Swaying for the lens: the Haxey Hood.

Digital or visual media


Cheeseman, Matthew and Fournier, Laurence 2014. Swaying for the lens: the Haxey Hood.
CreatorsCheeseman, Matthew and Fournier, Laurence
Description

On January 6th a collective game is played in Haxey, a village in the north of England. Two teams ritually compete for a leather cylinder called the hood. Twelve officials known as the boggins are in charge of the day's activities. They all wear red clothes and two of them also wear extravagant hats decorated with feathers and badges. A thirteenth character, the Haxey fool, is dressed in rags. He plays the most prominent part in the ritual, delivering a speech to the people near the church before the game begins. The game is contested between two neighbouring wards: Westwoodside and Haxey. After a lot of drinking, singing and speeches a large scrum of bodies from both wards form around the hood and they attempt to 'sway' it into one of the local pubs. Often interpreted as chaotic and wild, the film also shows the fun people experience whilst participating. The scrum usually lasts for hours, beginning at 3pm and ending long after the night has fallen. The Haxey hood can be connected with other English and European carnivalesque rituals, which traditionally began on January 6th. The game is interesting because it shows a dialectic relation between wilderness and civilisation. It also shows how drinking culture was traditionally incorporated to rituals, and therefore wasn't really seen as a health and security problem like it is today. The film is notable in demonstrating the heavily mediated aspects of traditional games, from the participants and the local and national media (and folklorists).

On January 6th a collective game is played in Haxey, a village in the north of England. Two teams ritually compete for a leather cylinder called the hood. Twelve officials known as the boggins are in charge of the day's activities. They all wear red clothes and two of them also wear extravagant hats decorated with feathers and badges. A thirteenth character, the Haxey fool, is dressed in rags. He plays the most prominent part in the ritual, delivering a speech to the people near the church before the game begins.

The game is contested between two neighbouring wards: Westwoodside and Haxey. After a lot of drinking, singing and speeches a large scrum of bodies from both wards form around the hood and they attempt to 'sway' it into one of the local pubs. Often interpreted as chaotic and wild, the film also shows the fun people experience whilst participating. The scrum usually lasts for hours, beginning at 3pm and ending long after the night has fallen.

The Haxey hood can be connected with other English and European carnivalesque rituals, which traditionally began on January 6th. The game is interesting because it shows a dialectic relation between wilderness and civilisation. It also shows how drinking culture was traditionally incorporated to rituals, and therefore wasn't really seen as a health and security problem like it is today. The film is notable in demonstrating the heavily mediated aspects of traditional games, from the participants and the local and national media (and folklorists).

ContributorsUniversity of Sheffield
KeywordsFolklore; Sport
Date2014
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/623034
hdl:10545/623034
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Oct 2018, 13:18
Publication dates2014
File
File Access Level
Open
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