MAYPOLE Group Member: Melisa Grant Shana-Kay Harris Antoinette Godfery
What is Maypole? Maypole is a pole painted and decorated with flowers. It is a traditionally dance that is done on may day which is May 1st or midsummer. It may be a semi-permanent feature that stands all year-round until it has to be repainted or replaced.
The Origins of The Maypole Dance Maypole dancing is a form of folk dance from Germany, England, and Sweden. It is a celebration that is associated with midsummer festivals and rites. The dance signifies the beginning of the planting season.
Origin of Maypole Continues The dance was introduced in Jamaica by the British to the enslaved Africans during the 19th century who, as is customary, added their own interpretation, movements and instruments.
Types of Maypole Dances • The first dance is consist of dancers that perform circle dances around a tall, garland-festooned pole. • The second and most popularare dancers moving in a circle, each holding a colored ribbon attached to a much smaller pole. As they move around the pole, the dancers intertwine their ribbons either in a web around the pole or to plait it to the pole. To unravel the ribbon dancers retrace their steps.
Religious Aspect of Maypole Maypole dances were common throughout Europe until the time of the Reformation. Protestants considered maypole dancing a form of Pagan idolatry and eliminated the practice in many areas.
Religious Aspect Con’t The rebirth of the Maypole dance was in the 1800’s . In many pre-Christian cultures, couples paired off on May Day eve and had sex as part of the fertility ritual. This was encouraged and children born from such couplings were considered special children of the God.
Social setting On May Day, people usually cut down young trees and stick them in the ground in the village to mark the arrival of summer. People danced around the tree poles in celebration of the end of winter and the start of the fine weather that would allow planting to begin.
SOCIAL Setting Cont. Maypoles were once common all over England and were kept from one year to the next. Schools would practice skipping round the pole for weeks before the final show on the village greens.
instruments In the early days the music would have been played on instruments like the Pipe & Tabor, concertina, fiddle, English bagpipes, accordion, flutes or any instruments that were loud enough to work in the open air. Today people dance to recorded musicsuch as country dance music and pop songs.
Parishes Famous for Maypole This dance is mostly performed in the parishes of Trelawny and Hanover. The dance party is consist of twelve to sixteen dancers, sometimes all females and couples.
References • "Everything You Need to Know about the British retrieved on October 12,20013 from Rupert Matthews