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‘Obby ‘Oss

Cornish May Day celebration with the ‘Obby ‘Oss! From the BBC

 “The ‘Obby Oss’ looks like a big black caped animal – thought to represent a stallion – with a strange mask and snapping jaws. The Pagan dance and the rhythm of the drum is quite hypnotic.

The ‘Obby Oss’ is led on by a ‘Teaser’ who dances around the ‘Oss’ and prods him with a special padded stick. On its route the ‘Oss sometimes drags women and girls under its dark costume in quite a graphic attempt to portray a fertility rite. It used to be said that “if you were caught beneath the veil that you would be pregnant within the year”.

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