We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

The Kentish Hooden Horse: Exhibition

  • Start date: 8th Feb 2023
  • End date: 17th Jun 2023
  • Maidstone Museum, St Faith's St, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LH
  • Organiser: [email protected]
  • Website

Animal Guising and the Kentish Hooden Horse

The Hooden Horse can be seen snapping its teeth and causing havoc at many folk festivals, but where did it come from and how does it relate to other animal disguises around the UK?

This exhibition unites Maidstone Museum’s two old Hooden Horses with their early surviving cousins; Morris Dancing revival horses; Northern skull horses; the Old Tup; Mari Lwyd; Obby Osses; and stag disguises. It explores the Christmas house-calling custom of Hoodening and its reinvention as Autohoodening, a new kind of folk performance about the precarity of contemporary seasonal working.

Come and experience the Hooden Horse brought to life around the town and museum on event days during the exhibition.

FREE entry

There will also be An Evening of Folklore and Traditional Customs on Monday 13 February, 18:00-20:00, starting with a talk by Professor Ronald Hutton, ‘A History of Christmas Customs.’