FROM THE CONVENOR
ROADSIDE MEMORIALS ROCKINGHAM-BUNBURY, WA
MOE FOLKLIFE REPORT PART 2
COLLECTIONS CONFERENCE, EASTER 2005
SHOOT THE SINGER! MUSIC CENSORSHIP TODAY
NEW CD OF TASMANIAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC
PLAY AND FOLKLORE
SOUTH SEA ISLANDS RADIO DOCUMENTARY
SEAMAN DAN WINS ARIA
AUSTRALIAN RAILWAY STORY
NATIONAL LIBRARY FOLK FESTIVAL FELLOWSHIP
DEAR COMPANION: SHARP’S APPALACHIAN COLLECTION
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
FROM THE CONVENOR
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ROADSIDE MEMORIALS IN WA
Jean McGregor is a student in the Graduate Diploma of Australian Folklife. This is a slightly edited version of her study of roadside memorials on a busy stretch of Western Australian highway, as at August, 2004. Its findings allow for some regional comparisons to be made with similar studies carried out in NSW, extending our knowledge and understanding of this increasingly popular custom. The article also illustrates how an appreciation of folkloric processes would be useful for local authorities trying to manage the road safety and related issues raised by the custom of roadside memorials.
The original assignment was accompanied by photographs of the memorials discussed cross-referenced to the location numbers mentioned in the text.
ROADSIDE MEMORIALS – ROCKINGHAM TO
By Jean McGregor
Historical and Folkloric Background
Roadside crosses began in early Christian times and spread throughout the Christian world. They began as sites of devotion, most probably for travellers, but also for villagers where Christian festivals would be celebrated. In Cross My Heart it is stated that,
The origins of these crosses and crucifixion scenes date back to the Middle Ages. Their appearance essentially coincided with the emergence of Roman art, in about the 11th century. Following that, the multiplication of these objects of piety reached a peak in the 16th and 17th century, particularly in Brittany. (p1)
a tradition surviving from times when people often embarked on long journeys on
foot, and found spiritual succour along the way by stopping and praying. (Roadside Crosses in
Crosses along side the road are also found in other European countries and the Village Museum of Bucharest points out that,
Roadside crosses are monuments that mark the Romanians’ need for spirituality. From a functional point of view, they divide into: tombs signs, crossroads crosses and oath crosses. (p1)
cross tradition seems commonplace throughout the Catholic Christian world, and
managed to cross continents and oceans to spring up in countries far removed
bear witness to the religious life in the villages of yesteryear. They have been and still remain symbols of the Christian faith.” (Roadside crosses, p1)
Many of the people we interviewed said that the spirit (of a loved one) remains in that place… they feel closer to them at that spot than at the cemetery. (p1)
Palilio’s goes on to quote Fernandez as saying,
It’s where the loved one took their last breath. Where you take your last breath is as sacred as where the body lies later on. (p1)
that feelings run high and last long over Descansos in
version of this tradition has also flourished in
The memorials began in
In the 1940s and 50s the Arizona State Highway Patrol adopted the practice and be began using white crosses to denote a fatal car accident. When they discarded the practice it was continued by the folk in the area and according to Newell, “There still are people who take these as an indication they should say a prayer for the repose of the people who died there.” (p2)
That the depth of belief and feeling regarding roadside memorials has remained strong across the centuries is evident when we compare the more recent research with historical information.
In 1783, the bishop of
memorials clearly evoke strong feeling in communities throughout the world and
have crossed borders, oceans, and time zones.
In the past the practice has been adopted and adapted by communities as
an informal method of ensuring the safety of the soul of one who has suffered a
violent death. But in
The road from the
Their proposed plan is that roadside crosses will be permitted for a period of 14 months. This allows one year of memorial and two months to dismantle the memorial. Mourners can then, if they choose, purchase a brass plaque, which will be placed on the kerb at the site of the accident. Memorials must be one metre from the side of the road and not obstruct traffic in any way.
However, it is
evident that the erection of roadside memorials is a practice in which feeling
runs high. It is also clear that within the last 15 to 20 years families and
friends of motor vehicle accident victims in
It is a similar story in other Australian states and McLennan, researching roadside memorials in NSW, states that the common sight of crosses erected as memorials demonstrates “a significant shift in the way our culture is choosing to grieve” (p1). Another observation that McLennan makes is that,
Unlike a funeral, which is a formal and structured event, a roadside memorial can be made and erected immediately, allowing shocked and grieving family and friends a way to react directly to a situation that is otherwise out of their control (4).
This seems to me to be the crux of the matter - that a roadside cross erected by an informal gathering of family and/or friends who make and dedicate the memorial themselves will have more meaning to them than, “Just visiting one grave in the cemetery amongst hundreds of others” (McLennan p4). I believe that it is this personal shaping of the memorial, however, crude or elaborate, along with the expressions of grief from bereaved family members and friends that authorities who devise policies regarding such memorials will have difficulty with.
Smith in his research on roadside memorials in northern NSW states that in his
experience memorials were linked more to settled urban areas and seeing
roadside crosses was, “not the case in rural Australia” (Roadside
Memorials, p2). The research I undertook suggests this is not the case, at
It is to be expected that in urban areas there would be a greater likelihood of more memorials simply because of greater population density, but my findings confirm that the Rockingham to Bunbury road has memorials throughout its urban and rural stretches.
Smith goes on to
say that, “I found no evidence of the use of photographs and long messages”
(p2). Perhaps the tradition has evolved
A MAN’S SHED
A man’s shed is a place to play, but on this sad say we build a roadside cross today. The timber is placed upon the bench. Procedure is in place
“A beautiful white cross”
My heart aches as the jarrah is slowly covered in white paint. With one hand clasped firmly around the black paint tin, other hand reaches for the thin paintbrush.
With despair in his eyes my husband proceeds. Our son’s name appears.
With tears aflow I think to myself, how sorry it is that we ‘shed’ a tear in a man’s shed today.
Another note, hand written, lies at the site and reads
We miss you so much.
It does not seem to get any easier.
Guide us all and watch over us.
While it is easy to see the cross of the roadside memorial when driving past, the depth of sorrow and emotion in the texts that attend the home made cross is only evident when one stops to investigate.
As a result of my investigation I believe that the Rockingham Council will find, as the bishop of Senora did in 1783, that the practice might be forbidden, but that it will not stop.
A further difference to Smith’s findings is that the memorial to Peter Carthew is not the only memorial along this stretch of road that has text and photographic tributes.
It is arguable that such personally crafted messages allow the mourners to leave their messages of love and esteem in a way that grave sites in formal cemeteries would not. While these messages are sometimes crudely written and often misspelt, they are always heartfelt. Perhaps the absence of lengthy personal written tributes on many roadside memorials may be due to the level of literate expression available to the mourners. Perhaps this can also be attributed to the fact that long textual messages are not customary at memorial or burial sites.
Several memorials I examined have pre-published written tributes which might be further evidence of the difficulty mourners experience in expressing their feelings in writing for themselves. However, it is by no means the case that written texts are an unusual occurrence in the roadside memorials on the Rockingham to Bunbury road.
Smith goes on to state that his research accorded with that of Hartig and Dunn in that the northern NSW experience is that crosses were, “always white with black lettering” (p2). While this was predominantly the case in my research it was not always so, in fact one memorial is merely a floral tribute (S4) while the most recent accident site is simply adornment and hand written text on the road sign to Bouvard Drive (N7). This latter memorial is the most informal of all of the 20 memorials that fall within the scope of my project. Additionally, when it comes to crosses there is by no means a universal acceptance of the colour white. Attachment S2 is a graded coloured cross ranging from yellow to ochre to almost black at the top, S6 has three crosses one of which is blue, S9 is bare wood with the name and date etched in white, while several other crosses were plain white with no text on them at all. While crosses seem to be the most popular option for memorials, and white the most popular colour, it cannot be said that white crosses are a universal choice.
The roadside crosses that fall within the scope of this project appear to have been homemade in the first instance. Those that have more professionally made crosses seem to have been added at a later date, (S5, S6, & S10), but evidence of earlier homemade crosses remain at memorial sites. The more professionally made crosses all have homemade crosses adjacent to them indicating that the first memorial was a more hurried and spontaneous expression of commemoration.
The thing I find most surprising thing about the roadside memorials I have investigated is that they do not appear to be tended with any regularity. Although I am aware of one site that does not fall within the scope of this project that is well tended, most have been left to the mercy of the elements. Some have extremely weatherworn objects that provide an air of decay, which does little to indicate that the site is cared for with reliability. Site N9 provides an example of weather beaten, faded and dirty teddy bears that appear extremely neglected. Other sites have peeling paint and faded silk flowers. Could it be that once the initial shock passes these sites, in the main, have served their purpose and their function? Could there be a point at which mourners and community members adjust meaning and the roadside memorials come to represent a warning to others of the need for greater caution when driving?
Hartvig and Dunn state in their introduction to Roadside Memorials: Interpreting New Deathscapes in Newcastle, New South Wales, that, “The first aim of this paper is to unravel the multiplicity of meaning within roadside memorials” (5). They moderate their statement, however, by acknowledging that, “roadside memorials generate interpretations and impacts well beyond an intended private expression of grief” (p5)
While there are valid reasons to analyse other meanings we cannot surmise that in the first instance the people who erect these memorials intend anything other than to express their immediate grief at the loss of a loved one who died suddenly. It seems that while the meaning of roadside memorials may change over time, even for the mourners, to wanting roads upgraded or to warn others of danger, the original spontaneous intent remains a simple one – a spontaneous and immediate expression of grief. The potential for changes of meaning over time as the grieving process develops should be taken into account when interviewing bereaved relatives. Respect for mourners in our culture would not allow anyone other than the most callous person to intrude on raw grief, so it is unlikely that interviewers would gain a true insight into the reasons behind the erection of a roadside memorial. It is far more probable that with even a small degree of distance in time that the memorial will have shifted in meaning for the mourners.
It may be that roadside crosses function to allow immediate expression of grief in a way that formal grieving traditions do not and, further, that roadside memorials allow for the process in which grief is permitted to change and transform from deep hurt to sorrow and regret. Regardless of the verity of either of these possibilities it is clear that there is a depth of emotion attached to roadside memorials that is less evident in formal burial grounds.
It is this depth of emotion attached to roadside memorials, not only by the bereaved, but also the respect given to them by other members of the public that elevates them to sacred sites or places of reverence that are cherished by the public. While many people find roadside memorials an unwelcome sight they are rarely (in fact, not in my experience) removed, vandalised or interfered with. Because of the high feeling accorded to roadside memorials by the folk in our culture, it will be difficult for local councils or governments to enforce any formal policy or regulate such spontaneous commemorations. Accordingly, I believe the ultimate experience of those who try to legislate against, or create policy to control, roadside memorials will turn out to be the same as that of Bishop of Sonora way back in 1783.
TABULAR SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Total of Memorials
Memorials that include Crosses
Sites with coloured
Sites with white
Other than name or RIP
Sites that mention animals
I think that Misty was a dog killed in the same crash as its owner.
Anne, Arizona Daily Star article: Roadside
crosses: Centuries-old tradition can stir controversy.
Roadside Crosses. Downloaded from http://charlevoix.qc.ca/isle-aux-coudres/a_croixdechemin_e.htm
Cross My Heart. Downloaded from
Anna Marie, Descanso
McLennan, Ali. Roadside Memorials: Devotion or Distraction. Downloaded from http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/hmcs/sch…ksjounalism/DevotionDistraction.htm
Smith, Robert James. Roadside Memorials – Some Australian Examples. Downloaded from http://articles.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2386/is_1999_Annual/ai_55983656
and Dunn, K. Roadside
Memorials: Interpreting New Deathscapes in
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PART 2 OF GWENDA DAVEY’S MOE FOLKLIFE PROJECT REPORT
Part 1 was published in Transmissions 14. Part 3 will appear in 2005.
RESULTS OF FIELDWORK
The Moe Folklife
Project produced more than 100 recorded interviews and several hundred
photographs (colour slides and prints) plus numerous exhibition quality black
and white prints. An exhibition of 30
photographs by professional photographer Jennifer Aitken was shown at the final
event for the MFLP held at Old Gippstown on
Although storytelling about working life was identified as one of the six separate folklore forms studied in the Moe Folklife Project, it became clear in practice that every informant had some stories to tell. Apart from work and trade unionism, predominant themes concerned stories about Moe, Yallourn, family life, community activism and migration and settlement. A few examples of stories about working life, Moe and Yallourn will be given below.
Stories about working life
It has gotten harder. We used to have six on a shift, but now we've only got two...the workload is greater. [Also there are] too many chiefs not enough Indians. Going back to when we first started operations, there were probably, twenty guys, in the office and now there are probably around fifty or sixty.
Brendan Jenkins is secretary of the Trades and Labor Council and Labor Party candidate for Narracan. He describes 'getting into the unions' after a long battle with SEC management about payment for skill and about the SEC switchboard monitoring unionists' telephone calls:
all we ever wanted was an apology [which was eventually offered]. We didn't use it, we didn't display it, what stuck in my mind was the fact that we weren't being treated as equals, and the blokes there wouldn't have been treated as equals all the way.
Lorraine Proctor has
taught for many years at
When I came in...it had a lot of things that it offered kids and one of them was an enormous concern for the student as a person. I really felt that given all the failings that we all have, Moe was the school where other teachers cared about the kids, more effectively and more frequently than I've ever seen before and has been one of the warm things I had about it.
Usually when I come round they usually say 'here's
old shitty back again' or 'here's the dunny budgie back' or 'the blow fly's
around'. But they
Stories about Moe
Although the whole emphasis of the Moe Folklife Project was on contemporary culture, many stories and folk memories were told about past years. Merve Burrage told a childhood story about the well-known Moe and Victorian identity, the former race-caller, Bill Collins. This story was the subject of a painting produced in the 1995 MYACRE art and oral history project, in another version which has Bill Collins sitting on top of his mother's laundry:
Bill...used to come and play at our place, he was a bit keen on one of our sisters, we had about five sisters, but they weren't all at home at the one time, and we had a little open spoon drain, it used to run from the house down to the lane out the back. It was my job to keep the water flowing down the drain, remove matches, or twigs, or whatever, you'd identify them by different lengths of the sticks you'd put in the drain. I'd get the water going, and he'd stand up the end, and call races of the different sticks to the end. He was very good at it in those days.
In many of the
stories told about Moe, a deep love of place is readily apparent. The Moe Folklife Project director,
I loved it up there, I had a great time as a kid.
Peter Rosenboom regards his status as a 'local' as a great advantage; even men he has 'charged a few times' will walk up to him and say 'G'day Rosie, how you going?' One of his stories concerns a local troublemaker:
One time I was chasing him, and we ended up in a paddock, and he had a four wheel drive, course I got bogged and I lost him. It was dark, but I had a pretty good idea it was him, but I couldn't be a hundred percent certain, anyway 20 minutes later he drives up, 'G'day Rosie, what are you doing here? Do you want a tow?' So he towed me out. I said 'Thanks mate'. No worries, see you later.
Maureen Ross was recommended to the Moe Folklife Project as an informant by the Moe Motor Inn where she works because of her powerful stories about her family's struggles to live and build a house in Moe during World War 2. Although she describes their primitive living conditions where one child 'died of cold', she 'wouldn't go anywhere else' to live:
It's a lovely little town really - everyone pulls their weight. Friends who left have all come back.
Nina Burke is active
in the committee working to save the
Our children love it. Our friends think it's magic. Our friends think we're living in our holiday house.
Stories about Yallourn
Many Moe residents
are still, after twenty years, deeply saddened by the destruction of
Arthur more or less looked after all the lawns and the hedges and the hard work and I looked after the laying out and the designing and what have you. We were thrilled to bits when a couple of years later we won the Victorian Award, the horticulture award for the best garden in Yallourn, and then we won it eight years in a row after that.
Mrs Brogan described how they coped with the enforced move to Newborough when Yallourn was destroyed.
I'd say both Arthur and I did adapt. The children didn't, my son and daughter,
they pined for home and
The ability of the all-powerful State Electricity Commission to wipe out houses and life-styles was not confined to Yallourn itself. Joan McMaster talks about Yallourn North:
we all had our own homes, but they were on SEC land...and the mine collapsed at Yallourn North, and suddenly the SEC reclaimed all the land. And we had to move our houses, or just lose them. My mother, just recently widowed, not having enough money, we just had to walk away, and leave our home.
More than fifty different types of handcrafts were documented in the project, including well-known forms such as knitting, crochet, wood turning, tapestry and lace-making, and lesser-known ones such as Koorie basket weaving, Dorset buttons, Hardanger embroidery, quilling and paper tole. A full list of handcrafts documented is contained in Appendix D. The following discussion will consider a selection of handcraft forms which are unusual or which raise issues of interest. Some crafts are carried out in well-organised groups, and some individually. Some are sold commercially, and many are not. An interesting issue concerns the interchange between traditional folk culture and commercial popular culture. Some skills have clearly been learned by direct oral transmission or demonstration, and others have drawn on printed sources or formal classes. There are clear opportunities available for increased sales of handcrafts in Moe through exhibitions or markets.
A traditional skill practised by some Aboriginal women in the La Trobe Valley, using reeds growing in Gippsland. The Moe Folklife Project interviewed and photographed Mrs Linda Turner and Mrs Norma Lukies demonstrating their craft. Issues for local Koorie groups concern the extent to which the skill will survive, and what further steps, if any, should be taken to protect and promote the skill.
Mr Peter Len
Mrs Mary Rose Gaffa runs Rose's Cakes in Lloyd Street Moe. She is self-taught, and decorates wedding, Christmas, Baptism, Confirmation, Birthday and Anniversary cakes, and teaches her skills through classes held in her shop. Both women and men attend her classes.
Mrs Rosa Paul of Moe covers wooden coat hangers with strips cut from plastic bread wrappers to produce a handsome and utilitarian result. This craft is an interesting combination of modern technology with older techniques of covering wooden coat hangers with crochet or fabric.
Although the aim of
the Moe Folklife Project was to document handcrafts as practised today, many
informants told research assistants about treasured craft objects brought or
sent from their country of origin. One
example is a hand-made crochet bedspread made by Eleni's mother-in-law in
is one of the most interesting of the many forms of embroidery recorded in the
Moe Folklife Project. The style
originated in the Norwegian town of
The term is used to describe a form of painting stylised designs such as flowers on to (eg) wooden household objects such as boxes or bread-boards. For a folklorist, the use of the generic term 'folk art' in this context is problematic, as no provenance is usually given other than descriptions of the craft as 'ancient' or 'traditional'. The method has been publicised through American cottage-craft publications, and is often taught in commercially-run classes. In Moe, the practice was documented at Alan and Fay Walker's Craft Shop in Newborough.
Small gumnuts, leaves and pods are glued on to wooden or glass objects such as bowls and salt and pepper shakers. Sylvia Lawrence from Moe South sells her products at markets.
A vigorous group of Moe lace-makers was documented at Hernes Oak, via Moe. The lace-makers' meetings are both for instruction and a social gathering. The interview highlights the great complexity of this craft with details of lace-making pillows, bobbins, spangles, types of lace, materials, groups or guilds and changes to this ancient art.
blacksmith Bruce Beamish makes candlesticks, fire side irons, branding irons
and tools on request for woodworkers, among other products. He also repairs tools from local engineering
shops which need a forge, and conducts demonstrations at
Many different types of painting are widely practised in Moe. William Verrall paints local scenes on wood using watercolours or acrylic paint.
Quilting and Patchwork
The Valley Quilters
are a vigorous group which meets monthly.
Bev Darby described patterns, fabrics, making quilts, the Quilters
group, books used, heirlooms, collecting quilts and other activities. She appeared to identify the craft as
'American', although noted that Australian themes and patterns were emerging.
Mrs Panayiota Lehos, a Greek-Australian resident of Tanjil South, has a small, private chapel built in her front garden, big enough for 10 icons inside and an oil candle kept lit at all times.
St Mary's Craft Group
This group is one of several at different churches who make craft articles for fund-raising stalls and for the participants' own interest. At St Mary's, articles observed being made for children to buy at Mothers' Day stalls included coat hangers, soap and washer sets, note pads and calendars, boxer shorts and fridge magnets. Most of the craft groups run by organisations such as churches operate at a low level of skill. In view of the exquisite and complex crafts observed elsewhere in Moe, the question arises as to whether these church groups could provide more challenging activities.
Commercially printed tapestries, embroidered by their owners, were often noted by research assistants on this project as 'traditional handcrafts', as sometimes were crude fabric or wooden toys and problematic crafts such as 'folk art' or decoupage. In these cases the researchers' training was clearly inadequate.
The Latrobe Valley Woodturning Club meets regularly at Old Gippstown. Numerous objects such as bowls and platters are turned on the wood lathe, frequently using local timbers. Woodwork of various kinds is a popular craft in Moe among men and some women.
GUIDELINES FOR FUTURE PROJECTS. Researchers need to be well trained in the nature of folk craft and folk art. It was not easy, given the limitations of both time and funding, to teach untrained researchers in the Moe Folklife Project some of the subtleties of taste and tradition or the difference between process and product. A traditional and genuine type of craft practice (eg toy making) may not necessarily, in a particular case, result in a product of integrity.
The term foodways
is used by folklorists to describe not only foods produced and consumed but
also the customs surrounding the consumption of food. Twenty-six interviews about foodways were
carried out by the Moe Folklife Project with local residents of nineteen
different ethnic origins. A full list of
interviews is included in Appendix D, and a few extracts are given below. Foodways are one of the most persistent of
folkloric traditions, and are sometimes associated with special occasions and
celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, New Year and national days. In addition to the strong tradition of
cultural persistence within particular ethnic groups, considerable cultural
interchange takes place, in Moe as elsewhere in
Varieties of food in Moe
Although interviewees represented nineteen ethnic communities, there are many more communities in Moe who were not interviewed for the project, because of limited resources. Mrs Fatima Turbic (Bosnian) and Mrs Margaret Sim (Burmese) are two recent arrivals in the district who cook their traditional foods.
Mrs Rosa Shirato is
Sometimes I cook white rice and have meat with bread crumbs like a schnitzel and continental beans with onion and capsicum. This is a traditional meal from my country. The traditional food from my country is rice, plain white rice and you can mix it with onions, capsicum and tomatoes and you can use the juices and put on top and a little bit of meat because there is not a lot of meat over there like there is in Australia.
Peter Beasley is an
Anglo-Australian one of whose ancestors came to
We only grow one wine a year, a Cabernet. We are at silver medal level and it's possibly the best Cabernet in Gippsland, and one of the best in Victoria...we have ten acres of land and nine acres under vines and we produce about 10,000 bottles per year.
Apart from its
wines, some distinctive local produce includes pine mushrooms. Ironically, this gourmet fungus flourishes in
the ubiquitous and often hated pine plantations around Moe, many of which
replaced local orchards. Nina Burke told
Like Moe's disappearing orchards, some skills are disappearing too. Mr Jurgen Dworznik, a German meat smoker, regrets that today there is little call for his specialist skills.
Foodways and calendar customs
Most families or individuals have elaborate or expensive 'special occasion' foods, such as Peggy Fisher's sponge cake or Suchitra and Narendra Shankar's gulab jamun, sweets prepared for guests. There are also traditional foods associated with or required by special religious occasions. Mrs Panayiota Lehos of Tanjil South gave her recipe for Magiritsa, the traditional offal soup eaten by Orthodox Greeks after the church service on Easter Saturday. The recipe includes
lamb shanks, lungs, hearts and tongues
lamb small intestines and tripe
beef and pork shanks
dill, shallots, anise or fennel
butter, rice, eggs and lemon juice
salt and pepper
Mrs Mirjana Lazarevic
described the Lenten foods eaten by members of the Serbian Orthodox Church
during the fasting period before Easter when no meat, dairy food or liquor are
consumed. She was taught to make a
special fish salad by her mother, and serves it at other fasting times such as
Christmas. A contrast to this spartan
fare is provided by Mrs Esme Dick's Christmas cake or Mrs Margaret Krall's
Dutch Christmas cake and Mrs Effie Gotis's melomakarona. The latter are rich Christmas sweet
biscuits soaked in honey and sprinkled with chopped walnuts and cinnamon. Effie Gotis also makes a special New Year
cake, Vasilopitta. Mr Bharanshek
Backyard orchards in Moe
Although Moe is in severe
economic difficulties, its residents have houses (many publicly owned) and big
backyards. Backyard vegetable plots and
fruit trees are almost universal, a situation confirmed by the results of a survey
conducted by the Moe Folklife Project in the Moe-Narracan News. The most commonly grown fruit trees seem to
be nectarines. There may be some
economic potential in the harvesting of these home-grown crops, as is
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COLLECTIONS CONFERENCE, EASTER 2005
In conjunction with the National Library
of Australia and the National Folk Festival, the
Some speakers will be invited and we would
also like to receive proposals to present a 20-minute paper on some aspect of
collecting. There will be ample time for discussion. Proposals to the
conference convener at: email@example.com
VENUE: Ferguson Room, National Library of
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SHOOT THE SINGER! MUSIC CENSORSHIP TODAY
Edited by Marie Korpe, executive director
of Freemuse (Freedom of Musical Expression), this book considers the many cases
of censorship and suppression of music, song and musicians around the world.
Most of the musics involved are traditional or tradition-based and/or carry
lyrics against one power structure or another. There is an introductory section
on music censorship and power, while the rest of the book is divided into
geographical sections looking at specific examples of censorship in
Published by Zed Books (www.zedbooks.co.uk) in conjunction with Freemuse (www.freemuse.org).
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Saltwater Songs: Indigenous Music from
Tropical Australia features Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers
It is produced by
For information contact:
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Living legends of traditional Tasmanian folk music Edie 77 and Paddy Dawson 86 have just released a CD.
Famous throughout Australia as performers of authentic traditional music, as passed down to them from parents and uncles and neighbours, Paddy and Edie still play the old Apple Shed Dance Tunes that accompanied dances in rural Tassie from 1840-1950.
The CD was
produced and funded by Marjorie and
The Recording and
Most of the
tracks were recorded live in the
The tunes include schottisches, barn dances, reels, quicksteps, polkas and waltzes. Played on two button accordions with the spirit and strong rhythm required for dances this music will take you back to the era when the local apple shed doubled as a dance venue.
While the music draws on Celtic, European and American influences it has its own Tasmanian flavour combining folk, ballroom and music hall into our own local equivalent of old-timey music
The CD retails at $20.00 and can be ordered from 03 62663446 or by email from firstname.lastname@example.org
For details ring Steve on 62663446
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PLAY AND FOLKLORE
edition of Play and Folklore includes
news of the Australian Children’s Folklore Collection’s acceptance onto the
UNESCO Memory of the World Register, accompanying the journals of Captain Cook,
the designs for
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ABC Radio’s Hindsight program has produced
a social history documentary featuring fieldwork interviews of
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SEAMAN DAN WINS ARIA AWARD
Seaman Dan ,featured in Verandah Music,
has won an Australian Recording Industry Award (ARIA) for his third CD
"Perfect Pearl" in the World Music Album category. Congratulations to
all involved, including
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AUSTRALIAN RAILWAY STORY
stories, etc. for this book on Australian rail heritage should be in the hands
of the editorial committee by
What we require is an email copy of the song or poem musical scores etc that you have or might suggest together with clear details of their origin. Details on each item to included (if known) the author’s name, (date written, published or recorded) the title of the item, details of publication or recording if previously produced of contact details of contemporary writer. Clearly mark any copies of song or poems at this stage " For research purposes only”. A copyright release form will be forwarded where necessary. We also welcome the reference details of any Australian Railway Songs and Poems that you feel would assist our research.
details of the Australian Railway Story project to-date can be had from
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NATIONAL LIBRARY FOLK FESTIVAL FELLOWSHIP-WINNER ANNOUNCED
The award of a
national folk fellowship will enable folklorist
The joint National Library of Australia / National Folk Festival Fellowship, now in its second year, is awarded annually for a project that will revitalise the collected folk songs gathered over decades into the NLA’s archives. The decision to award the Fellowship to Graham was announced in October at the National Convention of Folk Alliance
Graham, who has a Masters Degree in Australian Folklore, submitted a plan for a project that will entail selecting little-known songs from the collections of such people as the late John Meredith, arranging them in a way that reinvigorates them without corrupting their traditional essence, then making them available to the public via recordings and public performances at the National Folk Festival.
It is envisaged that songs will be compiled for inclusion on a CD and songbook, as well as making bytes of the music from the National Library available online, to encourage people to make their own journeys of discovery into the archives.
'My main concern one that John Meredith shared is that Australian people should be listening to these songs that are reflections of our cultural heritage,' says Graham.
'What we have in these collections isn’t an invented heritage but the real, raw material, a cross-section of the genuine thoughts of the “people in the street” through the ages. To make these songs available to the people of
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Appalachian traditional songs and singers
from the Cecil Sharp Collection
Cecil Sharp, a music teacher from south
Dear Companion is a collection of fifty-three songs and ballads from Sharp’s American collection. An authoritative introductory essay by collector Mike Yates, together with biographical sketches of the singers and notes on the songs, are copiously illustrated by previously unpublished photographs, extracts from diaries, letters, and biographical writings.
Dear Companion is a celebration
of the close links between the musical traditions of
Published by the English Folk Dance & Song Society in association with Sharp’s Folk Club, November 2004
[vi], 137p, illustrated.
£14.99 plus £2 p&p (
Trade terms available on application to:
EFDSS, Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s
Tel: 020-7485 2206
Fax: 020-7284 0523
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Australian Children’s Folklore Collection, Museum Victoria
Bill Wannan (dec.)
Bush Music Club
David De Santi
David S Azzolina
J D A Widdowson
J S Ryan
Luisa Del Giudice
Museum of Childhood, Edith Cowan University
Top End Folk Club
Victorian Folklife Association
Western Australian Folklore Archive
National Register of Folklore Collections
Folklore Research Unit – Australia Research Institute,
Trad&Now – Australian Folk Music magazine
Graduate Diploma in Australian Folklife http://members.iinet.net.au/~cknow/
Verandah Music: Roots of Australian Tradition - A joint project between the
Useful Ballads link