In west Cornwall it is traditional to disguise the face with a mask, but in some parts of east Cornwall like Padstow it was once usual to cover the face with the black soot of burnt cork. This disguise allowed the people to not only entertain but also to be mischievous. Today, many of the Mummers Day performers in Padstow cover their faces with black face paints and play music.
Padstow Mummers Day is part of a Cornish tradition known as guise dancing. In guise dancing, the performers taking part dress up in costume and disguise their faces. They then tour around their community, visiting homes and pubs.