Sailorís Hornpipe

Originally a Celtic dance, the Sailor's Hornpipe is one of the traditional solo dances of the British Isles. The costume worn is based on a British seaman's uniform. The name originally comes from a crude English folk wind instrument which where made from either wood or ox horn and was common through out Great Britain in the 1700's. Small, cheaply made and not requiring any great skill to master, it was the instrument of the common folk. With the limited space aboard ships, it became popular with sailors.

Later the name hornpipe became attached to a number of tunes in a particular rhythmic style, played on hornpipes, and still later the dances accompanying that style also became known as "Hornpipes".

If you watch the dancer's steps you can clearly see that the steps relate to naval activities, such as climbing the ropes, hauling in the anchor, searching for land, saluting the captain, etc.

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