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Pageant Exhibition Panel 01 - May Pole and Morris dancers
TitlePageant Exhibition Panel 01 - May Pole and Morris dancers
Full Size Image
SubjectMay Day; Maypoles--Folk dancing; Folklore; Historical drama; Lancaster (Mass.)--History--1575-1625--Drama; Fourth of July celebrations--Massachusetts--Lancaster; Library exhibits--Massachusetts--Lancaster
DescriptionMay Pole and Morris dancers performing in Episode I, Early English Fete, in the Lancaster, Massachusetts 1912 Fourth of July Pageant. In the far back to the right, Robin Hood and his Merry Band can be seen taking part in the merriment. Set in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, though, the activities performed on May Day were frowned upon, and the puritans, seen walking on the edge to the right, can be seen showing their displeasure by glaring at the performers. The photograph is mounted on heavy cardboard and has text describing the activity and history depicted in the photograph.
TranscriptionPageant at Lancaster, Massachusetts, July 4, 1912 Episode I. The Prologue: Early English Fete. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries there was a distinct set of sports known as the May-games. It was customary for citizens of all estates to go out into the woods after midnight preceding the May-day to cut down the May-pole, adorn it with branches and flowers, and bring it into the village, where they danced around it and performed other pastimes all day long. Bishop Latimer wrote: "Coming to a certain town on a holiday to preach, I found the church door fast locked. I tarried there half an hour and more, and at last the key was found, and one of the parish comes to me and says, "Sir, this is a busy day with us, we cannot hear you; it is Robin Hood's Day.' I was fain, therefore to give place to Robin hood." In the May-games Robin Hood presided as Lord of the May and Maid Marian as Lady of the May. His companions were those famous in his ballads, who always accompanied him on his adventures. There were tests of archery and morris-dances. In the morris-dance, which was considered an essential feature of May-day, the hobby-horse or a dragon made a part of the dance with Robin Hood and his companions. - Abridged from "Folk Festivals, " by Mary Master Needham.
CreatorSears, Richard
ContributorsThayer Memorial Library
TypeImage, Text
SourceImage is the first photograph in the Lancaster Massachusetts 1912 Fourth of July Pageant Exhibition created by the Thayer Memorial Library.
RelationFrom the archives at the Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster, Massachusetts.
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