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Museum of Folklore opens in Cornwall
Strange dancing
Experience many of Britain's strange Folklore at Port Eliot

A collection of the weird and wonderful of British history opens in Cornwall this April.

The museum of British Folklore has moved into the main Gatehouse of the Port Eliot House at St Germans.

The exhibit will feature artefacts, ephemera, costumes and images that document strange traditions both annual and seasonal in "All their archaic glory".

People can experience the country's mythical past from Saturday 3 April.

Doc Rowe
Aspects of folk culture such as Witchcraft and Superstition are on show

There will be a focus on several Cornish folklore traditions such as the origins of the Helston Furry Dance, Padstow's Obby Oss and the meaning of 'Crying the Neck'.

The origin of the museum is a fitting tale also. Its creator Simon Costin purchased a 1976 Castleton Caravan and decorated it with bright colours.

He then created a mini museum within the caravan filled with exhibit artefacts and images associated with the customs and traditions of the British Isles.

The mini-museum was then taken on the road for five months before the mobile Museum of British Folklore reached the Port Eliot Festival in summer 2009.

The appearance was so successful that Port Eliot House decided to give the museum a proper home in 2010.

Costin certainly has the experience to create such an exhibit. As an art director and designer, he has produced ambitious projects for names like Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Stella McCartney in the past.

Simon and his team have been working around the clock to finish all the theatrical and bespoke displays for Port Eliot, as well as corn dollies and Morris Dancer suits especially for the Port Eliot exhibition.

Obby Oss
Delve into the origins of local traditions like Obby Oss

Visitors will also be able to view the folklore, superstitions and myths of the area and hear an interesting tale about the dissolute 14th-century priest, Dando of St.Germans.

The team behind the museum have laid out a series of aims which the strange exhibit hopes to achieve. They include the desire to:

"Actively encourage the study of traditional customs and seasonal events as they presently exist in the British Isles. This will focus on the way indigenous folk traditions are revived, altered or adapted in a contemporary context."

The Museum of British Folklore opens on Saturday 3 April and will be open daily, except Friday, between 2:00pm and 6:00pm.

It is however a temporary exhibit which finishes on Wednesday 30 June, but will make a return to this years Port Eliot Festival from 23-25 July 2010.

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