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At the heart of English folk
Construction of Rapper swords

#7: Construction of Rapper swords

The evolution of the flexible steel rapper swords used in the rapper dances is cited as having first come from either old mining tools or “Bed slats made from a spring-steel framework designed to support a mattress on a bed frame.” 

Before the dance began to elicit greater interest resulting in the props getting constructed by craftsmen, these innovations would’ve probably been discovered by accident. There is also mention of the swords sharing close resemblance to horse-scrapers, which were used to scrape the sweat off the back of the pit ponies.

Construction of rapper swords

F. Forster, ‘Tales of High Spen’, Heaton MSS, 1980 [In] P. Heaton, Rapper: The Miners' Sword Dance of North-East England, English Folk Dance and Song Society

 

 

National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble

 

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