Story: Dancing

The dance of the shearers

The dance of the shearers

Shearers on Otakapo Station in Rangitīkei enjoy some Highland dancing, accompanied by artist Charlie Hammond on the harp and Bob Craig on the violin. A note below the drawing, done in 1885, says that ‘they had never heard such music on the station before’ and that two Scotsmen, Cameron and Gear, played the bagpipes for some of the dances. By 1885 in New Zealand’s towns and cities it was no longer usual for men to dance together, as it had been in the mid-19th century. In the countryside, where women remained scarce, dancing was enjoyed without them.

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State Library of Victoria
Reference: eh0003-058-p047.tif
Watercolour by Charles Edward Hammond

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Dancing - Dancing in 19th-century New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/40923/the-dance-of-the-shearers (accessed 23 September 2019)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 Sep 2013