Maypole dancing around Australia
ACT, Australian Capital Territory, dance, festival, folk, folk dance, New South Wales, NSW, Norfolk Island, Northern Territory, NT, Qld, Queensland, SA, South Australia, Tas, Tasmania, Vic, Victoria, WA, Wales, Western Australia
Maypoles and the folk dance associated with them are a popular event, often involving children, at festivals throughout Australia. The origins, and possible symbolism, of Maypole dancing are uncertain but they can be traced back at least as far as the late medieval period, with a mid-fourteenth-century Welsh poem describing a Maypole of birch. The top of the pole often has coloured ribbons attached and the dance involves the participants moving in a circle around the pole weaving in and out, thereby forming a woven pattern with the ribbons around the Maypole. The links in this entry are of early Maypole dances from all States and Territories of Australia, as well as Norfolk Island. The age of some of the photographs suggest that the tradition of Maypole dancing may have arrived with the earliest European settlers.
14 June 2012
National Archives of Australia, National Library of Australia, Northern Territory Library, Picture Victoria, State Library of New South Wales, State Library of South Australia, State Library of Tasmania, State Library of Western Australia, Wollongong City Library.