Oxford University Morris Men (OUMM)

oumm-group
OUMM dancers pose for a group photo

Oxford University Morris Men (OUMM) is a friendly mixed-gender morris side performing Cotswold morris dances in Oxford and beyond. Our membership is made up of students, staff and alumni of Oxford University. We often dance together as ‘Town & Gown’ with our friends the Oxford City Morris Men (OCMM). New members are always welcome – see join us for more details.

In 2016, we celebrated our 90th anniversary. Oxford University Men’s Morris (OUMM) was officially established as a self-governing body on 17th October 1926 . For more detail on our history, delve in to “OUMM and its background (PDF)” by Roy Judge.

May Morning and Jack in the Green

'Bonny Green' in Radcliffe Square c6.20am, 2010 (Photo: Andrew Morgan)
‘Bonny Green’ in Radcliffe Square c6.20am, 2010 (Photo: Andrew Morgan)

Our biggest annual event is the Oxford May Morning celebration. Along with OCMM, we are responsible for organising the morris dancing in Oxford on May Morning, led by Jack-in-the-Green.

For more information on our May Morning customs, see Oxford May Morning and Jack in the Green.

Summer dancing season

After May Morning our practise season ends, and we begin our Summer dancing season, during which we visit and dance at two Oxford pubs each Wednesday evening.

Our Summer dancing programme will be available here nearer to the time, and each week’s pubs will also be announced on our facebook page.

The ‘Ancient Men’ tours

Ancient Men at Symonds Yat Saracens Head
The Ancient Men at Symonds Yat, during the 2016 Wye Valley canoe tour.

The Ancient Men are a touring morris side made up of past and present members of OUMM.

The Ancient Men undertook their first tour in 1952, which was based at Fairford, Gloucestershire in collaboration with The Travelling Morrice. Since then we have toured far and wide, from New Mexico to Japan; more than 100 tours in over 12 countries. To celebrate our Golden Jubilee we revisited the very first tour during August 2002, also accompanied by The Travelling Morrice. In 2012 the Diamond Jubilee Tour was based near Pontadawe, in South Wales.

The first and only recorded tour by Oxford University Mens Morris was based at Trefusis in Cornwall in 1929.

Christmas – the Ancient Mummers

Each year, on the last Saturday before Christmas Eve, the Ancient Mummers tour the pubs of Jericho performing a traditional mummers play, in support of a local charity.

The play performed by the Ancient Mummers was collected in 1959 from Mr Percy Fonge of Holton, Oxfordshire, who had been taught the play when he was 14, in 1909.

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