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The Ooser

The Ooser by potter, Guy Sydenham
The Ooser by potter, Guy Sydenham

This one is a copy of an original artefact (which cannot now be traced) which appeared at midwinter gatherings – an expression of Dorset folk-lore; it is easy to imagine that the Ooser - perhaps looming out of the darkness with sundry groans and roars – would have frightened children (and some adults?) in a rural community of those times. More recently, this example is a feature of Morris-dance performances of an ancient fertility rite at the nearby site of the Cerne Abbas Giant.

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Ooser - a strange beast (half-man, half-bull) who guards a room to William Barnes Gallery
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