Green Man Mask
This hand-tooled, hand shaped and hand coloured leather mask is made from lightweight veg tan leather and is held in place with strong ribbons. Every mask is made in my own workshop and, along with my blessing, carries with it the history and legend of the Green Man; an ancient God of birth and re-birth; a symbol of protection and new life.
Green Man or Jack in the Green Festivals are a great place to wear your new mask:
A large number of Jack in the Greens parade each year keeping the tradition alive. Some are revivals based on traditional customs that died out in Victorian times, whilst others are brand new, based on writings or pictures depicting earlier Jacks. The following list are all currently (2016) active:
Brentham Garden Suburb, London. Brentham has a big celebration every May which includes a Jack in the Green described as "a walking, talking bush" who sometimes parades barefoot.
Bristol. A Jack in the Green was recorded in Bristol around 1865 by a lady who remembered seeing him with a sweep and a queen on the outskirts of the city. The revived Bristol Jack in the Green appears on the first Saturday in May starting from the historic Harbourside (outside M Shed museum) and leads a procession through the streets of Bristol, eventually ending the day on Horfield Common where he is "slain" (and ripped apart by onlookers) to "release the spirit of summer".
Carshalton, London. A Celebration of Harvest, this takes place in September each year. The straw Jack is ritually stripped in the evening so that all present can take a keepsake and then he is burnt in a brazier. It is hoped that he will be burnt as a complete figure one year.
Central London. The parade starts from the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1, led by traditional giants, the Jack-in-the-Green and Bogies.
City of London. Rather than a revival, the City of London Jack-in-the-Green is based on descriptions and illustrations from early writings. In the late 1970s Greenwood Morris, who danced at Alexandra Palace, would bring their Jack into the City for an evening tour of London Wall and Smithfield. Over a pint one lunchtime an all day event was discussed and the City of London Jack was born and was first paraded in 1984. Tradition has it that the City of London Jack only comes out on City working days.
Deptford, London. The Fowlers Troop Jack was revived in the early 1980s by members of the Blackheath Morris Men and friends. It is a revival of a Jack in the Green from about 1906 which was paraded by the original Fowlers Troop. The Fowlers Jack goes out on the streets of South East London or the City of London each May Day. The Jack is usually dressed on 30 April and is paraded on May Day.
Hastings, East Sussex. The Hastings Jack-in-the-Green festival was revived by local group Mad Jacks Morris Dancers in 1983 and is now one of the biggest annual gatherings of Morris Dancers in the country. The Jack is “released” every year and is central to the festival. The main procession of the Jack takes place on the May Bank Holiday Monday through the streets of Hastings Old Town, starting from the Fishermen's Museum. The Jack is accompanied by Mad Jacks Morris, the Green Bogies, dancers, giants, musicians and various others. The procession ends on the West Hill where Jack is "slain" to "release the spirit of summer".
Knutsford, Cheshire. May Day in Knutsford is celebrated over the May Bank holiday weekend. The main focus is the May Queen but there is a Jack in the Green.
Oxford. A Jack in the Green appears in Oxford on May Day.
Rochester, Kent. The Rochester Sweeps festival was revived in 1981 and still has a Jack in the Green Ceremony where the Jack is awoken by dancers and sweeps on Blue Bell Hill at dawn on May Morning (approximately 5:32am) at the Bluebell Hill picnic area . The Jack is paraded through the street (usually on the Bank Holiday Monday) starting in Rochester Castle Gardens and taking a circular route. The festival is attended by hundreds of Morris sides.
Whitstable. Oyster Morris have their own Green Man who combines the roles of Jester and announcer dressed in white and green. The Jack is central to the Whitstable May Day celebrations.
Credit to Wikipedia for Jack in the Green information. Thanks Wiki, may you live long and prosper!