Blackface ‘Nutters’ dance for Easter in bizarre British tradition

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A group of black-faced clog dancers known as Britannia Coconut dancers or ‘Nutters’ returned for their famous annual Easter performance in Bacup, Lancashire, footage filmed on Saturday shows.

The Lancastrian group of dancers take their name from the wooden nuts they wear on their wrists, knees and waists which are made from the tops of bobbins, but it is their black-face that has caused controversy.

The Nutters’ face painted in black is said to resemble the dirt miners used to have after finishing work, but some people believe that it has more a racist connotation related to what might be the origin of the dances.

The start of this custom cannot be traced easily, but it is believed to have started with Moors who settled in Cornwall in the 17th century, who were miners there before moving to Lancashire to work in quarries.

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