frazer's The Golden Bough. There are recorded references to the dance in 1686 and of a hobby horse being used in the village in 1532, and it is said that the dance may first have been held at a Bartholomew's Day (Barthelmy) Fair in 1226, five years after the annual fair was chartered to be held in the locality.

The "horns" used are not in fact horns but six sets of reindeer antlers, three white and three black, at least one of which has been dated to the 11th century.

Wild reindeer are believed to have died out in England long before that time. What is the provenance of these antlers?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy