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The hobby horse | Abbots Bromley horn dance | Birmingham City Council

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The hobby horse

The first important character originally in this festival was the Hobby Horse, who throughout various traditions such as May Day, would have turned out to pace up and down, appearing to die at times and then come back to life with renewed vigour, having taken all the wicked souls away to Paradise where they would not survive.

It was also the job of animal characters to ward off evil spirits that might wish to spoil happy gatherings. The Hobby Horse head is made from wood and carried between the legs on a stick.

Also present at the festival was Bowman, who symbolically shot at the Hobby Horse who pretended to die, and was instantly resurrected.